Natural stone countertops add beauty, style, and value to any room in your Springfield, MO, home. Natural stone, however, is porous, which increases the chance your surfaces will fall victim to stains at some point during their lifespan, leaving you searching for answers on how to best remove stone stains and restore a surface’s natural look and finish.
Fortunately, effective stone stain removal is possible. By carefully determining the stone’s material and the right removal technique, you too can begin to recover the look and luster your home’s counters may have lost over time.
What to know before you start
Before beginning the stone stain removal process, it’s important to understand not only the material you’ll be treating, but also the type of stain that will be removed. As you examine the stain, get to know its color, location, how long it’s been there, its association with main traffic areas, and any other related factors. Once you understand the nature and cause of the stain, you can begin to identify the materials and procedures needed to remove stone stain effectively.
Stain types that commonly affect natural stone surfaces include:
- Organic, such as tobacco, coffee, tea, cosmetics, plants, and food.
- Inorganic, including anything from rust and iron to bronze, steel, and other types of metal.
- Biological, such as fungus, algae, mold, and mildew.
- Oil-based, which can result from exposure to cooking oil, grease, tar, food stains, and body oil.
- Ink-based, which may result from contact with magic markers or ball point pens.
Stone stain removal materials
Stone stain removal is often possible through re-absorption—reversing the staining process by absorbing the stain into a medium, such as a poultice. Miracle Sealants Poultice Plus brand clays, powder, and diatomaceous earth are generally regarded as the most effective at stone stain removal, though deeply embedded stains may require adding a specific type of chemical solution to further react to and/or dilute the stain. Such materials are usually applied using cotton balls, paper towels, or a type of fabric.
When mixing poultice powder with the appropriate chemical, it’s important to create a paste-like substance—a consistency similar to that of peanut butter. When applying the solution:
- Apply to the stain and be careful to avoid any excess spill or drip onto adjacent clean areas.
- Cover the stain with a 1/8-to-1/4-inch thick layer while overlapping the stain between 1/2-to-1-inches.
- Cover the treated area with plastic wrap and secure the edges with non-marking tape.
- Allow the paste to dry completely. This ensures the stain is pulled from the area and into the poultice solution (drying generally takes between 1-2 days, depending on poultice used).
- Note several applications may be required to achieve complete removal.
Importantly, before you begin, it’s best to test a small area first. This ensures your solution will achieve the desired results. Also, some stone stain removal chemicals may remove the finish on such materials as limestone, polished marble, travertine, and terrazzo. This may require re-polishing with polishing compounds or abrasives once the removal process is complete.
Iron stain removal
Iron stains can often be cleaned using one of a number of materials. Those that tend to work best include Miracle Sealants Liquid Poultice, Grout Concrete Film Remover (GCFR), Naval Jelly, oxalic acid, and ammonium oxalate.
Ink-based stain removal
Ink stains can generally be removed by combining poultice with one of the following: Miracle Sealants Liquid Poultice, Miracle Sealants Mira Strip, hydrogen peroxide or bleach (for lighter colors), or lacquer thinner or acetone (for darker colors).
Oil-based stain removal
Oil-based stains resulting from grease, cooking oil, or food can be cleaned with a variety of materials. These include Miracle Sealants Liquid Poultice, Miracle Sealants Clean #1, Miracle Sealants Mira Strip, ammonia, household detergent, bleach, and mineral spirits. Removal may also be achieved by mixing poultice with either mineral spirits, Miracle Sealants Mira Strip, or methyl chloride.
Organic stain removal
Organic stain removal is accomplished using Miracle Sealants Mira Clean #1, Miracle Sealants Liquid Poultice, or 35% hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide should be poured directly on the stain, followed by adding a few drops of ammonia). Poultice with one of the above may also generate positive results.
Biological stain removal
Natural stone stain removal in cases of mold, mildew, or fungus stains can usually be achieved with Miracle Sealants Liquid Poultice, Miracle Sealants Mira Clean #1, bleach, or ammonia.
Grout and residue removal
In cases of epoxy, undiluted Miracle Sealants Epoxy Grout Film Remover often works best. The removal of cementitious material from surfaces may be accomplished with Miracle Sealants GCFR.
If you have a question on how to remove stone stains from your kitchen or bath surfaces, Edge Stoneworks specialists are here for you. We are leaders in Springfield, MO, countertop fabrication and installation and will help you achieve the beautiful, natural stone surface your home deserves.
Call (417) 731-4007 today to learn more.