Slate flooring's natural beauty and durability enhance any home. Slate lasts longer than many flooring surfaces, and, unlike most natural stones, does not generally require sealing. Although high quality slate is nonporous, lower quality slate is subject to oil stains. From cooking oil or automotive oil, these stains ruin the slate's appearance. Prompt removal of oil from slate is essential, because oil is absorbed deeper into slate over time. Get oil stains out of slate quickly to restore its appearance.
Sweep the slate flooring with a broom to pick up loose dust and grime.
Pour 1 gallon of lukewarm water into a clean bucket. Mix 1/2 tsp. of ordinary dish soap into the bucket.
Wet a nonabrasive household sponge in the soapy water. Scrub the slate to remove the oil stain.
Saturate a clean cloth with fresh, warm water. Wipe the slate to rinse off the detergent.
Examine the slate for remaining oil. If stains remain, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of water to a bowl. Stir until the mixture forms a paste the texture of peanut butter.
Spread a 1/4-inch layer of the baking soda paste evenly over the oil stain with a rubber spatula. Cover the poultice layer with plastic wrap, then seal the plastic with tape. Leave the poultice covered for 24 hours to absorb the oil.
Remove the plastic wrap to expose the baking soda poultice. Moisten a clean cloth in fresh water, and scrub the poultice off the slate. Leave no poultice residue on the slate.
Wipe the slate with a dry towel.