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How to clean a limestone tiled floor

How to clean a limestone tiled floor

A guide to cleaning a limestone tiled floor

This guide explains how to clean an interior limestone tile floor and vertical limestone tiled walls & lintels etc.

Please note the information contained within this article is not exhaustive. Limestone floors can be mechanically polished (like a marble). Or honed, so they can have a completely matt appearance. Some are somewhere in between with a satin finish which can be referred to as a ‘high hone’.

Limestone slabs may also be sawn flat (totally flat and smooth) or have a riven, undulating finish. Sometimes this can result in a mixture of polished high areas and dull unfinished low sheen areas.

This serves to illustrate that there are numerous types of limestone floors found in domestic and commercial situations. They all seem to suffer from similar problems such as – being dull, very grimy, scratched, acid-etched or cracked.

This ‘how to’ guide will help you decide how to clean your limestone floor safely. Whilst much of this guide is about interior limestones the same guidance can be applied to exterior limestone patios (or read our dedicated exterior limestone care article).

There is a link at the foot of the page to all our cleaning and sealing products for limestone and associated ‘how to’ guides.

If you have a grey or black limestone, we have other guides for cleaning and sealing this type of limestone. Black/grey limestone is treated quite differently (particularly when selecting a sealant). There are links at the foot of the page that will take you to all our products and guides for cleaning & sealing grey/black limestones.

cleaning a dirty limestone tile floor

How to deep clean a limestone tiled floor

If you are cleaning a limestone tiled floor the most effective product to use is an alkaline solution such as Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner.

Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner is highly effective at removing built-up grime and dirt. If you have a dirty dull floor this is the product we recommend for restorative cleaning. It can be applied at a highly diluted rate of (1:10 with water) and up to (and including) being applied neat.

Stone Floor Cleaner is fantastic for cleaning floors that have become very dirty over time. It is safe to use on acid-sensitive floors like limestone, travertine, and marble.

The cleaning solution can be applied via brush or mop, and bucket. It can also be applied in conjunction with a slow-speed rotary machine and wet pick-up vacuum.

Once applied, a *dwell time of approximately 15 minutes can make even the most stubborn grime break down. It will also release paint splashes. Always rinse the floor with clean water after use.

*The dwell time is simply the length of time you apply the solution to the floor for. Always keep the floor wet during this time by adding more product or perhaps a little water.

Clean the grout lines with a soft/medium stiff bristle brush. Remember some grout lines are deeply stained so cleaning alone may not always remove all the staining. But most grout lines will respond to the correct cleaning agent and some elbow grease!

How to remove rust marks from limestone floors

Removing rust can be carried out with Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone. It is a non-acidic solution that can be safely applied to acid-sensitive surfaces.

This product is to be applied neat (it turns purple when reacting with rust) and should be rinsed away within 10 minutes of application. Do not allow the product to dry on the surface.

Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone will remove surface contaminations and ingrained rusting, particularly when applied more than once.

How to remove rust marks from limestone floors

Removing oil marks from limestone

If you are trying to remove oil marks Stone Floor Cleaner will remove the majority of these types of marks. You may wish to apply the product neat and allow lots of dwell time (15 minutes+).

Please be aware some marks might have penetrated so deeply into the stone they are not possible to remove with a cleaning agent. In this case, poultices might be effective but are notoriously hit and miss. If you wish to discuss this with us, we are happy to help.

Stripping old surface sealers whilst cleaning

The removal of old topcoat *surface sealers is possible with Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner – Providing the sealer is a water-based acrylic product.

*Surface sealers are sealers that, when applied, sit on the surface to form a film. They are usually obvious as they create a sheen.

Surface sealers are not widely used on interior limestone floors, but they can be present. Stone Floor Cleaner can be used to remove surface sealers and also break the surface tension left by old impregnating sealers.

The removal of old surface sealers can be problematic and not always economically possible. Solvent-based acrylics are very difficult to remove and often require a solvent-based stripper.

Removing surface sealers is a subject in its right and beyond the scope of this article. If you are trying to remove a surface sealer (usually one that creates a sheen) please contact us for information.

clean limestone wall tiles and floors

Everyday cleaners for limestone tiled floors

If you wish to simply clean your natural limestone floor with an everyday cleaner after sealing, or your floor does not require deep cleaning please use Floorseal Ph Neutral Floor Cleaner. It is also suitable for limestone tiled walls, such as shower enclosures and bathroom tiling.

Floorseal Ph Neutral Floor Cleaner is a gentle everyday floor cleaner. Safe to use on any sensitive surface. Its purpose is to clean & sanitise the floor without affecting the surface of the stone or any sealants which have been applied.

In conclusion

Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner is used to remove deeply ingrained dirt/marks and oil marks. This product can also be used to remove paints and old acrylic sealers + breaks the surface tension created by old impregnating sealers. It is a deep cleaner and non-acidic, so safe to use on limestone tiles.

Floorseal Ph Neutral Floor Cleaner is a gentle everyday floor cleaner. Safe to use on any acid-sensitive surface. This cleaner will sanitise your floor without affecting the stone or any sealants which have been applied. It is mild enough to be applied by hand to metalware such as taps, sinks and general ceramics.

Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone is a non-acidic rust remover suitable for use on most kinds of stone. Can be used on acid-sensitive surfaces like limestone, travertine, marble, and terrazzo.

Please Click Here to view all products for cleaning and sealing interior limestone tiles, including our handy ‘how to’ guides.

To view products for cleaning and sealing black limestone please Click Here.

The information contained within this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us our web address is