The right way to remove stains from your stone surfaces
Many natural stones are porous and can stain, however with the right products, methods and patience they can often be removed. Ideally all natural stone surfaces should be professionally sealed with a penetrating sealer after installation, to minimise damage from stains. Below are general guidelines to follow for stain removal.
1. Identify the stain if possible as this will determine the treatment. It could be water based (some paints), alcohol based (wine, spirits, marker pen), oil based (grease, cooking oil), metal based (rust), organic (coffee, tea, milk, food, bird droppings, make-up, tobacco), or biological (mould, mildew, lichen).
2. Consult your stone care professional and tell them as much as you can about the stain. They will advise you on how to best treat the area. This is the safest way to avoid damaging your stone and to ensure that the stain is completely removed. A simple solution may be provided for you to try yourself, but if not, removal by a technician may be recommended.
3. Test the area first if treating the stain yourself, to ensure the treatment is suitable, even if using a recommended treatment or product.
4. Treat the stain ideally before it dries or as soon as possible with a recommended treatment or product only.
1. Avoid using chemicals unless recommended, as these may damage the stone or set the stain if not appropriate.
2. Avoid using heat especially on albumin based stains (containing protein) such as blood or milk as it may cook and set the stain.
What we can do to remove your stains
The most effective and common method used by a stone care professional to remove a stain from natural stone is to apply a poultice. A poultice is made with a powder and a special treatment product, which is determined by the type of stain
The powder is mixed with the treatment product to form a paste, which is then thickly applied to only the affected area
It is covered with plastic wrap, the edges sealed and small holes made to allow the powder to dry. As the mixture dries it draws the stain from the stone and absorbs it. This process can take up to 48 hours and sometimes may need to be repeated several times. After removing the poultice the area is washed with pure water and polished with a soft cloth and a cleaning product suited to the stone. This method is effective for removing common stains such as coffee, iodine, blood, chewing gum, ink, paint, rust, acidic liquids, efflorescence (a white substance which can develop on some stone), graffiti, water, mould, mildew, lichen, dull and coloured spots.
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