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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500310
06/24/03

Terrazzo Floors--Stain Removal



Caution: Follow directions carefully when you use chemicals to remove stains. Always "remove the stain remover" as soon as its job has been done. Remember many of these substances are on the "Not recommended list" for general floor care, but must be used if the stain is to be removed.

Try the following methods for these common stains. Try the first method listed first, and go to the second only if this doesn't work. For unknown stains or heavy staining, consult a professional.

Caution: Always wear rubber gloves when using the methods marked with an asterisk (*).

Alcoholic Beverages
1. Use liquid detergent and warm water.

*2. Follow with denatured alcohol if stain remains.

*3. Lay an absorbent cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over stain; put an ammonia-saturated cloth on top of this.

Blood
1. Try cold clear water first, then add a few drops of ammonia.

2. Wet spot with lukewarm water and sprinkle with powdered malt. Let stand an hour and rinse.

Coffee
1. Saturate an absorbent cloth with solution of one part glycerin and three parts water and lay over spot.

*2. Apply a poultice of hydrogen peroxide and calcium carbonate.

3. Apply a poultice of abrasive powder and hot water.

Fruit
1. Use a powdered detergent and warm water.

2. If rough spot results, rub with powdered pumice stone under a block of wood.

Grease or Oil
1. Use a liquid detergent and warm water.

2. Pour solvent on spot. Rub with clean, soft cloth.

Ink
1. Use a liquid detergent and warm water.

*2. Apply a poultice of two tablespoon sodium perborate in pint of water mixed with whiting into a paste. Repeat if necessary.

3. Some blue inks respond to a treatment of strong ammonia water solution applied on a layer of cotton.

Lipstick
1. Use a liquid detergent and warm water.

*2. Lay an absorbent cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over stain; put an ammonia-saturated cloth on top of this.

Paint
1. Use a liquid detergent and warm water.

2. Pour solvent on spot. Rub with clean, soft cloth.

Rust/Iron
1. Apply a poultice made by mixing one part sodium citrate crystals to six parts water, mixed thoroughly with an equal amount of glycerin. Mix with whiting to form a paste stiff enough to stick to the surface in a thick coat. Allow to stand several days. Repeat process if stain remains.

Soft Drinks
*1. Lay an absorbent cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over stain; put an ammonia-saturated cloth on top of this.

Tobacco
1. Try lemon juice in water.

*2. Lay an absorbent cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over the stain; put an ammonia-saturated cloth on top of this.

3. Apply a poultice of abrasive powder and hot water.

4. Treat with equal parts of alcohol and glycerin.

Urine
1. Apply a poultice of abrasive powder and hot water.

*2. Lay an absorbent cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over stain; put an ammonia-saturated cloth on top of this.

The chemicals listed may be purchased at drug stores or at chemical or laundry supply houses. Where poultices are recommended, apply them about one-half inch thick, and let the mixture dry thoroughly before removing.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus with references from Florida Extension bulletin Keeping Your Terrazzo Floors Beautiful.

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