Q. Rusty as well as a whitish stain defies removal on some of our terrazzo floors. Citrus fruit juice and water dripping in a washroom may be the cause. How can we remove the stains? Bro. M. Stephen Abbey of Gethsemani Trappist, Ky.
A. The white discoloration is probably due to fruit-juice acid which has etched the glazed finish on the terrazzo. This condition normally can be corrected through the use of a quality terrazzo sealer; or, in extreme cases, a refinishing of the terrazzo.
As to the rust discoloration, assuming the stain is from iron in the water, use a special stain remover, such as Sure Klean T-148 Rust Remover, or equal. This material is commonly used to remove rust from marble and other natural stone. T-148 is a two-component product designed to be mixed immediately prior to application. Easy to use, it is quite safe. The manufacturer of T-148 is ProSoCo Inc., Kansas City, Kan. Telephone: (913) 281-2700.
Caution: Avoid using a stain remover with an acid base.
ProSoCo suggests an overall terrazzo floor cleaning, using Sure Klean Smoke Remover, or equal. This powder material is normally employed for smoke removal from masonry and concrete surfaces following a fire.
It also has been used successfully in older public structures as well as beauty shops, churches, etc., to remove wax, sealers, and oil stains. While this product will not wipe out rust deposits, it will remove many discolorations which are commonly associated with terrazzo floors.
If you have a home-building or upkeep problem, ask a veteran West Coast builder for a solution. Send questions to: Real Estate Editor, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115.