As ancient and durable as natural stone is, it’s not impervious to substances such as oil, grease, and wax, which can break through the protective seal of tiles and cause stains and damage that could be permanent if they are not handled properly. The reason granite, marble, and other types of natural-stone tiles are vulnerable to oil and wax is because they are metamorphic in nature, which means chemical reactions continue to happen within them for as long as they are installed, and this includes reacting to wax, grease, and oil.
In general, you should keep oil and wax away from natural stone. However, this may not always be possible in kitchens, bathrooms, and other living spaces. Here are a few recommendations on what can be done in case greasy substances form stains on your natural-stone tiles.
1. Prevent Spills in the First Place
Oil stains and waxy residue are not reasons to panic because they can be removed. Nonetheless, homeowners should implement some basic measures to keep them from happening. Candles should be lit only when they are firmly placed in holders with wide and sturdy bases. Bottles of cooking oil should not rest directly on stone countertops. Instead, they should rest on small dishes. Everyone who cleans the floor in a household should know stone floors should never be waxed.
2. Keep an Optimal Seal
As long as natural stone is properly sealed, homeowners do not have to worry much about oil spills or wax smudges on their tiles. When granite slabs or tiles are optimally sealed, cooking oil or salad dressing can simply be wiped off. A good seal will not allow fluids and other substances to penetrate the stone. The best way to maintain a proper seal is to use a granite sealer frequently.
3. Remove Oil Stains
In case a stubborn oil or grease stain forms on the tile surface, more concrete action should be taken. A good method consists of mixing acetone with baking soda. The mixture should have the consistency of pancake batter, and it should be spread all around the stain until it is completely covered. This paste should be left to sit for 24 hours, then remove and rinse with water. If the stain does not fully come off, the paste can be applied again. Once the stain has been removed, the stone should be sealed again.
4. Remove Wax
Candlewax that solidifies quickly might not break the seal and can be scraped off with a plastic knife. If a stain forms on the tile, the culprit is likely the pigment used to manufacture the candle. The method mentioned above may work for removing the wax in this situation.
When caring for the natural stone in your home, make sure you clean it regularly with a stone-safe granite cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®, which is safe to use on granite, marble, slate, and all other types of natural stone. If you have additional questions about stone care, feel free to call Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE.