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Liquid Plumber Causes Alkaline Etch Damage On Limestone

Q. A Liquid Plumber bottle leaked on my beige limestone bathroom floor. It looks like a wet mark. Is there anything I can try to remove stain? It is a heated floor.

A. Liquid Plumber is a very high alkaline substance, which leads our stone expert to believe your stone is not stained but has alkaline etch damage. Stains occur when colored or dyed substances are absorbed into the porous surface of the stone, whereas etching is a chemical reaction that damages the surface of the stone. Stains can be removed with DIY methods, such as poulticing.

Poulticing will have no affect whatsoever on alkaline etch damage. For example, if you've ever washed wine glasses in the dishwasher, you may have noticed filming or spots appear on the glass. Sometimes rubbing the glass with a dry cloth will remove the spot, because it is just residue from the washing process or hard water mineral residue. Other times, rubbing the glass with a dry cloth has no effect at all. This is because the glass has alkaline etch damage caused by a combination of the high alkaline content in the dishwashing detergent and not enough hot water rinsing.

Our stone expert believes that the resolving the damage to your limestone should not be considered a DIY project, as your attempts to remove the etch damage might cause further damage to your heated limestone floor. We recommend calling in a stone restoration contractor who has the proper tools and experience to restore the finish of your limestone. You can find Certified Stone and Tile PRO in your area here.

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