Simple Steps to Avoid Damage to Bespoke Surfaces
The materials that we work with at Superior Surfaces are high-end and in-demand. The finished result is seen by our customers as a substantial investment, placed into a home or business that is of great value to them. It is for this reason that we want to ensure we provide the best advice when it comes to maintaining and caring for these labours of love. Please find below a comprehensive guide that explains how to care for Corian, Hanex, LG Hi-Macs and Richlite surfaces.
How to Prevent Damage to Corian
Corian is the original, and one of the most popular solid surfaces on the market. A composite of acrylic polymer and natural minerals, it is an incredibly resilient material, making it a natural choice for surfaces that need to be hard-wearing yet visually stunning. When Corian was created, it was with the view of having a surface that would be easy to look after for a lifetime. As a non-porous material, dirt and stains cannot penetrate its surface, and as they remain on the surface, they are incredibly easy to remove. The recommended finish for Corian is matte or satin; day-to-day care means using warm soapy water, or a household ammonia based cleaner. We advise that window cleaners are avoided; contrary to popular opinion, they don’t leave the surface with a high-shine, products such as these leave behind a waxy residue that dulls Corian. Corian should be wiped dry after a liquid has been spilt; if left to dry, a film is formed, giving the surface a blotchy and uneven appearance. However, if you begin to see watermarks, they can be easily removed by using a specialist cleaner for hard water marks, we advise using Bar Keeper Friend for use on Corian surfaces.
If you have opted for a coloured Corian surface, the colour may dictate how often it is cleaned; dark colours require more frequent cleaning than light surfaces. While Corian is a solid-surface that is heat resistant, to protect the surface, we urge you to minimise the direct contact and exposure to heat. Avoid placing hot pans directly onto the surface, use hot pads under saucepans and place heat generating appliances such as toasters onto trivets. Corian trivets are available so please contact us on 01487 824211. If you have invested in a Corian sink, allow all appliances and cookware to cool before placing it into the sink. While boiling water will not damage the surface, we also advise running a small amount of cold water into the sink before running the hot tap as best practice. To disinfect Corian sinks or toilets, a mild bleach solution can be used, of 1 tablespoon of bleach to 4.5 litres of water. If you have a Corian countertop in your kitchen, it is important that you do not cut or chop ingredients directly onto the surface; although it is a solid surface, minor scratches can still occur, and we always advise using a chopping board. However, should minor scratches occur, use Bar Keepers Friend (which is mildly abrasive) with a microfibre cloth; while deeper scratches will require a specialist to carry out a ‘re-polish’ repair.
How to Prevent Damage to Hanex
Hanex is also an acrylic solid surface that offers both beauty and durability, and its maintenance is extremely similar to that of Corian. For general everyday cleaning and basic stains, a damp microfiber cloth and dedicated solid surface cleaner should be used – mild or diluted detergent solutions can be used, but these must be NON-BLEACH products. We advise that periodically, you use the Unika Care and Maintenance Kit to maintain a uniform appearance of your Hanex surface, which you can purchase directly from Superior Surfaces if required. If you find that stains have developed on the surface, you should use Bar Keepers Friend and a micofibre cloth. Deeper scratches will require a specialist to finish the surface; it is for this reason that like Corian, we advise that you never cut or chop directly onto the Hanex surface. Common domestic residues such as coffee, tea, ballpoint-pen ink, wine and spices are all easily removed. One of the distinctive characteristics of Hanex is its resistance to heat. However, we still advise customers to avoid placing hot items directly onto the surface to preserve its pristine appearance. As previously explained, the utmost care should be taken when placing hot pans on the surface, with hot pads and trivets with rubber feet being used at every opportunity. If you have a Hanex sink, ensure that each time a drain cleaner is used, it is immediately flushed with water; the strong acids that are found in these products can cause the Hanex surface to whiten.
How to Prevent Damage to LG Hi-Macs
LG Hi-Macs is another incredibly strong, non-porous and striking surface that we thermoform to create bespoke designs. A LG Hi-Macs surface does not require any specialist cleaning products; as a non-porous surface, a damp cloth and mild house-hold cleaner can be used. The majority of spills can be cleaned using the technique mentioned above; although with a LG Hi-Macs surfaces food-dye, tea, coffee and other drinks that use dyes may cause staining and may require a more aggressive method of cleaning with the use of bleach. Bleach should only be in contact with the surface for 2 -5 minutes before being rinsed with plenty of clean water. As previously mentioned, if using strong acids in sinks and toilets, ensure you flush through with plenty of clean water to prevent whitening. LG Hi-Macs surfaces can withstand sustained temperatures up to 107 degree Celsius, but as with Corian and Hanex, direct contact with hot pans and heat generating utensils should always be avoided as this can cause the surface to yellow. Be sure to always use a chopping board! For further protection and lustre, you can use a non-wax polish cleaner, then buff with a dry, clean cloth.
How to Prevent Damage to Richlite
Richlite is a highly durable and sustainable surface that is formed from resin-infused paper; although it has been around for 70 years and used in industrial tooling and pattern making, more recently it has been developed and used as a premium surface material. Unlike the solid surfaces that we have already detailed, Richlite behaves in a way similar to dense hardwood and is available in three surface options, Mill, Leathered and Honed. Despite having a different structure, day-to-day cleaning requires nothing more than a damp sponge, although an oil based product can also be applied periodically to maintain the surface. An alkaline based cleaning products should be avoided as they can cause the surface to become dull, or lighten. Richlite surfaces are resistant to many stains, especially in its darker colours. However, it can become stained by foodstuffs that contain a high alkaline content, such as raw meat, beetroot, papaya and cleaning products such as oven cleaner. if staining does occur they can be removed by using non-abrasive cleaners – bleach and abrasive cleaner should not be used on Richlite surfaces. Richlite surfaces have the same capacity to be scratched as a solid surface, and you should not cut or chop directly onto the surface. Hot pans and heat generating appliances should also be used in conjunction with hot pads and trivets. For small areas of general wear and tear, you can use mineral oil to treat the areas. If the Richlite surface becomes stained, then a professional should be contacted to re-polish the surface – although please bear in mind, depending on the extent of the damage, the repaired area may appear to be lighter than the rest of the surface but will oxidise and darken over time. Many of the surfaces that we work with come with a minimum manufacturing warranty of 10 years, so to comply with the warranty the surface should be cared for within the guidelines provided with each. Please do not hesitate to call us should you have any further questions about the maintenance and upkeep of your surface.
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