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The Pro-Tip: removing oil stains from natural stone15.08.2014
Porous surfaces, such as natural and concrete stone, absorb liquids that form dark stains. Water evaporates fairly quickly and as long as it has not carried any dirt into the stone, it leaves no traces. Oil on the other hand causes stubborn stains that leave the surface unsightly.
The sooner these stains are addressed, the higher the probability to remove them completely is. Especially stains caused by natural oils with either plants or animals as their source should be removed quickly because they react with air and resinify. Hobby chefs will know this effect from the caps of their oil bottles. The oil hardens inside the stone’s capillary system, which makes it increasingly and with time impossible to remove.
Synthetic oils, such as engine or hydraulic oils, are much easier to remove. Because these oils are intended as lubricants they are designed to not change their consistency. The age of a stain caused by synthetic oil is therefore irrelevant. Engine oil for example can still be removed after years, metal abrasion from the engine that has been transported into the stone by the oil may leave a shadow, though.
Oil stains, regardless of the type of oil, are best removed with Lithofin OIL-EX. This special paste allows for long working times (at room temperature approx. eight hours) that allow the product to dissolve even deeply engrained stains. The oil is dissolved and transported to the surface where it is then bound and can be easily removed.
Apply Lithofin OIL-EX to the stain in a 2mm thick layer. The layer of product should overlap the stain by approx. 2cm. In case of deeply engrained steins, cover the product layer with clear foil to prolong the working time to up to 24 hours. When the product has fully reacted a white powder will remain on the surface. This powder can be simply swept up.
HINT: prevent your natural or concrete stone surface from staining by applying a protective treatment like Lithofin MN Stain-Stop or Lithofin STAINSTOP >W<.