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Unread 12-07-2016, 05:50 PM   #1
ILikeStones
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Blue/purple berry Stain on travertine pavers

Hi, I have blue/purple stains on my new travertine pavers from little blue berries that fall from some stupid trees nearby. I plan on removing those trees soon.

What is the best method to remove those organic blueberry (?) -like stains from travertine pavers? I have a poultice for oil stains, but it seems to be formulated specifically for oil stains. I would be glad if someone can recommend a specific product that works for the kind of stains on my pavers. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 12-07-2016, 07:31 PM   #2
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Michael,

I'd start with a call to tech support at Mapei. If you are very lucky, our buddy John K will answer the phone.

Then I do whatever John says.

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Unread 12-07-2016, 08:12 PM   #3
ILikeStones
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Thanks, Houston Remodeler. I will definitely do that.

Other product suggestions or experiences are welcome.
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Unread 12-08-2016, 12:54 AM   #4
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Whatevery you do, TEST IN AN INCONSPICUOUS SPOT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

Number one suggestion is to get a hold of John K at Mapei. He is a treasure trove of valuable info on stone restoration.

If it was my house and I couldn't get a hold of John K, I'd take a crack at some OxyClean. Wet the surface, allow to dwell, agitate, then wet vac away. If it works, do it again. If it doesn't work, take another crack at getting John K at Mapei.
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Unread 12-08-2016, 01:13 AM   #5
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Thank you Tool Guy for your input, but I have to (respectfully) reject your suggestion - no offense. OxyClean is alkaline, and alkaline substances can and will harm travertine. Travertine takes only ph-neutral cleaners, but neither acidic nor alkaline ones.

You can read negative reports about that everywhere on the internet. I also tried myself on another occasion, and found that OxyClean indeed dulls and etches travertine stone.

Other product recommendations or experiences are very welcome.
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Unread 12-08-2016, 05:46 AM   #6
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I would use a poultice with Hydrogen peroxide....should not harm the travertine
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Unread 12-08-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Thanks fhueston for your input; I don't know what is the basis of your statement "should not harm", but with a little research I found the following on the web site of a floor cleaning company "4wowfloors". There are many other similar opinions that you will find with a Google search.

(start citation)
"Hydrogen Peroxide is safe for many uses but I personally would not recommend it as cleaning product for a travertine floor or any surface that is a natural stone. Hydrogen Peroxide has a pH level of 6.0 which makes it an acid. If you have read our other blogs you then know that acid should NEVER be used on natural stones. Because hydrogen peroxide is considered an acid it will literally EAT the stone. If a sealer has been applied to the stone the hydrogen peroxide will first eat the sealer then it will eat the stone. It could potentially etch the stone leaving it dull and lifeless. Used enough times it could permanently damage the stone.

Travertine, like other natural stones, should be cleaned with a pH neutral cleaning solution, in other words a pH level of 7.0. A pH neutral cleaning solution will not etch the stone nor will it break down the sealer."
(end citation)

Now, the author of the cited text may be biased against home-made products, but given the well known fact that acidic cleaners permanently damage travertine, and given the many negative reports from sorry homeowners, I would not use hydrogen peroxide on travertine.

Any other product recommendations, and especially hands-on experiences, would be welcome.
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Unread 12-08-2016, 07:12 PM   #8
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Is John back to work yet?

Not that I want to rush the guy, but things are stacking up around here in his absence.

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Unread 12-09-2016, 12:55 AM   #9
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Are your pavers polished? If not, what's the finish?

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Unread 12-09-2016, 04:24 AM   #10
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Been using it for years on travertine and never had it etched. One must remember that travertine is a limestone and unlike marble which contains calcium carbonate, it will not etch like marble , unless the acid is strong. Test in a small inconspicous spot and you will see for yourself. Or live with the stain.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 04:27 AM   #11
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Here is why I said it is not like calcium carbonate in marble

Groundwater traveling through limestone beds dissolves calcium carbonate, an environmentally sensitive process that depends on a delicate balance between temperature, water chemistry and carbon dioxide levels in the air. As the mineral-saturated water encounters surface conditions, this dissolved matter precipitates in thin layers of calcite or aragonite, two crystallographically different forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).
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Unread 12-09-2016, 02:05 PM   #12
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Thanks fhueston for reporting your experience. My understanding is that Hydrogen Peroxide may have a varying ph level depending on concentration and other factors. I assume that the immediate effect also depends on the type and surface fininsh of the travertine stone. I assume that when used in moderation, it may dissolve the stone only very slowly so it doesn't show immediately or not at all, but only after repeated use. But since ph neutral cleaners and poultices are available to buy, I don't see the point in taking the risk. I ordered "Miracle Sealants 32 oz. Tile and Stone Cleaner", as well as "Miracle Sealants 1 lb. Stain Removing Poultice Powder". I will see how it goes, once it arrives. I was also looking at "Miracle Sealants 128 oz. Liquid Poultice Cleaner" which yields larger surfaces, but I have not been able to determine how effective it is in comparison to the powder poultice.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 02:09 PM   #13
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@Tool Guy:
My pavers are "tumbled", but I have different colors and the hardness, density, quality, and actual surface finishes are different for the different colors. Some are dull and have more holes, others seem to be denser and look almost like polished or honed.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 03:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I like stones
Thank you Tool Guy for your input, but I have to (respectfully) reject your suggestion - no offense. OxyClean is alkaline, and alkaline substances can and will harm travertine. Travertine takes only ph-neutral cleaners, but neither acidic nor alkaline ones.

You can read negative reports about that everywhere on the internet. I also tried myself on another occasion, and found that OxyClean indeed dulls and etches travertine stone.

So if you follow the same logic , everything that falls on your travertine pavers is neither acidic or alkaline , but perfectly ph neutral or balanced .
Makes me think , as an example , does water -- natural or treated -- has always a perfect ph , neutral .......... but my thinking is sometimes weird .

Before I would dismiss an advice , I would have to understand if the concentration vs. time period of application , could work or not .
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Unread 12-09-2016, 04:52 PM   #15
ILikeStones
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eurob,

your thinking is correct. Rain is slightly to moderately acidic, especially in big cities with the pollution. Acidic rain will etch and dissolve travertine over time. There are papers on the internet that show that, and you can also see the effects of acidic rain on old masonry buildings, statues etc. in Europe, and even some in the U.S. with its limited history. I have done a lot of research on the subject. I am in a big and polluted city. I hope that the process will be slow enough so that it's not too visible within a reasonable expected lifetime, especially as the pavers are tumbled not polished.

All suggestions are welcome, that's the point of having a forum. The reason why I (respectfully) rejected the suggestion to use OxyClean, is because of numerous warnings found on the internet, and because I tried OxyClean myself and it visibly dulled and etched one of my tumbled travertine pavers that I attempted to clean. We have no control over rain, but we have affordable ph neutral cleaners available, that's why I personally don't see the point in taking the risk of using alkaline or acidic substances of whatever concentration, even if it worked for some (but not all) homeowners. On my pavers, OxyClean seems to cause visible etching.
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