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So You’ve Got a Stain… or Do You?

Natural Stone Discoloration and Removal Tips

Determining the cause of a discoloration on your stone is the first step in removing it

How do you remove a stain from your natural stone surfaces? If you are a DIY type of person, more than likely you will attempt to remove discoloration yourself before calling us. We’re perfectly okay with this. In fact, we provide valuable information to help you along the way. But before you get started, though, there are a few things you need to know.

A stain is a discoloration, but not all discolorations are stains.

A true stain is always darker than the stained material. A lighter colored “stain” is always surface damage. There is not a single exception to this rule.

All the DIY stain-removing tips and tricks in the world won’t resolve the problem if the discoloration is actually surface damage. Before you invest your valuable time and energy, you must determine what the discoloration is.

Treatable Stains

With natural stone, most stains that occur from spills that have penetrated into the pores can be resolved using a poultice to break down and draw out the staining agent. Refer to our Stone and Tile Care Guide or the stain guide at http://stoneandtilepros.com/stain-removal-application/ to know how to make a poultice.

Surface Damage

If bleach is spilled on your favorites jeans, a discoloration will occur, but it can hardly be defined as a stain. Bleach is a chemically active liquid that removes the dye that originally made the color of the fabric. Similarly, with natural stone, there are discolorations that may have been caused by chemical damage. With chemical damage, the surface of the stone is actually physically altered.

When this occurs, a professional rehoning and polishing will be required to remove the damaged layer.

Other Types of Discolorations

There are other types of surface discolorations that can be caused from everything from excess sealer left on the surface that causes hazy or dull areas, dyed (often called ‘doctored’) stone that may have light spots where the dyes have been removed, or topical treatments that are creating problems.

Call us if you need help

If you need help, we’ll be happy to diagnose the discoloration of your natural stone and recommend the appropriate measures to remove it.

This is one of a series of articles written and published  on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners