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Ingestible Countertop Material?

THE SURPRISING USES OF MARBLE

Ingestible Countertop Material?

Most people are familiar with the idea that marble is used for countertops, floors, walls, statues, and decorative items. In the following article from Fred M. Hueston, Chief Technical Director for SurpHaces, you’ll discover that marble has many other uses, some of them ingestible! Sit back, relax, and grab some popcorn, because you’re not going to believe what people do with marble.

Garden Lime

Gardeners use lime to raise the pH level of acidic soil, which can help certain plants extract nutrients from the soil. Garden lime is processed from marble. The marble is heated in a kiln, which removes the carbon dioxide from the stone, producing a form of lime called calcium oxide, or quicklime.

Field Marking

In the past, lime was used to mark soccer, baseball, football, and other sports fields. Lime is very caustic, meaning it can cause discomfort or damage if the powder makes its way to a moist skin surface, such as the eyes or sweaty skin of athletes. These days, powdered marble is used as a safer alternative.

Calcium Supplements

Many farm animals require calcium for health reasons and to produce eggs, milk, etc. Farmers mix powdered calcium into animal feed as a supplement. These supplements are nothing more than pulverized marble.

Antacids

If you take an antacid to calm your stomach, you are basically just ingesting powdered marble!

Whiting

Whiting is a fine powder made of marble that is used as a brightener, filler, and even a pigment in many products. It can be used to clean glass after glazing and to shine copper, stainless steel, and other surfaces.

Cosmetics

One of the main ingredients for face powders and blush is pH-neutral calcium carbonate, i.e., marble dust.

Construction Aggregate

Concrete is used for road building and many other uses. Concrete mixtures require cement, water, and an aggregate, such as crushed bits of stone, gravel, or sand. Marble aggregate can be used in concrete.

Neutralizers

Here is a little chemistry lesson. If marble is dissolved in water, it becomes alkaline, which means it increases the pH level of the water. Acid, which is low pH, can be neutralized when marble is added. Marble can be used to increase pH, so it can serve as a neutralizer in swimming pools. It is also used by water treatment plants and other chemical industries.

Your Meds

Many prescription and over the counter drugs use powdered marble as a filler. So the next time you need to take a pill, chances are you will be ingesting some marble.

Paint and Craft Additives

Marble powders are popular in many types of paint, as well as acrylic modeling paste, glue base gesso, and all water and oil dispersed paints.

Carbonated Beverages

Have you ever wondered why there is a tiny explosion when you pop open a can of soda? During the manufacturing process, a can is filled with CO2 dissolved in water. When the can is sealed, the pressure causes a chemical reaction to take place, resulting in carbonic acid. The sound you hear when you open the can is caused by carbonic acid returning to the form of CO2 dissolved in water. The carbonic acid that is used in soda is derived from marble.

Chalk

Sidewalk and blackboard chalk used to be made of marble, but these days, most chalk manufacturers use gypsum.

Marcite and Plasters

Marcite, a sprayed-on coating that is applied to built-in swimming pools, contains marble dust. Many plasters also contain marble dust as their main ingredient.

Groceries

Products containing marble, such as baking powder, toothpaste, dry dessert mixes, dough, and wine, are for sale in your local grocery store. The next time you look at a list of ingredients and you see the word calcium, the product likely contains marble.

Carbon Capture Technology

A study by Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research reports that one of the most promising technologies to reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) is called calcium looping. The process involves scrubbing CO2 from flue gases by using calcium-oxide-based sorbents. You can probably guess what those calcium-oxide-based sorbents are. That’s right. Waste marble powder.

If you ever visit a marble quarry, you will notice a large amount of waste. Thankfully, marble waste is used in many ways.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

How to Protect Carpet During Renovation

There are many potential ways your carpet can get badly soiled or damaged during an interior renovation project. Contractors with steel-toed boots go in and out to retrieve supplies, tools, and equipment, remove demolished materials, and bring in new materials, which may include paint, adhesives, and chemicals. Although reputable contractors will protect the surfaces surrounding their work area, property owners should take extra precautions to avoid costly repair or replacement of carpeting. Here are some tips to safeguard your carpets during interior renovation projects.

Moving Furniture

Your renovation project may require moving furniture. Do not slide furniture across carpeting, because this can increase the odds of a snag, tear, friction damage, or other damage to your carpet. In many cases, you can move furniture with the help of a few able-bodied friends and the proper tools, such as furniture straps, stair rollers, moving blankets, a dolly, slides or ramps, and furniture glides. The easiest way to avoid injuring yourself or damaging your carpet, furniture, or other surfaces while moving very heavy or large furniture is to leave the job to professionals who are fully equipped to efficiently and effectively get your belongings from one room to another without incident. Just make sure your movers are properly licensed and insured.

