Stained Kitchen Stone Floors: A Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide
It’s happened to the best of us: As we’re cleaning up after dinner, perhaps putting everything in its place after plating up our favorite homemade comfort food, we notice a spot on the floor. We frown. We bend over – we wipe at the spot – and grimace, realizing that our lovely stone floors have accrued another stain after an evening of cooking in. Natural-stone kitchen floors are an investment, and they require care. Unfortunately, there are substances – including some foods – that are much more likely to leave a mark on your sparklingly clean floors, marring an otherwise immaculately clean kitchen. Getting rid of stains on your kitchen floors and caring for them all comes down to some simple chemistry – and some regular TLC for the gorgeous stonework in your home. Interested in learning a few tricks of the trade? Here’s what you need to know:
Natural-stone floors have porosity and chemical makeups that often make them vulnerable to food stains. This is especially true of specific types of strong foods that can cause chemical reactions in the surface of your stone. For example, tea contains tannin, an organic compound that has astringent properties. It’ll do more than stain your floors; it’ll also etch the surfaces. Coffee has tannin compounds, too. (Ironically, the most potent type of coffee for stains is stale coffee - the staining potential increases with time.) Wine is acidic and highly pigmented; certain fruits, such as citrus, tomatoes and mangoes are acidic enough to stain or damage your floors. Some thick, dark sauces, such as Worcestershire or soy, are also capable of leaving dark marks on your floors. How to solve these stubborn stains: First of all, if you frequently seal your floors, these stains should wipe up easily right after they happen.
When you’re cooking, it’s easy for grease to splatter or oil to spill. It’s also easy for these messes to go unnoticed for a while, allowing an oil stain to form. Your first course of action should be to absorb any of the fluids that haven’t already sunk into your stone floor. Using a blotting motion, see if you can pick up any surface grease or oil before continuing. How to remove stubborn oil stains: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with acetone to the consistency of pancake batter. Place this on the stain; wait 24 hours; rinse with water - and repeat as needed to remove the stain. Reseal the stone surface once this is completed. If unable to remove the stain after multiple attempts, the stone is too deeply embedded into the pores of the stone – seek a professional stone restoration specialist with the proper tools and training.
Natural-stone slabs and tiles may hold iron deposits – and iron deposits like nothing more than to go through the process of oxidization. Particularly in parts of your home more exposed to moist conditions – for example, your kitchen – you need to be prepared to deal with these reddish colored spots and veins. (They’ll be particularly visible in pieces of lighter stone.)
An Effective, Gentle Kitchen Floor Cleaner
If you want the process of keeping your kitchen floors spotless and squeaky-clean to be as easy as possible, make sure to reseal your stone floors or other stone surfaces. This will act as a safeguard against future stains and make your ongoing maintenance a breeze. For regular cleaning, use a gentle, pH balanced floor cleaner that’s formulated for natural stone. One of our favorites is Granite Gold Squeeze & Mop Floor Cleaner, a ready-to-use, no-rinse solution that makes it simple to care for your floors.
If you have any further questions about stone floor care or stain removal, reach out to our friendly stone care experts with three-generations of expertise for the answers you need.