How to Remove Oil Stain From Slate Patio

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Save money by removing stains from slate patios yourself.
Save money by removing stains from slate patios yourself. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Homeowners install slate patio to enhance the visual appeal of the home. Slate offers a long-lasting and durable patio surface. Unfortunately, slate is not impervious to stains. Accidental spills from salad dressings, greasy foods or motor oil leaves noticeable, unsightly stains on the patio. Addressing the spill promptly makes stain removal easier than leaving the oil on the slate and allowing it to soak into the stone.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Sand, cat litter or cornstarch
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Grease-fighting liquid dish detergent or emulsifying detergent
  • Bucket
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Fuller's earth
  • Plastic spatula or putty knife
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Bricks or rocks

Lay paper towels over the oil spill to remove as much of the liquid as possible.

Sprinkle a generous amount of absorbent material such as sand, cat litter or cornstarch over the oil. Let the oil absorber sit on the stain for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sweep up the sand, cat litter or cornstarch with a small broom. Collect the debris in a dustpan and discard it in the garbage.

Squirt a grease-fighting liquid dish detergent or automotive emulsifying detergent on the oil stain.

Fill a bucket with warm water. Dip a nylon scrub brush into the warm water and scrub the detergent over the oil stain.

Rinse the area with warm water. If the oil stain remains, mix fuller's earth with water to create a thick paste. Spread the paste over the oil stain, using the spatula or plastic putty knife. Cover the paste with a piece of plastic sheeting. Secure the edges of the plastic with bricks, rocks or other weight to hold the plastic in place over the paste. Let the paste remain on the slate for 10 to 12 hours.

Scrape the paste off the slate patio with a spatula or putty knife. Rinse the area thoroughly with water from the garden hose.

Squirt emulsifying detergent on the area if any oil stains remain. Scrub the area with the nylon scrub brush and warm water. Rinse the detergent off the slate with the hose. Repeat the process until the oil stain disappears.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean oil spills immediately to prevent stains from setting.
  • To prevent scratching the slate, avoid using metal tools when removing an oil stain.

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References

  • "Ultimate Guide to Ceramic and Stone Tile"; Creative Homeowner Editors; 2006 (pp. 22, 187)
  • "2,001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets"; Jeff Bredenberg; 2004 (p. 318)
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