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Subject: Removing shoe polish from marble

Removing shoe polish from marble

From: Lorraine Schnabel <rainyroon>
Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Martha Seelenberger <martha.seelenberger [at] parks__nyc__gov> writes

>I want to know if anyone has had the experience of removing shoe
>polish from marble. ...

Shoe polish is essentially wax, pigment, and a bit of solvent. I'd
suggest the following approach. First, you need to remove as much
material mechanically as possible. Then, you need to test additional
solvents to determine what the shoe polish is soluble in. If you can
get a copy of the MSDS from the manufacturer, that might help you
with solvent selection (or, in fact, the manufacturer might have
recommendations for how best to remove the material).

Then, you need to wipe/blot the surface with solvent-damp cloths
(you could also try applying the solvent with a stiff-bristled
brush, then blotting). Use a minimum of solvent--you don't want to
drive the shoe polish into the surface. Then, you will probably need
to poultice the surface to get out the remainder. You should be
aware that most of the black pigments are very fine--it may be quite
difficult if not impossible to remove all the pigment.

I'm guessing that the marble surface is weathered, which will
complicate the removal.

Obviously, you need to test whatever procedure you are considering
on a small area first before attempting whole-sale removal. You can
easily do more harm than good. And don't assume that because you can
do something yourself that someone else can do it just as well if
you write down the procedure.

By the way, Peel Away 1 is not manufactured by ProSoCo, but Dumond
Chemicals. It is an alkaline (sodium hydroxide, I believe) paint

Lorraine Schnabel
1:1:6 Technologies Incorporated

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:15
               Distributed: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-15-005
Received on Tuesday, 7 September, 2004

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