Question & Answer
How Do I Remove Rust from Tiles?????
Rust removal can be tricky, but if you use Cleaner No4 neat and leave it on the rust mark for 10 -15min it will remove the rust. We only recommend this on ceramic and porcelain and it may take a couple of applications to remove thicker areas.
Rust removal ( or browning) from natural stone and marble is a very different beast and often not possible. In marbles like Carrera, you often see rust marks, common in hotel lobbies and commercial areas. The tile has rust marks inside the stone for 2 reasons. This marble contains a ferrous metal and iron ore.
When excess moisture is held in the stone or get trapped due to incorrect polishes or surface seals, the metals in the stone begin the rust and bleed into the white of the stone. In most cases this is a permenant change. There are some none acidic rust remover available but I’ve never achieved any great results and have been advised by stone experts to never promise anything to a client when it comes to rust removal in marble.
Over the years many floors in hotels and commercial areas were maintained with wirewool and a spray polish or crystalizer. This is a very quick and cheap way for the in house team to remove scuff marks and keep a nice shine of the floor. Where the problem comes in is once the floor opens up due to the large volume of foot abrasion, tiny wire wool shards find their way into the all pits and voids in the tiles and viens. As most hotels sweep and mop the floor first and then buff/polish, the problem arises the next day. If they mop the floor but don’t vac or sweep all the tiny shards of wirewool off the floor, once they get wet, the wirewool begins the rust. You will notice that this is more common around the viens, as they are often softer and wear away quicker than the rest of the stone, meaning they fill up with wirewool and rust more than the other parts of the floor. Also the water can soak in from the grout joints and discolour the edges of the tiles. Sometime as this can be surface rust, periodic grinding and rehoning can improve it, but again don’t over promise on the results as not to dissapoint your customers.
The rust or browning can only be stopped if you stop the source of the water causing the issue. In some cases, I know companies that have replaced effected tile and with in a few month the problem has returned as the did not stop the source of the moisture.