Limestone is a popular choice for kitchen countertops, floors, walkways and patios. Limestone offers the room or outdoor space a rustic, natural look. Limestone floors, walls and backsplashes give off an old world feel. When paired with rich looking trims and colors, limestone gives off the appearance of opulence and luxury. Limestone is a natural stone made up of tiny bits of marine shells and bones that is packed together to create a one piece stone. Although it is clas
sified as a stone, it is highly porous and prone to staining. Limestone is used both indoors and outdoors. Limestone is available in a wide range of colors including shades of tan, gray or blue. Quarries cut limestone into thin sections to make tiles or patio pavers and then polish the surface to create a shine. Some quarries leave the natural dull color. Both the shiny and glossy limestone is prone to staining if it is not sealed.
Cooking greasy foods, using cooking oil or salad oil can lead to spills and splatters, which will be absorbed into the porous stone. As the grease soaks into the stone, it widens and spreads. Using the wrong cleaner to attempt to remove the grease stain can cause it to sink deeper and deeper into the stone.
You Will Need
- White paper towels
- Nonsudsing household ammonia
- Laundry or dish detergent
- White rag
- Natural bristle brush, old toothbrush or other soft brush
- Baking soda
- Small container
Place a thick layer of white paper towels over the grease spot on the limestone. Press down firmly on the paper towels to absorb the grease. Only blot the grease spill or splatter, never rub it. Remove the layer of paper towels and lay a fresh layer over the grease. Continue to blot the grease until no more oil transfers onto the paper towels.
Pour non-sudsing household ammonia into a small container or pull it up into an ey
edropper. Drip the ammonia drop by drop over the grease stain until the ammonia covers it completely. If you are pouring the ammonia from a small cup, pour very slowly until the ammonia covers the grease.
Dampen a white rag with warm water. Do not use a rag that has been dyed because the dyes in the cloth can transfer to the limestone. Place the damp rag at the outer edge of it and rub the rag in toward the center. Continue to pull the ammonia to the middle of it.
Place a layer of paper towels over the grease stain and press firmly to remove the moisture from the grease stain.
Wet an old toothbrush or soft bristle scrub brush with warm water. Squirt a bit of clear dish washing soap into the middle of the grease stain. Scrub it in circles. Do not pass the edge of the stain by more than 1/8 to ¼ inch. Start the circles along the outer rim and make smaller and smaller circles while working to the middle.
Lay white paper towels over the soapy solution and press down firmly. Continue to blot the area until the paper towels no longer pull moisture out of the limestone.
Apply household ammonia drop by drop onto the grease stain and rub the stain with a white rag from the outer edge to the middle of the stain. Blot the ammonia with white paper towels until you pull out as much moisture as possible.
Wet a new white rag, add clear dish washing soap to the stain and scrub the stain in a circular motion beginning at the outer edge and making the circles smaller until yo
u reach the center of the stain.
Layer white paper towels over the wet area and press down firmly to wick up all of the moisture from the limestone.
Let the limestone dry for two to four hours. Examine the surface to determine if the
grease stain has been completely removed.
If any of the stain remain, even if the stain has lightened:
Pour acetone – nail polish remover – over the stain until the acetone cover the whole grease stain.
Place a thick layer of white paper towels over the acetone and put a heavy weight on top of the paper towels. Use a pot full of water, heavy books or bricks. Leave the weight on the paper towels for 10 to 12 hours to pull the acetone and grease out of the limestone and onto the paper towels.
Remove the weight and paper towels from the surface of the limestone.
Wet an old, soft toothbrush or other soft scrub brush with warm water and dip it into a clear liquid laundry detergent or dish washing soap. Scrub the area in a circular motion, staring at the outer rim and working to the middle.
Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda over the top of the limestone and leave it in place for six to eight hours. Brush the baking soda off the surface with a soft brush or vacuum it up.
If the grease or oil stains remain on the limestone, apply a commercially available poultice to the stain to draw it out of the limestone.
Apply a natural stone sealer to limestone to prevent it from absorbing grease or oil and preventing stains. Stone sealers won’t completely stop limestone from absorbing grease, but the sealer will slow the absorption process enough to give you time to clean the grease off the surface.
Always wait for the limestone to dry fully between treatments before determining if the stain has been removed or if it remains.
Never used acidic cleaners to clean limestone or remove grease or oil stains from limestone. Acid based cleaners include white vinegar, lemon juice, orange based cleaners. Do not use an acid used to strip concrete such as muriatic acid because it is much too harsh for the delicate nature of limestone.
Do not use brushes with stiff or metal bristles.
Do not use scouring powders or steel wool to clean limestone.