Donna said, “My dog got into our garbage and left grease stains from pasta sauces on our new slate floor. We used Dawn dishwasher soap and scrubbed it but stains remain. What cleaners can we purchase to get them out? Thank you.”
Although slate is a durable stone, it is porous enough for oil to seep into it. Thankfully, removing the oil is fairly easy. Follow the steps below.
Removing the Stain
You Will Need:
- An absorbent material, such as:
– Kitty litter
– Baking soda³
- A vacuum
- Mineral spirits
- A stiff-bristle brush
- Dish liquid
- Brake cleaner
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Select an absorbent material from the list above.
- Pour a generous amount of it over the stain.
- If the stain is fresh, leave the material on the stain for about 10 minutes, then vacuum or sweep it up.
- If the stain is old, leave the material on it for several hours or overnight.
- If the stain is not completely removed, you can either repeat the process as many times as needed to fully remove the oil or continue with the steps below.
- Mix baking soda with some water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste over the stain, and leave it there until it dries. Once dry, sweep up the powder with a dustpan.⁴
- If the stain is old or stubborn, pour mineral spirits on it. Let the mineral spirits soak on the area for half an hour⁵, then scrub the area with a stiff-bristled brush. Lay some newspaper over the area to soak up the mineral spirits, then wash the area with some dish liquid.¹
- As a last resort, try using some brake cleaner, which will help draw the oil to the surface of the stone. Spray the brake cleaner on the stain, then cover the area with one of the absorbent powders again. Wash the area with dish liquid when the bulk of the stain is removed.
Additional Tips and Advice
- If the location of the oil stain is somewhere windy or somewhere a pet has access to, you can cover the absorbent material with plastic wrap to keep it in place.
- Always follow safety precautions on the label of your selected cleaner. It is best to wear gloves when handling brake cleaner as it is caustic.
- It is always best to test a cleaner on a small, hidden area of the surface first to look for any adverse reaction, particularly when using something as strong as brake cleaner.
- It’s okay to vacuum a slate floor, but you must use ONLY a soft brush attachment and you must be very careful not to bang or jerk the vacuum cleaner on the slate floor as it may cause chipping, scratches, or damage the floor in other ways.
- Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic
- Practical Household Uses of Bicarbonate of Soda by Margaret Briggs
- Green Clean by Linda Mason Hunter and Mikki Halpin
- Natural Stain Removal Secrets by Deborah L. Martin