Grease and oil staining is a common problem, especially on limestone floors. Natural stone is incredibly robust, but it’s often porous. A quality sealant will protect the surface but if a tile hasn’t been sealed or correctly maintained, any spillages will be absorbed, leaving a dark stain. Cooking oil is one of the main culprits, but greasy stains can also be left by others substances, including dairy products, candle wax and cosmetics.
Before targeting the stain, the limestone surface should be given a thorough clean, as described in our How to clean limestone floors blog. Limestone is acid-sensitive, so this should be carried out with a pH-neutral detergent, as explained in the article. General household tile and surface cleaners tend to be acidic, so should be avoided. They can etch stone and grout, dull a polished surface and will also damage any protective sealer applied.
If the stain still remains after a thorough clean, we recommend using LTP Spot Stain Remover and LTP Fullers Earth. The Remover will dissolve the stain and the Fullers Earth, which is a clay-like substance, will absorb it ‘by capillary’, pulling it to the surface.
Apply the Remover directly onto the stain, making sure to spread the solution out to the edge of the tile up to the grout joints.
Leave to absorb into the surface for about 5- 10 minutes. (NB. This process might remove some stains. If it does, wash the surface with a dilute solution of LTP Grimex, rinse and leave to dry before resealing.) For stubborn stains, continue with the dual treatment after the 5-10 minute wait.
Powder the stain with Fuller’s Earth. Wet the powder again with the Remover and then cover it once more with the Fuller’s earth.
Leave for 24 hours.
Brush away the powder and wash with a dilute solution of LTP Grimex.
Rinse well with a sponge and water, and leave to dry before re- sealing.
Once the floor is clean and dry, we recommend that the surface is resealed with either with LTP Mattstone or its water-based equivalent, LTP Mattstone H20 for a natural finish - or LTP Ironwax Satin for a semi-gloss surface finish. For instructions on application, please see the technical data sheets on each page link.
For more expert advice and information, contact the LTP team on tel. 01823 666213 or email [email protected]