Epoxy Resin Care and Maintenance
Durcon epoxy resin worksurfaces are durable, non-porous, monolithic, lab-grade products that are relatively unaffected by most chemicals, heat, flame, and moisture. Its physical properties are resilient and seldom compromised – however, they do require periodic care and maintenance throughout the life of the laboratory or facility to keep the surfaces looking like new.
Whether you are a facility owner, manager, custodian or lab end user, following these guidelines will maintain the aesthetic appearance of your lab’s worksurfaces and casework.
Durcon recommends instituting a regimen of monthly close inspections of all surfaces, sinks, and joints, in addition to daily or weekly cleanings, to maintain a worksurface’s original finish, and to help ensure a safe, uncontaminated working environment. The following list contains approved items you may want to have on-hand for regular cleaning, care, and maintenance.
• Acetone or paint thinner
• Crystal Simple Green®
• White Scotch Brite® Pads (always use moist or wet)
• Finish oil (mineral oil)
• Murphy’s Oil®
• Clean rags or sponges
• Chamois cloth
• Mild soap or household cleaner
• Two-part Smooth-On® epoxy grout
Note: Never use wax or polish containing wax, abrasive pads, powders or liquids (such as Soft Scrub) on epoxy worksurfaces or sinks, as dulling of the surface may occur.
Promptly clean up epoxy resin countertops and wipe away all spills. Use acetone (where allowed) to thoroughly clean surfaces.
Apply acetone and wipe away with a paper towel or clean rag. As an alternative, Crystal Simple Green® (or comparable household cleaning product) can be used as well.
An occasional application of finish oil or Murphy’s Oil® can be used to restore the luster of a surface, but use in moderation as too much oil can cloud a surface.
• Apply a small amount of oil onto a clean rag, just enough to cover the surface area.
• Thoroughly rub the oil in, using a circular motion.
• Wipe away excess oil with a clean rag.
• A chamois can be used to buff the worksurface to the desired sheen.
Durcon Epoxy Sink Care
Laboratory sinks can present the greatest challenges for cleaning and maintenance of around your casework and tables. Sink basins can be used as a collection point for dirty and wet labware, leaving liquids, residue, and chemicals on the surface for extended periods of time.
Sink areas require more frequent inspections as well as a more thorough cleaning regimen than bench worktops. Sink inspections should assess all sink surfaces and joints in sink the area, including the outlet joint and the sink rim joint above and below the worksurface.
Fill-in cracked or pitted joints immediately with two-part Smooth-On® epoxy grout to prevent leaking and damage to the supporting casework.
MARRING, SCRATCHES & STAINS
For more serious maintenance issues, it is important to first identify the problem before trying to remedy it. Below are several common issues and the recommended remedy for each.
Most metals are softer than epoxy worksurfaces, and can leave a mar if pulled across a worktop. Marring is the material from an object left on the surface that appears as a line and is smooth to the touch.
Marring can almost always be removed with acetone or a mild cleaning product and elbow grease. Always start with the softest cloth and weakest solution (soap and water) first, then work your way up as necessary.
If marring persists, progress to a white Light Duty Scotchbrite® pad moistened with a stronger solution. Never use an abrasive pad dry, and always begin by applying a minimum amount of pressure, increasing to only what is required to remove the mar.
Harder metals, abrasives and heavy or sharp items can dig into the surface resulting in a scratch. Scratches usually appear as a lighter shade of the worksurface and are rough to the touch.
Scratches in epoxy resin are permanent, but do not affect the performance of a worksurface. An aesthetic remedy a scratch is to fill-in the void with a black permanent marker.
However, this option is unlikely to perfectly match the color and gloss of the surrounding worksurface.
Staining occurs when chemicals are left to dry on a worksurface. Chemical stains usually lighten or bleach the surface, but may also roughen and even crack the surface.
Like scratches, chemical stains are permanent and if too much damage has occurred, the top may need replacing.
Special Care Issues
Durcon epoxy products (especially glued-in sinks) are subject to thermal shock and may experience damage from liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Improper disposal of these materials may results in joint failure and/or sink fractures.
EPOXY WORKSURFACE CARE – QUICK LIST
The performance of Durcon epoxy worksurfaces will not be compromised by normal laboratory use. Maintaining the appearance depends upon practicing regular care and maintenance.
Durcon recommends posting the list of DO’S and DON’TS on the opposite side of this page around the lab and near cleaning supplies to ensure everyone is informed of these best practices.
Dos and Don’ts of Epoxy Work Surface Maintenance
- immediately clean up any liquid or dry spill from a work surface
- place a trivet under hot containers and components.
- immediately extinguish flames on a work surface.
- apply a thin coat of finish oil or Murphy’s Oil® periodically.
- educate users on the V proper care of epoxy resin work surfaces.
- drag items across a work surface.
- cut, chop, strike or drop items directly on a work surface.
- use abrasive sandpaper or metallic scouring pads on a work surface or sink.
- store chairs on top of a work surface without protective covering such as cardboard.
- melt dry ice with hot water directly on a work surface or sink as the thermal shock may break joints or cause a fracture.
- use wax (or a polish containing wax) on a work surface.
Speak to an Epoxy Resin Countertop Consultant Today
Following these simple guidelines, your epoxy resin lab work surfaces will maintain their aesthetics for the life of the laboratory or facility. Please take time to share this document with lab users and cleaning personnel, and institute a regular maintenance schedule to help ensure the safety and appearance of your lab.