Stain Removal is the ONLY service that a stone restoration company CANNOT guarantee. Stains are the result of colored liquid being allowed to seep into the stone. While in most cases a seal can be removed, in virtually all cases it requires patience, multiple treatments and either your time or your money. Each stain requires a different poultice and solution to remove. If you know what the stain is you have a much better chance of affecting a solution quickly. If you do NOT know what the stain is it is still possible but may take a little more time to define the appropriate solution.
Stain removal is based on the principal of dilution, and homogeneity. Just as when you pore your milk into your coffee you can see it mix on its own over time, similarly if a poultice containing a stain-solvating liquid is placed in contact with the stained area, the solvating liquid will first be absorbed into the stone where it will seek to dissolve the stain. Once the concentration of liquid in the stone equals that in the poultice it has reached equilibrium, and as the poultice on top of the stained stone begins to dry, the process is reversed with the liquid in the stone moving back out into the poultice. As you can imagine, it takes some time for this process to occur, generally each application needs about 24 hours. Second, in many cases you will need more than 1 application and in some cases may require a dozen applications for a stubborn stain. As such, if you choose to have an outside contractor perform this work this can be an expensive process, sometimes if a comparable stone can be matched to the stained area it is actually faster and less expensive to replace the tile. If on a counter however, one needs to go through the process. The stain removal process is NOT a difficult one; as such one can typically does this work oneself if so inclined.
Restoration Stoneworks will typically offer our clients the option of showing them how to do it themselves and then coaching them, as one alternative to Restoration Stoneworks providing the service. If you are looking for information on how to remove a particular stain the best information source is Stain Removal Guide included in our Stone & Tile Care Guide. Or call us help you through the process at 630.816.3756.