Help me help my countertops
July 21, 2011 5:38 PM   Subscribe

A combination of rubbing alcohol, witch hazel and dissolved aspirin leaked onto my granite (or some other type of pretty rock countertops?) in my bathroom. It appears to have taken off some of the shiny finish and stained it. Is there anything I can do?

I'm not entirely sure what kind of countertops they are. It's a light beige rock and I can sort of see a couple almost small fossil shells in some parts. The shiny finish has come off in parts where it spilled and other parts are a bit stained. Is there anything I can do to fix or minimize the damage. I have a feeling I could be losing a bit of my deposit over this...
posted by whoaali to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Can you post a picture for us so someone can figure out what surface it is? Then perhaps someone can make suggestions, as they'll probably be different based on what surface it is.
posted by cooker girl at 5:46 PM on July 21, 2011

Granite is an igneous rock, and would not have shells in it. What you're describing is very likely to be travertine, and unfortunately it's much more porous than granite. Does it look like this?

Travertine can be permanently stained by acids, and in general stains easily. The mark may lighten over time, but the only way to get rid of it entirely would be to re-hone and refinish it.
posted by Specklet at 6:07 PM on July 21, 2011

I'm pretty sure it's travertine. I don't think it's too badly stained it's more that the finish has come off.
posted by whoaali at 6:59 PM on July 21, 2011

Wet buff the spot with cheap toothpaste ( look for Tin-oxide/stannic oxide) use a drill or dremel type tool, a leather buffing pad works best for stone. The finish is called the beilby layer
alternatively you could use a manicurist "three way shiner block"
posted by hortense at 8:41 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

hortense, thank you so much for enlightening me about the beilby layer! Cool!
posted by IAmBroom at 10:26 AM on July 22, 2011

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