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How to remove oil stains from limestone

Updated February 21, 2019

Limestone is a porous natural stone used for flooring and other building projects. Limestone tends to be light in colour; tan and light grey are common shades for the stone. Oil stains are absorbed easily by limestone and can cause a discolouration. Attending to stains immediately and using absorbent materials to pull the stain out are recommended methods of tackling unsightly oil stains.

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  1. Blot any excess oil that may remain on your limestone flooring with a white paper towel. Be careful not to rub or you may actually cause the oil to seep further into the stone.

  2. Apply a dissolving agent to the oil stain. Ammonia, a non-abrasive cleaner, such as dish or laundry detergent, or acetone are all appropriate for use on limestone, according to the Marble Institute of America. Gently clean with a white cloth and rinse with water.

  3. Prepare a poultice that will draw out the oil from the natural stone. Mix baking soda with water so that a thick paste forms. Add a few drops of water to the soda, stir and add more if needed.

  4. Spread the poultice on the oil stain with a plastic putty knife, taking care not to scratch the stone.

  5. Cover the paste with plastic wrap. Tape the plastic wrap to the limestone with masking tape. Leave the paste on the oil stain for one to two days.

  6. Uncover the poultice and rinse it off the limestone with distilled water. If the paste is stubborn and sticks to the floor, gently nudge at it with the putty knife. Dry the area with a soft white cloth.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Dissolving agent
  • White cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Putty knife
  • Plastic wrap
  • Masking tape

About the Author

Erica Roth

Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.

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