Cleaning bathroom tile stains

sum_dum_guySeptember 27, 2009

I am renting. My bathroom has nice gray-ish floor tiles but the previous tenant left some yellow stains on them. These stains are right in front of shower, toilet and sink and seem roughly rectangular in shape. This is very suggestive that they formed under some rugs that were there for a while. I have no idea of their composition but these are very resistant stains. I tried everything under the sun and they are still there. I tried water, soap, 409, citric acid, Tide detergent, OxyBoost, almost all spot cleaners at Ace Hardware and Home Depot (some generic ones like ZEP, others with esoteric names I cannot remember).

My question is: what is the likely chemical composition of those stains and what is likely to get them out short of re-tiling the bathroom?

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Oh, yes, I also tried Zud which contains oxalic acid. In all cases I soaked the surface for 3-4 hours and for some cleaners I did overnight. So my feeling is that acids either do not work or very strong acids are needed where tile damage is likely. Given that this is a rental, I am looking for more gentle approaches.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 6:00PM
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When you place rubber-backed carpets on vinyl flooring, the vinyl will discolor. Permanmently. Nothing gets it out. White vinyl develops a yellow stain, haven't seen the effect on gray. Make sure the landlord knows that this predated your move-in.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 7:29PM
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My floor is definitely not vinyl though I am not sure what kind of tile it is. Would poultice work?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:11PM
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Try clear ammonia full strength. Wear rubber gloves and ventilate the room well. Apply a generous coat on the stain, leave it on for a few minutes, then wipe it off. If that doesn't work, nothing short of a stick of dynamite will remove that stain.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:04PM
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