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How to Remove Excess Penetrating Sealer

Q. We just sealed our marble tile with a water-based sealer. There is now a light, rainbow-like film on the surface of the tile. I have used every cleaner I could purchase to try get it off, but it won’t budge. Any suggestions?

A. Sealing your stone and tile with a penetrating sealer requires that every last bit of excess sealer be removed from the surface. There are quite a few common problems associated with laymen DIY sealing, and this is one of the reasons why we strongly suggest to homeowners that they think twice before doing any sealing job themselves. 

In your case, the penetrating sealer has left a hard residue on the surface of the marble. To remove the excess, the marble will have to be scrubbed with an abrasive cleaner. If the area is large, a floor machine may be needed.

If you feel you want to try this yourself, use a mild abrasive cleaner such as Soft Scrub. Apply a small amount of the cleaner, adding a small amount of water to form a thin paste. Scrub, using a gentle circular motion, with a terry cloth or microfiber cloth, being sure to test first in a small non-conspicuous area. 

However, just as unexpected problems arose with your DIY sealer application, you can expect further problems with DIY attempts to resolve the problem.

This process can be very tricky and could result in dulling marble tiles if done by someone that does not know what they are doing. You could end up needing to have the floor completely restored. For this reason we highly recommend using a trained, experienced PRO to remove the film left behind by the sealer. You can locate a qualified contractor in your area by clicking on Find a PRO.

Chief Technical Director
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