Let’s look at the five major classifications of stains that your stone floors or countertops could develop, as well as some conditions commonly mistook for stains.
FIVE MAJOR TYPES OF STAINS
Oil Based: Made from cooking oil spills, milk spills, grease or tar spills, and cosmetic spills. These stones will end up forming dark patches.
Organic: These are caused by organic products such as urine, leaves, tobacco, tea, fruit, and bird droppings etc.
Inorganic: Inks, dyes, dirt, and other non-organic sources can cause serious stains to natural stone features, especially if not cleaned up quickly.
Metallic: These are caused by contact with certain metals; such as copper or rusted iron. These metals, undergoing oxidation or some other chemical reaction, can stain natural stone if left in contact for too long.
Biological: These stains usually occur due to the growth of lichens, fungi, algae and other microorganisms. Generally we see these stains on outdoor stone pavers or statues, or inside a bathroom/shower stall.
While most stains fit into one of the five major categories, there are some problems that aren’t technically a stain.
Here are other common type
Paint: These stains are sure to have occurred if you got your house painted recently. However, it’s only oil based paints that cause staining. Acrylic or latex paints are relatively safer.
Water Spots or Rings: These stains occur if you ignored water spills or have the habit of placing wet cups or glasses onto the natural stone surface. Very commonly observed on marble & granite countertops.
Fire and Smoke: As the name indicates, these stains are caused when there has been a fire related incident or if the natural stone is exposed to fire and smoke often. For instance, kitchen walls made of natural stone usually have this problem by the stove.
Etch Marks: Commonly misclassified as a stain, etching is caused when acids or bases are left on a natural stone’s surface. Even weak basic or acidic solutions can react enough with natural stone to cause a etch marks. Extremely caustic bases & acids will even damage the stone surface. That’s why we only use pH neutral cleaners during a restoration job.