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Unread 07-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
sidewalk
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Porcelain damaged by "The Works"

The through-body porcelain tile (wall and floor) in our shower appears to have been damaged (etched?) by a cleaning product called The Works which was used by our housekeeper. Click here to view photos.

Before we suspected damage, we thought it was a dried residue and tried scrubbing with diluted vinegar and also Charlie's Soap. Obviously neither helped.

The active ingredients in The Works are Oxalic Acid and Sulfamic Acid.

Any suggestions on repairing the surface of the tile?

Many thanks,
Evan
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Unread 07-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
Davestone
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Can't see the pics,but the main ingredient in the Works is hydrochloric acid so i imagine the tile is etched and needs to be replaced.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Yeah, I think Dave is right, you're looking at replacement.

The tile and the cleaning products allowed past the front door.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
Davestone
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Okay,i saw the pics.It looks to me like there is still soap scum on the walls.Whether or not it is also etched i dunno.I would try a single edge razor to see if it comes off.If so i would use a commercial soap scum remover,but not the over the counter high acid type.Try a high alkaline cleaner like a heavy duty stone cleaner type.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
sidewalk
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Thanks a million for the quick feedback.

I tried the single-edge razor - no luck. The tile actually looked very clean BEFORE it was "cleaned". No soap scum visible at that point. The discoloration is all new. I'm convinced it's damaged.

One interesting point is that the discoloration completely goes away when the tile is wet. So I got to thinking, "What about something like car wax?"

I tried two types I happened to have on hand: Nu Finish Scratch Doctor and Turtle Wax Spray Express Shine. Both result in a definite improvement, albeit not perfect. You can see in this photo where I've applied Nu Finish toward the left side and Turtle Wax toward the right. The Nu Finish might be slightly better, not sure.

Any recommendations along these lines? A better type of car wax? Tile/grout sealer? What might have the best and most long-lasting effect?

Thanks,
Evan
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:42 PM   #6
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here are the pictures, just in case that site goes away.
other will still see them down the road.

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Name:  2.JPG
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:49 PM   #7
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Bump for Evan's car wax, etc. question

Would a mechanical buffer improve the wax result? I think the left one looks ALOT better than what you had there. Heartbreaking!
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Unread 07-20-2013, 02:33 AM   #8
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There are ceramic tile polishing compounds,i think Miracle makes one.They need to be applied and burnished in at high speeds.I haven't used it.
There is a stone wax that might help,called Tewax.Never tried it on ceramic myself.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 10:11 AM   #9
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I'd think that shiny, waxed floor would be slick as snot.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
doitright
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Hi Evan

Yes, you have a very serious situation at hand.

The label clearly states the product was intended for fiberglass surfaces, and damage could occur to porcelain. I have seen way too much damage done to ceramic and stone surfaces because the end user didn't read and follow manufacturers instructions. This occurs with cleaning services, home owners, and professionals alike.

Do you have any extra tiles on hand? What is their finish (glossy, honed)?

If so, I would treat them with "The Works" to try to duplicate the issue you have in your shower.

If that's not possible, these are the two routes that I suggest.

1. I've had very good success with "antiquing brushes" on etched porcelain. This method should only be performed by professionals. I also suggest TESTing to determine results.

2. The second method is more is more of a "band aid" treatment. Instead of wax, I suggest doing a TEST area with Aqua Mix Enrich 'n Seal. Again, if this could be Tested on a sample tile vs. your shower would be ideal. It is critical to follow label instructions which include that the surface in totally dry, and all excess material is buffed off.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
sidewalk
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Thanks to everyone for all the tips!

John, the tile finish is honed, not glossy at all. And yes, I do have a handful of partial tiles I could use for testing.

Just to clarify, are you suggesting first applying The Works to some scrap tile to reproduce the damage, and then experimenting with an antiquing brush and/or Enrich N Seal?

The antiquing brush sounds like a really interesting idea. Can you give me a better idea of what this would entail? How would you describe the look and feel of tile that's been brushed this way? Have you used this method on damaged tiles?
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Unread 07-22-2013, 01:01 AM   #12
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Hi Evan

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewalk View Post
Just to clarify, are you suggesting first applying The Works to some scrap tile to reproduce the damage, and then experimenting with an antiquing brush and/or Enrich N Seal?
Yes, exactly!

And yes I have used my antiquing brushes for lots of porcelain repairs (and of course stone as well).

I'm thinking you should need at least a 240 grit, and possibly a 320 grit. Depending on the final finish will determine if you have to go higher or not.
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