Trespa® Solid Phenolic Laboratory Tops
Care and Maintenance
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Trespa Solid Phenolic lab counters are durable, non-porous work surfaces that are resistant to attack by most chemicals and are heat and moisture resistant. Solid Phenolic Compact, or SPC uses no edge banding and the countertop surfaces' physical properties are seldom compromised; however, they do require periodic care and maintenance throughout the life of the materials in the environment in which they are utilized. Maintaining a good appearance and extending the life cycle of the counter tops and corresponding sink materials is paramount to providing the most pleasing work areas available.
Solid Phenolic Maintenance products:
It is highly recommended to institute a program of monthly or quarterly inspections of all Trespa solid phenolic resin surfaces (Counters and Shelving), joints and epoxy sink areas, plus bi-weekly or weekly cleanings to maintain the Phenolic resin lab tops in the original finish to help ensure a safe, uncontaminated work environment. The following list contains items suggested for regular cleaning and to handle most problems that occur.
- Acetone, Mineral Spirits or Isopropyl Alcohol
- Palmolive Liquid mild soap or non-abrasive household cleaner
- White Scotch Brite Pads (non-abrasive) - (always use moist or wet)
- Scott's Liquid Gold mineral Oil or WD-40 Oil
- Clean Rags or Sponges
- Chamois Cloth
- De-solvit, Goo-Gone or Goof-Off to remove tape residue, wax or paraffin
Note: Never use wax or a polish containing wax on phenolic resin work surfaces or epoxy sinks. Also, never use abrasive pads, powders or liquids (such as Soft Scrub) as dulling of the surface will result.
Phenolic Resin Work Surface Care
Promptly wipe up all chemical and hard water spills. Acetone, Mineral Spirits or Isopropyl Alcohol should be used (where allowed) to thoroughly clean surfaces. Apply and wipe away with a clean soft rag.
Wipe counter top surfaces with the solution of the mild non-abrasive soap and water, wash away soap with clear clean water and wipe dry. The next step is to apply an occasional application of finish oil, Murphy's or Scott's Liquid Gold Oil that can restore the luster to the surface and edges. Remove excess oils to avoid clouding the surface.
- Apply oil by pouring the minimum amount of oil necessary to cover the immediate surface area onto a clean soft rag.
- Thoroughly rub the oil onto the working surface, exposed edges and splash face and top edge, using a light circular motion.
- Wipe away excess oil with a clean rag.
- A chamois can be used to enhance the desired sheen.
Epoxy Resin Lab Sink Care
Epoxy resin sinks are extremely compatible with Trespa Solid Phenolic Counter Tops. Laboratory sink areas usually present the greatest cleaning and maintenance challenge. Sinks are a collection point for dirty and wet lab ware, leaving liquid residue, hard water and chemicals on the surface for extended periods of time. Sink areas will require a more thorough cleaning regimen than dry bench tops as well as more frequent inspections. Sink inspections should include all sink surfaces, along the lipped drop-in sink area, and under the rim of the counter top for under counter mount sinks.
Cracked or pitted joints should be filled immediately with two-part Smooth-On epoxy adhesive to prevent leaking and migration of chemicals or other harmful liquids that may damage the supporting casework. DO NOT use Liquid Nitogen or Dry Ice on Epoxy resin sinks or Phenolic Resin Counters.
Marring, Scratches and Stains
If there is a more serious cleaning issue to the work surfaces, it is important to identify the problem before trying to remedy it. See below suggestions:
Most metals from laboratory equipment, etc., are softer than the Trespa Solid Phenolic counter surfaces and can leave a light scratch or mar if pulled across the top. Marring is residue matter left on the surface that appears as a line and remains smooth to the touch. Marring can almost always be removed with acetone or with mild cleaning products and vigorous rubbing.
Scratches on the Epoxy Resin Countertops
Harder metals, abrasives and heavy or sharp items can dig into the surface resulting in a deeper scratch or gouge. Scratches usually appear as a lighter shade of white or gray on black surfaces and the color varies on other colored tops. Scratches will be identified on the surface as rough to the touch with a slight depression. Scratches in phenolic resin are permanent but will not affect work surface performance.
An aesthetic remedy for scratches is coloring in the light scratch with a colored permanent marker. This option may not perfectly match the color and gloss of the surrounding surface. Adding a coating of mineral oil to the surface will mask the scratch for a period of time and will require periodic maintenance.
Staining of Solid Phenolic Surfaces
Staining can be caused by chemicals left to dry on the surface. Chemical stains usually lighten or bleach the surface but can also roughen and even cause blistering, pitting or crack the top surface. Like scratches, chemical stains are permanent and, if they have caused too much damage, the work surfaces may need to be replaced. Care and maintenance are the solutions to preventing or slowing down the replacement process.
Special Care Issues
Trespa Solid Phenolic resin countertops and epoxy resin sinks are subject to thermal shock and are not warranted against damage from liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Possible effects caused by the improper disposal of these materials include joint failure and/or sink fractures. Maintain the Trespa work surfaces and sinks and they will provide long term effectiveness in the lab environment.
For additional information or assistance, contact us today.