Would you like to know how to remove oil and dirt from your stone floors?
Natural stone floor tiles made from marble, limestone, travertine are quite hard wearing but are chosen more for their aesthetic appeal than durability. Over time, dirt and oils build up from foot traffic, food and beverage spills, pot plants, pets and many other sources, and can deeply stain the stone.
Cleaning with regular supermarket products may remove a portion of the oil and dirt on top of the stone, but will usually not remove the remainder of the stain that has soaked into the stone. In some cases these cleaners can cause further damage.
To remove deeper, oily or dark coloured stains, a poultice may be required. A poultice is made with a special powder which is mixed to form a paste. It is then thickly applied to only the affected area and covered with plastic wrap. The edges are sealed and small holes made to allow the powder to dry.
As the poultice dries the powder draws the stain from the stone and absorbs it. This process can take up to 48 hours and sometimes may need to be repeated several times. After removing the poultice the area is washed with clean water and polished with a soft cloth and a cleaning product suited to the stone.
This method is effective for removing common stains such as coffee, iodine, blood, chewing gum, ink, paint, rust, acidic liquids, efflorescence (a white substance which can develop on some stone), graffiti, water, mould, mildew, lichen, dull and coloured spots.
If the stain is surrounded by scratches, etching or dull patches, this can make the stain look worse. Polishing may then be recommended.
Do your stone floors need the protection of an Anti-bacterial treatment?
It is essential once your natural stone floor has been professionally cleaned, repolished or honed, that it is treated with an anti-bacterial treatment. The purpose of this is to ensure that any bacteria on the surface of the stone or left in grout joints, pits or natural holes after restoration, is eliminated.
The Marble Man uses a combination or detergents and chlorine to sanitise stone floor tiles. This anti-bacterial treatment can be carried out on any natural stone surface, however it requires specialist application with the use of protective equipment. Application by a non-professional is not recommended.
After the stone floor is totally clean and has been anti-bacterial treated, professional sealing is recommended to protect the stone.
Once all restoration is complete, you can keep your stone floors looking fresh, bright and hygienically clean by using only specially formulated and PH balanced stone care products. The Marble Man recommends the following stone floor cleaning products:
How do I prevent staining or treat a stain when it happens?
Tip 1: Seal the stone floor to prevent stains Sealing is best done after the stone is installed or freshly cleaned and/or polished. Professional sealing will prevent most stains from soaking into the stone. Ideally liquids such as water will bead on the surface rather than soaking in.
Tip 2: Remove the substance causing the stain immediately Do not delay. Before the stain dries, use a cloth to soak up spills and soapy water to help break down oily substances on all natural marble and engineered stone surfaces.
Tip 3: Avoid using chemicals and heat If treating the stain yourself, only use productsrecommended by The Marble Man or the stone manufacturer. Also avoid using hot water on albumin based stains (containing protein) such as blood or milk, as this may set the stain.
Tip 4: Do not use a scourer
Do not attempt to remove the stain using a green scourer or steel wool. this will scratch the stone floor and will not remove the stain.
Tip 5: Identify the stain to determine further treatment This will help The Marble Man Technician determine whether cleaning with Nano technology or a poultice will remove the stain, or if repolishing or honing will be required.
Tip 6: Contact The Marble Man for advice as soon as possible
In some cases we will be able to provide simple advice on how you can treat the stain yourself. You can upload photos to our website which will also help us to determine the most effective treatment.