Baking Soda and Travertine [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-24-2010, 07:40 AM
Here is the succinct version of my story, and I hope someone out there has some useful advice. My travertine bathroom tile looks like it has dark streaks from I am guessing when the grout was originally sealed.

In order to help remove the streaks, I applied a water/baking soda paste and then removed it with a damp washclothe after about 3 hours (I think I read that on eHow). The area I tried it on now looks permanently wet (i.e., slightly darker than the rest of the tiles). It's been almost two days. I think it has lightened a bit, but still looks wet. Has A) the baking soda damaged the tile, B) the scraping that probably resulted when I wiped it away damaged the tile, or C) all of the above.

Most importantly, any suggestions on how to fix it? I'm hoping that this "wet" look will dry out, but after almost two days, I'm not so optimistic.

Many thanks.

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Houston Remodeler
08-24-2010, 08:40 AM

While we are waiting for the stone experts to arrive....

Baking soda is also a mild abrasive. You may have either polished or scratched your stone in that area. You may have also word down whatever sealant or accumulated "patina" is there.

Is your air conditioning running? the door to the bath open for good air flow? tile exposed (no bath mats or floor towels) Is it getting re-wetted? (teenagers)

Stone Dude
08-24-2010, 10:13 AM
If the tiles were streaky from sealer, then they were probably discolored due to sealer on the surface. The baking soda, like previously stated, is an abrasive. it is possible the baking soda removed the excess sealer, changing the look that your used to. It may be that you cleaned the tile and this is how it is supposed to look.

if you can post a picture or two that would help a lot.

08-24-2010, 11:07 AM
Baking soda can actually be used to create a poultice for stain removal in stone so I am doubting you permanently damaged it from that. I would need to see a picture to determine if the stone is damaged from the scraping or if it is somehow a stain from something that evaporates slower than water (like grease or oil).

Please post a photo and we'll be able to help much better and for future stains, just buy Aqua Mix poultice. It is made for the simplicity and is very inexpensive.

08-24-2010, 01:47 PM
Thanks all for the feedback so far. I have attached three pics.

- "Picture" shows the wide shot, with the dark "wet" paste treated area in the in the center. The upper right shows the untreated streaked tiles. The far left shows tiles I wiped with a baking soda solution. It removed the streaks but took alot of elbow grease to accomplish.

- "Picture 001" shows a close up of a streaked tile (upper) and a baking soda paste treated tile (lower).

- "Picture 003" shows a close up of a solution cleaned portion of a tile with lots of elbow grease (upper) and an untreated streaked portion of a tile (lower).

I've had the fan on in the bathroom the past two days, and kept the treated area dry (albeit, it gets humid in there whenever anyone showers even with the fan on). Unfortunately, the bathroom does not have a window.

I cleaned the surface of the area before applying the paste, but am worried that the dark streaks mixed with the water/baking soda mixture and have stained the area when I removed the abrasive paste.

Anymore feedback you all could provide would be helpful. Many thanks!

08-24-2010, 01:51 PM
PS - Thanks for the Aqua Mix advice.

Stone Dude
08-24-2010, 02:34 PM
that looks like limsetone to me, are you sure its travertine? limestone can hold mositure for weeks, travertine not so much.

the dark area in the first pic is the issue, yes? it looks wet like theres water trapped in the stone. I doubt its permanent if it was done by you, with water and baking soda.

is the dark spot getting any smaller? take a picture, then another picture several days later and comapre.

do you have any more pics? if you can get one good closeup of a single tile, with good light on it, then a couple more further back