Polishes : Cleaning Agents

Polishes are used to give sheen on the surface from which the light is reflected evenly. They do this by smoothing out any unevenness on the surface of article, as in the polishing of the metals. They also provide a protective layer as in case of floor and furniture polishes. Their compositions may be depending on the surface to be polished.

  • Metal Polish These remove the tarnishes resulting from the attack on the metal by certain compounds in the air. They are fine abrasives which when rubbed on the surface of the metal provide friction to remove the tarnish and produce sheen. In many proprietary metal polishes such as Brasso, Silvo; the abrasive powder is mixed with a grease solvent and in some case, an acid, to help in removal of the tarnish. Jeweller’s rouge is a fine abrasive which is used for polishing metals. Chemically it is known as Iron Oxide. It is used by the jewelers for giving a finishing touch to the gold jewellery. They should be stored with the caps well secured otherwise the solvent content will evaporate and the solution becomes too dry to use.

Points to remember:

  1. Protect yourself and the surrounding with paper
  2. Work in well ventilated area
  3. Use only on appropriate metals
  4. Clean the metal surface before applying polish
  5. Apply polish with a rag
  6. Buff to shine with a duster
  7. After polishing, any article to be used with food should be cleaned with detergents
  8. Constant use of tarnish remover (Silver Dip) on EPNS damages silver plating
  9. Dispose off rags after use as they can increase the risk of fire
  • Furniture and Floor PolishesThey are protective finishes which provide the surface of the furniture or floor with a thin layer of wax or resin. It can protect against absorption of spillage and gives a smooth surface from which light may be reflected to give sheen.

Requirements of a good polish are:

  1. Give a hard, dry finish to ensure maximum protection
  2. Gives an easily cleaned surface
  3. Not mark easily
  4. Reduce cost of cleaning and maintenance
  5. No unpleasant smell

Furniture polish should only be used occasionally. Unvarnished or unpainted furniture may require feeding with a polish frequently. Furniture polish is applied on clean surface only and may be in form of paste, cream, liquid or spray. They contain wax (to enrich porous surface), solvent (to remove grease), water (to remove water soluble stains) and silicone (to lubricate the polish and provide resistance to water, heat, dust and smears).

The various types of furniture polishes are:

  1. Paste (High percentage wax) – suitable for antique wooden surface. Care should be taken to remove all trace of polish from carved surface. Pastes are applied with a rag and then buffed with a duster. A paste may be used on wood which is in poor condition as the high percentage of wax will feed it and help to create sheen. It may give a sticky finish if applied in excess.
  2. Cream (High percentage solvent) – Cream polishes should be used on satin or gloss finishes only as they increase the sheen on a surface with continual use. There cleaning power is greater than the paste. Apply with a damp rag and buff with a duster immediately. They are light emulsions of coloured wax in solvent.
  3. Liquid (High Percentage solvent): may contain a dye, which is useful for covering up scratches in a varnished surface. Used on glossy surfaces they will help remove light grease marks. Applied with a dry rag & buffed while still wet to produce shine. Eg: French Polish Furniture
  4. Sprays/ aerosol (High percentage silicone): these polishes clean and as well polish. This saves time as pre dusting is unnecessary. Used on non porous surface like glass, plastic, gloss painted wood, etc. spray polish is applied & rubbed with duster or may be sprayed directly.

Points to remember:

  • Apply to clean surface.
  • Use a little and apply with a duster. (too much polish will create a sticky surface which is likely to attract dust)
  • Applied with rag (expect spray polish)
  • Replace the top of the polish container so that the polish should not dry.
  • All furniture polished are used undiluted
  • Polishes containing a high percentage of solvent are flammable.

Floor polishes can be: Solvent based or Water based

Solvent based or spirit based:  this may be in the form of a liquid or paste and consists of a blend of waxes dispensed in a solvent. After it has been applied, the solvent evaporates, leaving a layer of wax which is buffed. Floor treated with solvent based polish may dull quickly but will withstand frequent buffing up to restore shine. It is used on porous floor – wood, cork, magnesite, linoleum, etc. The polish can be removed by using solvent based detergents and a nylon web pad under the machine which helps loosing the wax. The loosened wax should be picked up with a mop or wet vacuum pickup.

Water based floor polish: it is in form of creamy liquid and consists of a blend of waxes or resins suspended in water by means of emulsifying agent (ammonia may be used to blend the wax & water). When applied to a floor surface, the water will evaporate leaving a hard firm. Some floor polish may contain anti slip ingredient (colloidal silicon). This polish dries with a shine and may require only little buffing. It is also referred as dry-bright polish. They are applied on semi porous and plastic floor like rubber, vinyl, etc. Disadvantage of using this polish is that it has very less cleaning power.

Points to remember:

  • Apply to a clean floor
  • Apply to a dry floor
  • Rinse floor thoroughly after stripping off old polish using mild acid
  • Apply several thick coats of polish rather than one thick coat
  • Allow each coat of polish to dry before applying the next
  • Ventilate the area
  • Use warning signs
  • Buff up thoroughly
  • Do not used water based polish on porous floor
  • Do not used solvent based polish on plastic or semi-porous floor
  • Remove any build up of polish with a suitable polish remover and an abrasive pad or disc
  • Damp mop floor after spray cleaning to remove any residue
  • Clean all equipments after use and store correctly
Amit Kumar
Amit Kumarhttps://hmhelp.in
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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