Dust Containment

Airborne dust particles can create a health hazard, especially for people with respiratory issues. Dust particles can be abrasive, and if dust becomes embedded in carpeting, the particles can act like thousands of tiny shards of glass that tear and break carpet fibers every time someone takes a step. Hang plastic sheeting to contain dust within the work area and help maintain proper air quality throughout the rest of the home or building.

Carpet Coverings

The following protective products shield your carpeting against spills, construction dust, and soiling. Some products work better than others, depending on the design and quality of the product and what type of carpet and padding you are covering.

  • Carpet film is the most convenient and best option to protect against spills and soiling on synthetic carpeting. Spills will not penetrate, provided there are no holes in the material caused by foot traffic. Carpet film is designed to be tough and does not tear or puncture easily. DO NOT use carpet film on wool or other natural fibers.
  • Canvas painter’s drop cloths serve as a barrier between your carpet and soiling agents. They provide some protection against spills, but liquids can seep through if a large amount is spilled at once. Canvas will hold up well against foot traffic, because it doesn’t tear or puncture easily.
  • Plastic painter’s drop cloths also protect against soiling and provide better protection than canvas against spills. It does not hold up as well to tears or punctures as canvas. Plastic painter’s drop cloths should be properly secured with tape to avoid trip and fall accidents.
  • Protective floor coverings made with both absorbent fabric and plastic backing have all the combined benefits of canvas and plastic drop cloths.
  • Thick flooring paper may be appropriate to use on thin carpeting with limited padding. Do not use tinted flooring paper, because if it gets wet, the color can bleed onto your carpeting. Paper should be properly secured with tape to avoid trip and fall accidents. Paper can offer protection against soiling and splatters, but significant spills can seep through.

 

Remove and Reinstall Carpeting?

For major renovation projects involving walls or ceilings near carpeted areas, you might consider having a professional carpet installer remove your carpet and then reinstall it once the project is complete. Although this approach might seem extreme, there may be certain projects where this extra precautious approach to carpet protection might be worthwhile.

After Renovation

Thoroughly vacuuming carpets each time floor coverings are replaced and after the project is complete is highly recommended. However, even the most thorough vacuuming may not be enough to remove particles that have become lodged in the fibers and backing of your carpet, as well as residual odors left behind by chemicals and other construction products. Your best bet to protect against premature wear following a renovation project is to have your carpets professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning flushes out deeply embedded contaminants, leaving your carpets fresh, clean, and inviting.

Follow these tips to protect your carpets during interior renovation. You’ll worry less, possibly avoid costly repair or replacement, and increase the likelihood that you’ll get the full lifespan out of your carpeting.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

How to Remove Ring-Shaped Marks on Marble

How to Remove Ring-Shaped Marks on Marble

Here is a question people commonly ask us: “What causes ring-shaped marks and white spots on marble?” Questions like these usually follow: “Is there a product I can use to get rid of this type of stain?” and “Is there a sealer I can apply to restore the shine and prevent this problem?” Sometimes people believe that when surface damage happens, it means they will need to replace their marble. Let’s unpack these concepts.

The Cause of Ring-Shaped Marks and White Spots on Marble

Some people refer to ring-shaped marks on marble as “water rings.” These marks and spots on marble are likely not stains, but acid etch damage. If the discoloration is lighter than the stone, it is an etch, not a stain. Marble contains calcium carbonate, a substance that chemically reacts with acids in certain types of food and drinks, and this is what causes acid etch damage on marble surfaces.

Product for DIY Etch Removal

A high quality marble polishing powder can be used to remove etch marks from polished marble, as long as the damage is not too severe. Run your finger over the area you intend to treat. If it feels smooth and has no rough texture compared to the surrounding finish, then you can use the polishing powder and a clean white cloth to remove the spots. Note: Marble polishing powder should not be used on marble with a honed / satin-matte finish. Although it will remove mild etch damage, it will also change that area to a polished finish that is inconsistent with the surrounding honed finish. If the etch damage is too severe to handle on your own or your marble has a honed finish, professional stone restoration services can give your marble a like-new finish.

What Sealers Can and Can’t Do

A common misconception is that the impregnating sealers commonly applied to marble countertops can prevents stains and etch damage and restore the shine. If sealing is recommended for your stone, it will simply buy some time to wipe up spills before they become stains, and it should only be applied by your professional stone restoration technician. When impregnating sealer is applied to marble, the appearance of the finish does not change at all. For complete stain and etch protection, as well as elegant finish options, etch protection treatments and protective films are ideal solutions. Unlike impregnating sealers that penetrate into the stone, protection treatments and films form a barrier between marble and acidic substances.

Don’t Replace Your Marble

Replacing etch damaged marble would be costly and completely unnecessary. Use a marble polishing powder to remove etch damage or have it professionally restored. For more information about marble care or stain management, download our free Stone and Tile Care Guide and use our Stain App under the Resources tab on this site. Contact us for specific product recommendations, answers to questions about your marble, or to schedule services.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.