How to Remove Oil Stains From Limestone

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Limestone is a light-colored natural stone used for various surfaces in the home, including flooring, walls, fireplace surrounds, and countertops. Limestone is porous, which means liquids and dirt can soak in and stain the stone. If an oily substance, such as cooking oil or grease, spills on a limestone surface, you can use a poultice to remove the oil from the stone.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels

  • Mild soap

  • Rags

  • Baking soda or mineral spirits plus talc, white molding plaster, or powdered chalk

  • Cotton balls or gauze pads

  • Distilled water

  • Wooden or plastic scraper

  • Plastic food wrap

  • Masking tape

How to Remove Oil Stains From Limestone

Step 1: Blot the Spill

Pat the spill with paper towel to try to soak up as much oil as possible. Don't wipe the towel over the surface, as that action could spread the stain.

Step 2: Wash With Mild Soap

Flush the area of the spill with a solution of mild soap and water. Rinse and dry completely with a soft rag.

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Step 3: Make a Poultice to Remove the Stain

Mix a poultice to use as a stain remover. A poultice is a paste created by mixing a white absorbent material with a chemical or liquid cleaning agent. The cleaning agent pulls the stain out of the stone, and the white powder absorbs the oil and holds it.

A recommended oil stain remover is a poultice made from baking soda and water or from mineral spirits mixed into a substance such as talc, white molding plaster, or powdered chalk. Add the liquid to the powdery material to achieve a thick consistency similar to that of peanut butter. Alternatively, you can soak cotton balls or gauze pads with mineral spirits and let them drain until no liquid is dripping out.

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Step 4: Wet the Stained Area

Use distilled water to wet the stain. This helps to fill the limestone pores with water, which can help speed the stain removal.

Step 5: Apply the Poultice

Use a wooden or plastic scraper to spread the paste evenly over the stained area. Apply it thickly, about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick, and spread it about 1 inch beyond the perimeter of the stain on all sides or layer the cotton balls or gauze over the area.

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Step 6: Cover and Allow to Dry

Cover the entire poultice patch with plastic, such as food wrap, and seal around all the edges with masking tape. After 24 hours, remove the plastic and allow the paste to dry completely. As the poultice dries, it will pull the stain out of the limestone.

Step 7: Remove the Poultice

Rinse off the poultice residue with distilled water and buff the area dry. (If the poultice is difficult to remove, scrape gently with a wooden or plastic scraper.)

Step 8: Repeat if Necessary

Apply the poultice again if necessary. Oil stains can be stubborn, and you may need to apply the poultice several times.

Tip

Sealing your limestone helps to limit staining.

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