Limestone is one of the most beautiful materials you’ll find, outdoors or indoors. (I grew up in “Lime City,” once home to the largest limestone mining operation in the United States, so I can attest to the beauty of high-quality limestone). It has an elegant and striking appearance that many business owners find perfect for flooring or walls. Limestone floors are a timeless classic found in the Egyptian pyramids.

Limestone has many benefits for construction projects. It’s beautiful and durable. However, one thing limestone is not impervious to is stains.

Stains from wine, food, dirt, and other liquids and materials penetrate limestone and turn it unsightly in no time. Because it is porous, limestone absorbs liquids and moisture easier and faster than other building materials. Limestone also has a calcium base that reacts poorly with acidic substances.

How to Get Stains Out of Limestone

Because limestone is so sensitive to certain cleaners and acids, be careful what you clean it with. Removing stains from limestone floors in a client’s building will require an organic, non-acidic cleaner that is pH neutral. 

The first step to cleaning a limestone stain is to remove any debris on or around it. Loose dirt, rocks, grass, and other debris must go. Brooms and dry mops are the best tools for this initial prep work. Vacuum cleaners work, but not if they have spinning brushes. A brush can damage the sensitive limestone surface.

Mop the limestone with a cleaner of your choice. Wipe the stone with a soft rag to spot clean affected areas. Apply the cleaner thoroughly and liberally to every part of the stain. Let the cleaner sit for five to 10 minutes before scrubbing. This lag time lets the cleaner penetrate and lift the stain. 

After you remove stains from a limestone floor, rinse the floor with warm water. This rinse removes any stickiness left by the cleaner. Finally, dry the floors completely.

Do you also have concrete flooring that could use a touch-up? If so, you may find our guide on how to clean rust stains from concrete flooring useful.

How to Get Stains Out of Limestone Quickly and Easily

When cleaning commercial limestone floors, you don’t want to use any DIY method to remove stains. You need a professional cleaner who understands how to get stains out of limestone floors without harming them.

Professional cleaners clean limestone without damaging floors, thanks to the floor’s non-acidic, alkaline composition. The high pH of their cleaners lets them lift stains without eroding the limestone.

Look for a cleaner that can handle oil-based and grease stains. These are some of the most difficult stains to remove from porous stone. An oxygen-activated cleaner is ideal since it will bubble away the grime. Whether you’ll be working on interior or exterior limestone floors, you can return them to their original appearance before they get stained. 

When you clean stains on a limestone floor in a commercial building, do so with the highest possible quality. The best cleaners will not leave behind a sticky residue that could attract future dirt. They also won’t etch or erode the limestone over time with repeated use.

If you plan to use a pressure washer for the job, check out our guide on choosing the correct size of the machine.

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Protecting Limestone After Deep Cleaning

Once you remove stains from limestone floors, take steps to protect the restored surface. One of the best ways to do this is by having the floors professionally sealed. A penetrating sealer will get deep into limestone pores and prevent future stains from setting in.

Recommend your clients buy walk-off mats for high-traffic entryways. Mats trap dirt and debris before it ever reaches a limestone floor. Remind clients that pH-neutral cleaners are essential for ongoing maintenance and that harsh chemicals degrade the sealer. With proper sealing and gentle cleaning methods, you can help your clients preserve the beauty of their natural limestone floors.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

We recommend reapplying sealer every two to three years.

So, Is Limestone Floor Restoration Worth It?

Limestone floors remain pristine for decades with proper maintenance and prompt professional attention. Paying a bit more up-front for top-quality gentle cleaning and sealing sets up a floor surface that will be easier to keep clean over the long run.

Taking good care of your limestone flooring is much cheaper than replacing it with an entirely new floor. That said, perhaps you’re dealing with a half-a-century-old floor, in which case, it may be time to consider the cost of installing a new floor that’s both affordable and easy to clean.

Restoring stained limestone floors requires specialized techniques and chemicals, but the payoff is worth the effort. There’s no substitute for real stone for high-end interior and exterior design. 

FAQs About Limestone Floors

What are the best daily cleaning methods for limestone?

For routine light cleaning, sweeping or dust mopping is often enough. Occasionally mopping with warm water and a mild pH-neutral cleaner is also safe. Avoid vinegar, ammonia, bleach, and other acids.

How can I tell if my limestone floors need to be resealed?

If floors look dull, start to etch, have discolored grout lines, or have liquid not beading up on the surface, it’s probably time for a fresh sealant application. Resealing every two to three years is recommended for high-traffic floors.

Can I DIY seal my limestone floors?

It’s best to hire a professional flooring company for sealing, as the product needs to be applied perfectly evenly in a thin film for proper performance and longevity. Professionals also have access to the best penetrating sealers.

What are early signs of staining I should watch for?

Look for dark spots or rings forming on the floor, indicating staining. Prompt, professional cleaning as soon as stains appear gives you the best chance for removal and preventing permanent damage.

Editorial Contributors
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Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas

Expert Writer & Reviewer

Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas is a globetrotting content writer hailing from the USA. With a passion for pest control, he brings a unique perspective to his writing from his early years working for one of the largest pest control companies in America. Throughout his early 20s, Jordan gained valuable experience and knowledge in the field, tackling pest infestations head-on and ensuring the well-being of countless homes.

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Sabrina Lopez


Sabrina Lopez is a senior editor for Today’s Homeowner with over 7 years of writing and editing experience in digital media. She has reviewed content across categories that matter to homeowners, including HVAC services, home renovations, lawn and garden care, products for the home, and insurance services. When she’s not reviewing articles to make sure they are helpful, accessible, and engaging for homeowners like herself, Sabrina enjoys spending time with her family and their two parrots.

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