Urine can both “etch” and “stain” marble, limestone, and travertine tile.
The acids will etch the marble and the yellow color will cause a stain.
Etching occurs when an acidic food, drink or substance (like urine) contacts the marble.
Sealers work by delaying absorption not by forming a film over the stone.
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A stain takes longer to develop as the liquid needs time to absorb.
I would recommend using one of the more natural brands that employ enzymes or micro-organisms.
Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply the paste to the smelly areas.
Vomit stains are similar to urine stains in marble whether from pets or people.
Etching occurs instantly upon contact of the urine with the marble and causes physical damage to the stone.
You just need to learn how to properly maintain travertine and how to deal with issues like etching, which is the dull spot you are seeing from your dog’s acidic urine.
A marble stain occurs when a liquid or substance is absorbed into the marble and causes a spot that is darker than the marble (and/or it has a color too).
But it could still stain if the liquid is left on the floor long enough (even if sealed).
Etching happens instantly, thus you definitely have an etch mark.
But if the spot is at all darker or yellow in color, then you have both a stain and etch mark.
Again, remove the stain first, and then deal with any remaining odor, then tackle the etch mark.
There are many odor removers out there for urine and other substances.
The issue for removing urine odor from a marble stain is whether the product is too acidic or alkaline, which may damage (etch) the marble surface.
Cover it with plastic wrap and seal around the edges with masking tape.
So it is possible to have both etching and staining in the same spot.
Then , eliminate the odor as this can create more etching depending on the solution you use.
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You can help prevent staining by applying a stone sealer, however, the only way to prevent etching from cat or dog urine is to keep your pets from peeing on the marble tile.
Sealers will not prevent etching, scratching or any type of physical damage.
Such coatings can change the look of you stone often making it look plastic, they wear down easily, create additional problems when maintenance is needed and do not not allow the stone to breath which is very bad for the stone especially on a floor.
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Granite countertop sealers dramatically reduce the rate of absorbency of a stone, so it won’t absorb and stain as quickly.
And a stone sealer won’t prevent chemical damage from corrosive “etching” on marble, travertine or limestone.
Excess sealer is wiped off the surface and the water or solvent base evaporates leaving the resin to dry and harden creating the barrier.
But stains may occur even when the stone is “sealed” if coffee, wine, oil or other substances are left on the stone long enough.
A granite sealer will clog up most pores preventing a deep stain.
It’s more accurately described as a barrier highly-resistant to liquid intrusion.
Also, the barrier is just below the surface, so even if deep stains are prevented staining can still occur at the surface level with prolonged exposure.
The one exception is oil , which could remain on a surface until cleaned.
Thus, such stones are not the best choice for used and abused areas like the kitchen.
Since such stones are already extremely resistant to liquid absorption a sealer cannot absorb either, which it must do to work.
Although, the quality of the sealer and application will largely determine how long it lasts before re-sealing is necessar y.
Every stone is different, so are the sealers and quality of application, so there is no “standard”.
Well, there is certainly a bit of hysteria regarding granite countertop sealers and the real need for sealing granite and many natural stone varieties is generally overblown.
You might end up having to pay to strip the sealer when it just sits on the surface dulling your countertops.
The common perception is that granite sealers form a protective film or shield that absolutely prevents staining or damage to the stone.
Sealers don’t absolutely prevent a stone from being stained, they just make it a lot harder to do.
Sealer keeps spilled substances on the surface of the stone giving you more time to clean it up, so that it is not absorbed into the pores of the stone causing a stain.
Logic tells us that the more porous the stone, the faster and deeper it will absorb any spilled substance.
No sealer, no matter how well applied, will perfectly fill every pore in the stone.
Given enough time , some liquid will still seep past the resin barrier into the stone potentially staining.
Practically speaking stains are rare on well-sealed countertops or floor tile, since nearly all liquids will evaporate before they can absorb.
Highly porous/absorbent stones need to be sealed and periodically re-sealed to adequately control absorbency and the tendency to stain.
And some granites (and other stone types) are so dense that they really don’t need a sealer.
Also , it’s important to remember that not all stones in the same commercial family (granite, marble, travertine) perform exactly alike.
Therefore, it’s important to lemon-juice test the stone to determine if it is suitable for it’s intended use (kitchen countertop, bar top) and whether or not it should be sealed.
This problem occurs with calcite-bases stones like marble, travertine, limestone and potentially even with some granite that has calcite in it.
The reaction, called “etching,” corrodes the surface , destroying the polish and leaving a dull spot on your countertops or floors.
The spots are not as noticeable on a honed surface, but it still occurs.
Even when sealed, the absorbency rate and tendency to stain remains more a function or characteristic of the particular stone than the sealer.
Porous stones will still be more susceptible to surface stains and will require sealing more often (generally every 1-3 years, but testing is necessary for every slab), while dense stones really shouldn’t be sealed in many cases or may need only one application and never again.
You must always test to determine if or when to seal.
Much of it is recommended and done simply for “peace of mind”…
On the other hand , be prudent and careful in your application when choosing to seal dense stones that may not really need it.