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Unread 11-10-2018, 07:46 PM   #1
cwolcott
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Removing water marks from hearth

I am brand new to the group and hoping someone may have exprienced this and know a good solution. I bought a new blue stone hearth for our fireplace from a local stone company. Went into place perfectly but after we installed we noticed what appears to be some kind of water or other fluid stains on the surface. I'm afraid to try anything to remove it beyond water for fear of making it worse. Water did not do the trick. The photo below presents the stains quite well. I'm thinking this happened when stone was cut. Maybe caused by fluids used when cutting the stone? I took photos to the stone company but they were of no help and actually seemed a bit agitated I was even asking. Has anyone else experienced this type of staining on new stone +/or have any recommendations for removing it?

Many thanks!

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Last edited by jgleason; 11-21-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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Unread 11-11-2018, 06:44 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

So you used the entire slab, and there's nothing left that you might experiment on?
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Unread 11-11-2018, 08:03 AM   #3
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Correct, it was cut to exact size required by the supplier.


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Unread 11-11-2018, 09:46 AM   #4
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Specifically what did the supplier tell you when you asked them about it?

I'm wondering if you might get a scrap piece to try out different things before you try it on the hearth.

This topic certainly isn't my expertise, but I'll see if I can direct someone here with some more knowledge on the subject.
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Unread 11-11-2018, 10:11 AM   #5
cwolcott
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Thanks Kman. They did not offer much. After sharing the photo they offered no thoughts on what it might be from. When I asked if they had any sort of cleaners they could recommend I try, they said they have a cleaner they use they could sell me in 5 gallon sizes, but could not say whether it would fix it. I don't remember the cost, just that 5 gallons was way too expensive and way more than I need.

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Unread 11-11-2018, 04:12 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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I would return to the folks you paid and bring it to their attention that they’ve got a problem to solve. If this “stain” is a result of something they’ve done, it rests on their shoulders to fix. And while I’d hope that the fabricator would cooperate and come to the jobsite, it may be on you to bring the slab back to them if you picked it up and installed it yourself.

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Unread 11-11-2018, 04:54 PM   #7
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Thanks Tool Guy. Unfortunately it's been two years now since they delivered it. I did the install at that time. When I first saw it I figured it was just something that would wash off with water. It was after it was installed I realized it would not just wash off with water. Installation involved nothing more than sliding it into place with some adhesive on the bottom side. The stains are definitely something they did. I'm now wondering if it is some kind of cutting fluid that did not get cleaned up properly. I've been living with it for two years and was just hoping someone out there on this sight has seen it broke and knew a fix. Even if it involved hiring someone with professional tools, etc. To do it right. I'm done with the supplier and will take every opportunity to detract people from doing business with them. Live and learn.

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Unread 11-11-2018, 07:16 PM   #8
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My suggestion would be to contact the good folks at Miracle Sealants and see what they have to say. They likely have a product that is approved for use on your stone. Whether or not it will remove those stains is another question. The fact that you waited so long to do something with it is not good, since stains are more easily removed in the early stages.


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Unread 11-11-2018, 09:02 PM   #9
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Thank you Kman. I will reach out to them and what they might offer.

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Unread 11-12-2018, 09:03 AM   #10
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What kind of stone is that, Cliff? Looks like some sort of limestone to me or even something man made.
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Unread 11-12-2018, 12:17 PM   #11
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I was told it is blue stone. I purchased it from Halquist Stone, a very large quarry here in southeast Wisconsin.

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Unread 11-12-2018, 04:14 PM   #12
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Yeah, I know Halquist. They're not too far from me. They usually have a better reputation than to blow off a past customer.

Since you can't rely on them, it's time to offer you some suggestions. From the picture, my initial thought is that it looks as though the marks were produced while the stone was on the vertical rack...presumably after the cutting. If that's the case, it may be micro-fine cutting debris that's contaminating the surface.

Have you tried a typical tile/stone/grout cleaner? While we might not be dealing with dirt here, the surfactant in the cleaner may help to dislodge the contaminants by lowering the surface tension. In other words, the cleaner may be able to get physically under the contaminant where plain water can't. If that's the case, it can help lift away the contaminant. This type of cleaner is on the alkaline side of neutral pH...so it would be relatively safe to try, but we ALWAYS recommend TESTING in an inconspicuous location. I know this is a hearth slab, so there isn't much that isn't conspicuous. But I'll say it anyways. Try a heavy duty tile and grout cleaner. Wet the surface and allow it to dwell for 5 minutes. Then agitate the solution with a fine nylon bristle brush across one of the stain streaks...an old toothbrush would work for now. Then wet vac that off. Rinse it off with some water and wet vac that. Let that dry and see if there is ANY improvement.

I also might try AquaMix NanoScrub...but that might leave a residue depending on the porosity of your stone. Let's leave this suggestion alone for now. We can always try it later. Testing is exceptionally important on this suggestion to make sure it doesn't leave a residue.

Since you mentioned Halquist in SE Wisconsin, I'll ask this: Any chance you're close to Oak Creek? I've got an abundance of cleaner that you're welcome to. But won't do you much good if you're too far away.

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Unread 11-12-2018, 05:31 PM   #13
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Thank you very much Tool Guy. I will try the cleaner this weekend. I'm only a few miles from Halquist in Sussex, so Oak Creek would be bit of a drive. But still, very much appreciate the offer. There are two ends of the hearth exposed, but not really in plain sight. I think I will test there first. If that does not create any residue or other undesirable discolorization, I'd have the courage to try it directly on one of the stains. I suspect you're spot on regarding the source. The slab was delivered upright and it really does look as if dripping occurred after it was put in the upright position for transportation. I'll provide feedback as soon as I can get it done.

Cliff - Southeast WI
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Unread 11-12-2018, 07:10 PM   #14
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Yeah, I went to "Dozer Days" a bunch of years ago at that quarry.

I've also got NanoScrub if somehow that works out. I'll be in Sussex on Dec 12th, if you want to meet up. Send me a PM if interested. Otherwise you can get either cleaner from the Orange House of Horrors box store.
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