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Orange stone floor cleaning


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When we moved into our house three years ago the stone floors in the sitting room, the hallway and the entrance area were mostly black, (truly) and/or nasty deep orangey-yellow. The old lady before us had smoked non-stop and the whole place stank of nicotine. The walls were the same colour, but are now white due to scrubbing and good old British white emulsion. However the floor remains a problem. Within a week of moving in, and whilst the house was still empty of furniture we used neat liquid swimming pool bleach. The black disappeared but the orange remained and we nearly put ourselves in hospital with the fumes even with all doors and windows open. We were advised not to use a pressure washer as it would perhaps 'pit' the stone and would certainly remove some of the pointing between the stones. With many other important jobs to do, that was that.

However the nasty depressing floor is really getting me down now especially in the Winter. It is constructed of what looks like large crazy paving with cement in between the stones. Help please on two counts:

1) how do we get back to what should be white and creamy local Lotoise stone? There is no light reflection at all and it is seriously horrible. We do not wish to repeat the strong bleach activity as it is bad for us and doesn't do the inbuilt woodwork any good. If I could I would lift the lot but there is too much, we can't afford the removal and replacement and I have had it with the dust and grit that would be involved. I have tried small bottles of 'stuff' from the local brico, I have tried scrubbing patches test patches of floor on hands and knees with a more dilute mixture of bleach, soap and disinfectant (as an extra measure), but there is no difference when it eventually dries. We have the same stone outside on the terrace, but that is white due to the effect of rainwater and thus being washed rather more often than the previous occupier was able or prepared to do inside.

2) the cement inbetween the stone has disappeared in places or is below the top level of the stones. The result is a very uneven rug-killing surface and adds to the cleaning problem. What should we use to 'repoint' the floor?

Help please.


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From the sound of things a pressure washer would not make things any worse. I would not expect a domestic one to damage stone that stands up to being walked on and you already need to fix the pointing.

The other possibility that comes to mind without seeing the floor is that the orange slabs may have been polished or treated in some way in the past. It seems odd that you had two distinct colours of staining and only one of them washed off with bleach. If you have a small area you could experiment on you could try various solvents like white spirit or meths.

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