Is your beautiful terrazzo floor losing its visual allure due to rust stains popping up in multiple areas? Wondering how you can get rid of them for an all-shiny, stain-free floor surface? Terrazzo floors- just like marble floors- are beautiful to look at due to their shiny appearance; but not when they get discolored by rust stains.
In this article, you’ll learn the causes of rust stains on terrazzo floors and how you can effectively get rid of the same and restore your floor to its former glory.
What causes rust stains on terrazzo floors?
Rust stains on terrazzo floor surfaces usually occurs as a result of metallic objects coming into constant contact with the floor. These could include furniture with metallic legs, or even appliances with metallic bases.
While you can always remove such rust stains from your terrazzo floor using the methods that we shall discuss in the succeeding sections; the most economical thing to do would be to take preventive measures against rust stains, as stain removal is both costly and time-consuming.
For instance, you can install rubber fittings beneath the feet of your metallic furniture to prevent rust.
How do you get rust stains out of terrazzo?
To effectively eliminate rust stains from your terrazzo surface, you should, first of all, consider the severity of the stains. For mild or light stains, a quick hydrogen peroxide and ammonia treatment will get the job done.
Hydrogen peroxide is a popular cleaning agent and stain remover that you can buy at your local pharmacy/chemist. Ammonia- meanwhile- is a highly abrasive cleaning agent, which is why it has to be used in combination with hydrogen peroxide. You can purchase ammonia at your local convenience store or supermarket.
Method 1: Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonia
To effectively remove light rust stains off your terrazzo floors using hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, use the procedure below;
- First off, ensure that all windows in the room are opened for ample ventilation; as the above-mentioned chemicals contain toxic fumes that may cause serious health problems if this precaution is not observed. Alternatively, you can wear a face-mask.
- Also, ensure to wear a pair of protective hand gloves as ammonia can cause skin burns.
- Next, drench a piece of lint-free clothing in the hydrogen peroxide, then press the cloth over the rust-stained section of your terrazzo floor.
- Now, drench another piece of clothing in the ammonia solution and press it over the first cloth.
- You should leave the pieces of clothing pressed on top of each other and above the stain for about an hour to ensure that the chemicals fully work out the rust stains.
- After one hour, remove the pieces of clothing and wipe the terrazzo surface with a dry piece of cloth. You can repeat steps 1-6 above if there are multiple rust stains on your terrazzo floor.
Method 2: Using Sodium citrate, Water, Glycerin and Calcium Carbonate
Now, if you’ve got light rust stains but they’re in different spots all over your floor surface, using the above method would be cumbersome and tiring. It would definitely take lots of effort to cover all the spots with chemical-drenched pieces of clothing. A more practicable alternative would be to make a poultice and apply it to the affected floor areas, as per the procedure below;
- Mix sodium citrate with water, glycerin, and calcium carbonate in a ratio of 1:6:6:2 to create a cleansing paste that’s thick enough to attach to the terrazzo floor surface.
- Cover the affected floor areas with ample amounts of the paste and leave it in place for 48-72 hours, allowing enough time for the paste to work out all the rust stains.
- Once the waiting time elapses, remove the paste off your floor using a degreasing floor cleaner. Repeat applications are also an option if you still have some stains left after the initial treatment.
Stripping, Sealing, and Waxing of the terrazzo floor
The final method is for the removal of severe rust stains on terrazzo floors. It involves the stripping, sealing, and waxing of the terrazzo floor surface. This method is labor-intensive and costly- which is why you should only consider it if you’re dealing with heavy stains on your terrazzo surface.
Also, remember that this method has to be applied to the entire terrazzo floor, as stripping and resealing only the affected sections will most likely result in unsightly, contrasting shades on your floor. To properly strip, reseal, and wax your rust-stained terrazzo floor, follow the steps outlined below;
- Use any commercial floor stripper to strip your floor surface.
- Next, soak a piece of clothing in chlorine bleach and a Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide and use them to remove any traces of rust stains still remaining. Use the Q-tip on corners and edges where using a piece of cloth would be difficult/impractical.
- Finish off by resealing and waxing your terrazzo floor. To effectively do this, apply four layers of an acrylic sealer on your terrazzo floor, each after every three hours.
Can you use vinegar to remove stains on terrazzo floors?
No, if anything, you should avoid using vinegar on your terrazzo floors. Vinegar is acidic and will- most likely- etch the surface of your terrazzo. The last thing you want to do is to create a bigger, costlier problem by solving a current one. If you use vinegar and it leads to etching, the only options you’ll have for restoring your terrazzo floor to its former glorious look would be to rebuff and refinish it- both of which are quite costly and time-consuming.
Can you use bleach to clean rust on terrazzo floors?
Once again- no. Bleach is an abrasive cleansing agent- just like vinegar- and will, therefore, leave your terrazzo floor looking dull. Avoid using chlorine bleach on terrazzo surfaces, as this abrasive cleaner eats away at the wax layer that coats the terrazzo. It’s this layer of wax that gives terrazzo floors their beautiful, shiny appearance. Therefore- if you use bleach on such a surface- it’ll lose its visual allure.
International Specialised Skills Institute: Construction and restoration of Terrazo