Lye on quartz countertop

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rainycityjen

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I made soap for the first time in my new house and I already ruined my kitchen island.

It's my own fault for not laying down a protective layer, but a soap bowl or lye bowl must have somehow been dripping and created a ring in my dark quartz counter. It looks like the top layer of colorant has been stripped off. When I wet it down it looks a little better, but dry it stands out.

If this has happened to anyone before or they have stone care experience, please let me know if there are DIY repair kits/products or if I need a pro to refinish the whole thing.

I'm pretty horrified/ashamed.


 

TheGecko

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Good example of how caustic lye is and why 'suiting up for safety' is so important. I've got lye burns (brown spots) on my linoleum; hubby accidently knock off my dish of dry lye, I thought I had gotten it all swept up...obviously missed a few spots.

You'll need to have that section refinished...sanded and resealed.

I have a huge plastic cutting board on my rolling kitchen island that I make my soaps on.
 

cmzaha

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Sorry, that happened to you. Lye is very destructive, and it is the only time I am glad I have tile counters. It does not destroy tile if wiped up quickly. I used to use large HDPE cutting boards on my countertop, but now use cheap dollar store fleece-lined table covers. I just wipe up any spills quickly.
 

penelopejane

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So sorry this happened to you.
I'd talk to a tile supply shop about solutions. We reseal our granite benchtop once a year with special stone sealer. It covers small scratches and scrapes. I don't know if it will cover your mark but at least it will prevent other liquids from getting in and staining the stone which will permanently damage the benchtop.
 

KiwiMoose

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Oh no! I completely empathise with you - I damaged our benchtop too when starting out. Not actual lye spillage, but just the soap batter slopped all over the place and wiped down - it ended up taking all the shine off the formica top. It's easy to think after the fact how obvious it is to put something down, but I guess we are so use to just 'wiping things off' our kitchen benches so you don't think about it until it's too late. :-(
 

Millie

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Maybe it's a scar to be proud of?
As you give people a tour of your house, you point it out and say, "oh hey, ever seen Fight Club? Yeah, that's where I make soap."
(Gasps, applause)
 

Steve85569

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The lye has reacted with the finish on the counter top - not with the quartz. The good news is that is *might* polish out.
Try using a wax / polish the will penetrate ( one the requires a curing time). It may leave a "ghost ring" to remember why we wear PPE's and soap in safe areas.
 

KiwiMoose

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The lye has reacted with the finish on the counter top - not with the quartz. The good news is that is *might* polish out.
Try using a wax / polish the will penetrate ( one the requires a curing time). It may leave a "ghost ring" to remember why we wear PPE's and soap in safe areas.
Y'know - I never knew what PPE was until people started talking about it a lot given the current pandemic. Had to google it.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Following on with the suggestion of trying to polish it off, you could try gently rubbing a small section with a mildly abrasive toothpaste or Bon Ami (US product). If it works, I would probably try it on a larger section before I committed to doing the entire ring.
 

penelopejane

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Following on with the suggestion of trying to polish it off, you could try gently rubbing a small section with a mildly abrasive toothpaste or Bon Ami (US product). If it works, I would probably try it on a larger section before I committed to doing the entire ring.
Actually Steve is right it can't be polished off. It has taken the protective surface coating off.
You have to be really, really careful with the exposed quartz so it doesn't get contaminated. I wouldn't be using anything on the exposed quartz until they've spoken to a tile supplier who will sell the sealer.
 

Steve85569

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The tile section of your nearby hardware store should have a sealer suitable for tile.
I use a water base sealant because it has a lower voc and I have breathing problems. It also will penetrate the unsealed portion prior to setting and "drying". Drying is in quotes because the stuff actually cures kinda like soap.:thumbs:

The other sealers will set much faster but you will need to be sure you have very good ventilation for the area that you will use it in. All of them say things like "harmful or fatal if swallowed" so keep an eye on pets, children and - er - me...:D:lol:
 

Mobjack Bay

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I forgot about the engineered/resin aspect of quartz countertops, but I would probably still give toothpaste a try, maybe on the underside of a counter edge or on a sample of the countertop if I could get one. If the only other alternative is to replace the countertop, I personally could live with a duller, less obvious ring.
 

Dan9250

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Auto-paint polish with 800 grit will remove the dull finish on car paint without removing the full layer of paint. It might work for you. If you do not have a buffing machine it will take a lot of hand work.
 

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