A reader writes: “I saw your response to the person who had the marble floor, but I have a different problem. Although I have marble throughout my house the only problem is old hair spray in the master bath. Can you help?”

All I can do from the basic information you shared with me is to make some general suggestions. First of all, remember that marble is VERY sensitive to acid type products so do not use them unless you know what you are doing. Second, there is a strong possibility that this is a faux marble that may respond to chemicals differently from true marble. Third, the high concentrate floor stripper recommended to you by the big box store probably will not work but don’t throw it away since it may be useable once the “hair spray” has been safely and effectively removed. Fourth, I suggest you test different solvent based products and processes in a small area off to the side to make sure you do not have a damaged floor.

You noted that the buildup is primarily near the counter and that you believe the soiled area is due to an accumulation of hair spray and dirt over a ten year period. Although that theory seems plausible, it may not be accurate so proceed with caution. I suggest you go back to the big box store (or better still a janitorial supply house) and purchase a solvent based cleaner (orange peel, soy bean oil, etc.) that can be used with a green scrubby sponge to test a small spot – preferably one that will show a drastic difference when clean. Read and follow all safety directions. Allow for plenty of ventilation. Wear gloves. Test a dime to quarter size spot by dapping the saturated sponge, then scrubbing the area with the scrubby side. If necessary, try a flat razor blade to peel up the softened residue. If this works, continue testing to determine contact time and whether you will need the razor blade or the sponge.

Once you have removed the buildup, use a mild detergent to scrub the floor of soil. Rinse and allow to dry. You may need to apply a marble finish designed for floors but you will not know until the floor is clean and dry to determine the desired shine.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.