Sometimes these “cracks” in natural stone countertops are not cracks at all, but fissures, something that resembles a crack. Read more to learn the difference.

whadmin June 25, 2019

We are frequently asked, “How can I remove water rings on my polished marble?” This article explains what “water rings” are, and what you can do about them.

whadmin May 24, 2019

Many natural stone owners are aware that acids like vinegar, lemon, etc. can cause etching, but did you know high alkaline substances can also cause etching?

whadmin April 25, 2019

See Fred Hueston, Chief Technical Director of Stone & Tile PROS, demonstrating how to mix and apply a poultice for removing a stain from natural stone.

whadmin March 25, 2019

Should stone in wet conditions be sealed? In the following article, industry expert, Fred Hueston explains why stone in wet areas should not be sealed.

whadmin February 25, 2019

Darkness from moisture in a poultice application can wick out beyond the original stained area. This is not a stain, and the problem is easy to resolve.

whadmin December 25, 2018

There are a number of reasons why countertop cloudiness or haze can develop. Here are the details about possible causes and solutions for the problem.

whadmin November 25, 2018

Stone countertops, continually exposed to oily or dye-containing substances, are subject to staining. Read this article to learn about countertop protection.

whadmin October 25, 2018

Granite is durable, resistant to scratches, chips, and heat, and relatively easy to maintain. However, stones that are definitely not granite are being sold as if they were. Here are some ways you may be able to tell.

whadmin September 28, 2018

People may love hearing and seeing birds, but nobody loves bird droppings, especially on their outdoor kitchen countertops or other exterior natural stone surfaces. Sometimes we get calls from frustrated customers about stains from “bird poop” (or other creative expletives). This article explains how to clean up bird droppings on natural stone, remove the stains that may persist after cleaning, and avoid having to do the same thing again next week.

How to Clean Bird Droppings on Natural Stone

First, remove any solid material. If it is dried on, use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape it away. Do not use metal, as it may leave scratch marks on your stone finish.

Next, wash the area with a stone-safe, pH-neutral cleaner and a clean rag. (You may need to allow the cleaner to dwell for a few minutes to soften and loosen dried-on solid material that would not come off with the plastic putty knife.)

If you see any remaining discoloration on the stone, give the stone time to dry before proceeding to the next step. The discoloration you see may actually be moisture absorbed into porous stone and not an actual stain.

How to Remove Bird Dropping Stains on Natural Stone

To remove stains from bird droppings, make a poultice with an absorbent material, such as diatomaceous earth, flour, or a paper towel, and 40 volume hydrogen peroxide (12%). You will need to purchase this kind of peroxide online or at a beauty supply store, because the peroxide at your local drug store isn’t strong enough.

For more information on creating and applying a poultice, including a how-to video, use our Stain Management App.

IMPORTANT

• Always read the label on the chemical bottle.
• Always follow the directions and precautions listed on the label.
• Never use a chemical if you are unsure what it is or how to protect yourself.
• Always take the time to protect yourself and those working around you.
• Always dispose of a chemical properly. Every municipality has a household hazardous waste drop-off location. For safe disposal of chemical products at work, contact your health and safety representative.

What to Do If the Poultice Doesn’t Work…

Sometimes it takes several poultice applications to remove a stain. If you notice some improvement after the first application, keep trying. It’s very likely that the stain will come out with some persistence and patience.

If you do not see any improvement after your poultice application, remember the stone may just need time to dry.

If the discoloration remains after the stone is dry, then the discoloration may not actually be a stain. Bird droppings contain uric acid and may result in etching on some stones. Etching is chemical damage to the finish. But don’t worry, the finish can be restored by a professional stone restoration contractor.

How to Avoid Bird Droppings on Natural Stone

Some people recommend buying plastic owls with big scary eyes or rubber snakes to keep birds away, but birds eventually catch on and adapt.

If you have bird feeders or bird baths, move them to an area in your yard far away from your natural stone or remove them from your yard altogether.

Movement and sound will discourage birds from getting too close. Try using wind chimes, flags, wind spinners, and the like. If all else fails, cover outdoor kitchen countertops when not in use.

This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Stone and Tile PROS Partners.

whadmin September 28, 2018