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Unread 01-17-2005, 11:17 AM   #1
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Cleaning Vinegar stains off Travertine

My cleaning people used a heavy vinegar mixture while cleaning my Walnut color Travertine bathroom floors and there is a significant amount of staining wherever they moped .Essentially it looks like lots of water marks across the entire floor . Does anyone have a way to repair or minimize the damage ? What is the best advice on how to try and eliminate these marks from my floor tiles ?
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Unread 01-17-2005, 01:02 PM   #2
claycarson
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They are not water marks

Water does not leave those marks on travertine.

Try it. Get your floor wet with water & let it dry. Unless it's very hard water leaving mineral deposits, chances are it will evaporate and leave the floor fine.

Vinegar, on the other hand, is not water. It is an acid. Acids eat at the calcium based component of your travertine. It's called etching.

It can be fixed, but it's not a stain. It needs to have the shine recreated. If it is honed, it needs to be re-honed. If it's polished and very shiney, it needs to be repolished. This will require abrasion.

Avoidance is to avoid all acidic chems over a natural stone surface.
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Unread 01-18-2005, 10:08 AM   #3
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Hey *Guest*

What Clay said. I'm afraid your tile people damaged your travertine tile. Maybe you should direct them to this forum so they can get a clue?

Remember the baking soda and vinegar volcano you made in grade school science class? Essentially the same thing happens when you wash travertine with vinegar.

It needs to be professionally refinished to remove the etch marks.

Good luck,

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Unread 01-18-2005, 11:00 PM   #4
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Also think of stomach acids and Rolaids (which is calcium, the same as your Travertine, well....not the exact same calcium, but calcium nonetheless )
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Unread 01-21-2005, 06:45 PM   #5
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Hey, Tom, i was watching a cooking show, remember the old sticks of gum that had that white powder on them? They said that was marble dust, used to keep the sticks from sticking together.Thought that was interesting,but how did i get so many cavities?!
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Unread 10-24-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
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Travertine honed and polished stained with vinegar

My friend dropped a bottle of vinegar on my beautiful light colored travertine floor that is honed and polished and the floor is etched. I am wondering if anyone has the best way to fix the mess. Would sanding the floor with a fine sandpaper help and then resealing it?
What is the best way to repair the damage ? What is the best advice on how to try and eliminate these marks from my floor tiles? I know that similiar questions have been asked on this subject but I am wanting to know if anyone has actually restored the finish and how they did it. Thank you for your time and effort in researching this situation.
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Unread 10-24-2007, 09:24 PM   #7
doitright
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Hi Judith, Welcome!

Depending on the severity of the etching, will determine the process needed to correct it.

Without seeing the damage, we're only guessing. You mentioned honed and polished. Do you have both? Each requires sequential steps.

It may be best to call in a restoration professional.
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Unread 10-26-2007, 03:22 AM   #8
claycarson
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Yeah, a bottle of vinegar on travertine is 'stone-icide' for sure....

Go knock yourself out with sandpaper, but that's pretty slow. Body shops sell a wet/dry paper that goes up to 600 grit or so, but the amount of labor it's going to take would require a work crew from the local penitentiary for a week or so.

If it doesn't clear up very fast, it will take a loooong time, so a stone pro will be the best bet, probbly.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 12:56 PM   #9
lschlauch
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Smile etching tile

I see a lot of people taking about vinegar etching their tile! Well, if you don't want to spend a lot of money, just wipe the vinegar on the whole tile to etch the whole thing (if it is honed), then clean it off with water and reseal tile!
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Unread 03-07-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
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You can get up to 3000 grit from autozone, oriellys, or any typical auto parts store. Wet and dry, put a piece on the face of your slow moving grinder/sander and let the slurry build up.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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Lauri - doesn't always work. ..I've tried it.
Problem can be that the stone has irregular amounts of calcium swirled throughout. Kinda like chocklit and vanilla icecream mixed. The calcium part etched and the rest duzznt. So it can look worser. ..exspechially with travertine.

Might work...might make it worsified!

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Unread 03-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #12
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I don't like sandpaper for removing etch marks..If your gonna try to tackle it yourself ( no small task) Honing and/or Polishing Powders are the way to go. Not dusty just messy and slow..but they deliver a very uniform surface in the end and you can always fix issues down the road without having to re-hone the whole floor.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 09:01 PM   #13
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Hi Lauri, Welcome!

Please don't be offended, but the advise you offer is a DIY remedy that won't necessarily correct the issue, for the issues Clay mentioned.

First, using your method would damage (etch) the entire surface. Doesn't seem practical to lower the sheen on an entire surface, unless thats what you're looking for.

Second, if this were on a 3,000 sq. ft. floor, then what?

Trask has offered the most practical solution using honing powders. I agree that sanding disc's (as mentioned by Paul) or diamonds may still be needed. It all depends how much damage was created, and job site conditions.

There is never any one sure fix for etching. This is why it is always best to consult with a Pro.
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