Remove Stains from Limestone

Knowing how to remove stains from limestone will keep limestone countertops and tiles looking their best. Limestone is often used as an accent stone that adds flair and class to your home. Often used in flooring and countertops, limestone is a sedimentary rock formed mostly in shallow, warm ocean waters from shells, coral, and algal debris. People like it because of its versatility and natural beauty, but when not taken care of properly, its appeal will wear off. This article focuses on how to remove any stains that you may have on your limestone.

Remove Stains from Limestone

How to Clean Limestone Countertops

Since limestone is calcium based, it will react with acidic substances, such as wine, lemons, and vinegar. Common natural cleaning solutions, like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon will not work here. Limestone is also very porous, so it's common for the limestone to absorb oils and liquids. For these reasons, it's best to use limestone in the bathroom and not the kitchen. Because of its relatively delicate nature, it requires an appropriately delicate cleaning regimen.

What You Will Need Before You Start

  • Cornstarch
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Plastic wrap or dishtowel 

Steps for Removing Stains from Limestone

  1. Immediately after any stain occurs, wipe it up with a warm, wet cloth. The longer the stain sits there, the more likely it is to persist. Microfiber cloth is best 
  2. If the stain doesn't lift using the aforementioned method, then mix a half cup cornstarch, one teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid, and warm water, and work into a paste. 
  3. Work the mixture over the surface area of the stain. Cover with plastic wrap or dishtowel and let it sit until dried.
  4. Once it has dried, remove the paste from the countertop with a wooden spatula or other utensil. Do not use anything metal on the limestone; limestone is in fact very soft in terms of stones, and can be damaged by metal very easily. 
  5. You may use another method if this first technique fails. Instead of using the dishwashing liquid, use hydrogen peroxide in the same amount and work into a paste like in the other method.
  6. Apply the paste and let it sit until dried, covering with plastic wrap or dishtowel. Once dried, use a plastic or wooden utensil to remove the paste. 

When using any cleaning products on the limestone, make sure the pH is neutral. Because of the calcium in the limestone, and its porous nature, using acidic, harsh cleaners will scratch and damage the surface.

How to Clean Limestone Floors

Floors, of course, get a lot of traffic. All that use means stains, scuffs, and generally ugly marks that ruin the classic, polished look of limestone floors. 

Cleaning limestone floors is similar to removing stains, but you need to do it on a much larger area, so these steps my be very helpful. 

  1. Mix warm water and general floor cleaner in a bucket
  2. Pour in 1-2 cups of cornstarch
  3. Stir vigorously
  4. Mop the floors with this mixture

The cornstarch will help to remove the marks and stains from the limestone floors because it will help to draw out the substances from the porous stone. 

If you're still in need of techniques to remove stains from limestone and get your limestone floors clean, then you might want to hire a professional to come in and do the job.