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Our Frequently asked questions
How do you clean Onyx products?
For regular cleaning, use a cloth or sponge with your favourite non-abrasive household cleaner. Most cleaners will work very well with your Onyx product. The two most important aspects of cleaning are the hardness of the water and the frequency of cleaning. We recommend applying a protective / polishing product like Gel-Gloss™ after each cleaning. These products will continually make cleaning the shower easier because of the protective polish they leave on the Onyx product. Once again, avoid using abrasive household cleaners – if a cleaning product feels “gritty,” please do not use it.
• Eliminate® is a shower cleaner that works well on everyday soap spots, calcium, and hard water spots.
• The 25 oz. size bottle comes with a foaming sprayer.
• Works well for Onyx showers and lavatories, shower door glass, tile, and bathtubs.
|Material Safety Data Sheet|
|Material Safety Data Sheet||
• Repel/Ultra Glass are Surface Sealers and Protectors which work well on Onyx showers, lavatories, and shower doors (they also have some cleaning properties, but are mainly surface protectors.)
• Repel/Ultra Glass helps water bead off surfaces quickly, reducing water spots and making cleaning easier.
• 25-ounce bottles with spray nozzles.
Tip: To break up hard water/soap film deposits on your Onyx products, we also recommend a 50/50 white vinegar/water mix solution.
Here are my thoughts on the cleaning problems we face in the Midwest. Probably far more than you really want to know.
I’ll cover several topics including mildew, hard water and soap buildup. Also making some suggestions on waxes to reduce these problems and make general cleaning easier.
1) White vinegar works great for all three problems. Vinegar is a natural safe product. The acid will dissolve limestone, removes soap scum, and kill mildew. Vinegar can’t harm the metal products in your bath. White vinegar also works well on shower doors. They really shine.
2) Water without soap will also fairly quickly dissolve limestone. Limestone is soluble in water–that’s how it got there.
The water evaporated leaving the limestone. Water will dissolve and reabsorb the limestone.
3) Water also dissolves soap fairly well.
4) Exhaust fans change the air allowing water to evaporate faster. Unfortunately, limestone and soap remain whether water evaporates fast or slow.
5) Eliminating moisture faster may slow the growth of mildew–but not much.
6) Mildew is a parasite fungi needing a little moisture, but mainly something to “eat”. Soap (basically a salt of fat acids) is “food”
for mildew. The acid in vinegar dissolves soap salt. Water also dissolves soap salts. This is why we do a final, water-only, rinse
7) Latex caulk and soap residue both hold moisture and provide “food” for mildew. (People who label and sell latex caulk as a product for moist areas do a real disservice.) Never use latex caulk for anything is my recommendation.
8) A brief clean water rinse will take care of most soap, mildew and water penetration problems.
9) Pledge®, Gel-Gloss™ and other products with a good wax base cause water to flow more quickly and thoroughly to the drain and make cleaning easier. This is like hitting the wax button ever so often at the car wash. Getting some good reports from customers using Rain-X®. We tried it with good success in our shop. But, don’t spray it on too thick.
10) Both a clean water rinse and a wipe down–neither of which is practical–are the only way to completely eliminate all problems.
Cleaning products are a very big industry. Most bath cleaners are 2.5% to 6% citric acid (essentially expensive diluted vinegar).
Dilute white vinegar 50-50 with water and you have as good a bath cleaner as any on the market.
A few are even dangerous to use in my opinion. Read the label on a new cleaner recently. I believe the active ingredients actually produced hydrochloric acid! Fortunately, the active ingredients were only 0.22%. The remaining 99.78% actually did nothing.
A higher percentage could tarnish the metal shower fixtures.
Any non-abrasive cleaner will work on our products and on the 100% silicone we sent. Colours are suspended in the product and in the silicone–so colours won’t be affected. It is virtually impossible to stain the gloss finish. If you have our matte finish, I’d use one of
the wax products mentioned above a little more frequently.
What is onyx made of?
63% of our products is a hydrate crystal–Al2O3+3H2O. Alumina is also the main ingredient in Corian and all “solid surface” products. The main ingredient in our product is (alumina trihydrate). Our other 37% is a special polyester resin we developed over the last 30-plus years.
Our resin does not contain any urea-formaldehyde. READ MORE
|All manufacturers try to get properties which make products work best for their applications. Our application is the bathroom. We believe our resin serves this purpose well. Corian uses acrylic resin, others use various blends of polyesters and acrylics.|
|The main ingredient, 63% in our product is Alumina Trihydrate.
Alumina trihydrate is a by-product of the natural mineral Bauxite. It is in roofing materials and the plastics inside automobiles to slow the flame spread and as a smoke retardant. It is in the plastic coating on the wiring in your home (in a much smaller percentage). Bauxite is the primary source of aluminum metal, and about 85% of bauxite mined is processed via the Bayer Process to make alumina trihydrate.
|The other 37% is a special polyester resin.
We have developed and improved a special resin formula over the last 25-plus years to get flexible and durable properties. Our formula of resin gives our product that deep, translucent, clear appearance found in Natural Onyx. Our resin does not contain any urea-formaldehyde.
|Casting the product|
|We use cultured marble-type moulds to cast our products. The solid surface industry casts sheet goods and fabricates their products. Our product does have a Gelcoat on the surface (about 15 mils) similar to cultured marble. Our Gelcoat is ISO-NPG polymer. ISO-NPG Gelcoat is a tight molecule that is very resistant to water penetration.|
How to cut onyx?
All Onyx material can easily be cut notched or trimmed with standard woodworking tools, to achieve a custom fit. Woodcutting tools such as jigsaws and circular saws with a fine to medium tooth finish blade work best for cutting. A belt sander works great for minor modifications. Here is a link to a skill saw and a belt sander cutting / trimming a wall panel.
Gloss or matte finish?
Aesthetics is the main reason for choosing between Matte and Gloss. It is the only reason for all practical purposes.
For many years “shiny” denoted cleanliness. Tubs and stools were shiny, bathrooms were small and
gloss finish was the proper surface for showers and lavatories when large bathrooms with floor tile became popular. Matte finish frequently looks better when using matte finish floor tile. READ MORE
We use a blend of resins for matte–about 30% ISO-NPG. This increases the ability of matte products to resist moisture penetration. Use Gel-Gloss™ Counter Gloss, Pledge®, Rain-X® or other good wax product a little more frequently with a matte finish. Both matte and gloss finishes have our “Yes, Guaranteed Forever”.
More expensive resin and additional labour make matte finish products higher priced.
How do I remove excess silicone?
The best way to remove excessive silicone is friction. You could use your thumb, credit card, or even a flattened Popsicle stick. If you prefer, you can purchase a mini plastic scraper, (available at hardware stores) There is also a product called Goo Gone that will help remove the adhesive qualities of the silicone. You will need to apply it and then use your thumb, credit card, flattened Popsicle stick or mini scraper to work the edge to get underneath. For a more industrial-strength product, you could try a product called DSR-5.