How To Clean A Limestone Fireplace

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If you have a limestone fireplace and you're looking for effective ways  to clean it, you've come to the right page. We've searched the internet for the best ways to keep a limestone fireplace clean, and here's what we found out.

To clean your limestone fireplace, you need to:

  1. Vacuum or wipe off the dirt on the limestone surface.
  2. Wash the limestone with soapy water.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  4. Air dry.

Keep on reading so we can share more tips with you on how to maintain your limestone fireplace. We'll also tell you which products you shouldn't use when cleaning limestone and how you can protect your fireplace from dirt and stains. Let's get to work!

A white fireplace mantel with a stainless heat insulated metal, How To Clean A Limestone Fireplace

Tips on Keeping a Limestone Fireplace Clean

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is rich in calcium. It usually has a gray color, although some limestones are color yellow, white, or brown.

Limestone has a distinct look that makes it a popular material for fireplaces, whether for the surrounds or hearths. It adds beauty and personality to the fireplace.

This rock is durable, so it doesn't break easily. But it also has a certain softness in its texture, making it easy for manufacturers or designers to put carvings on its surface to customize the look of the fireplace. Best of all, limestone has a heat-resistant property that makes them a great choice for fireplaces.

A gorgeous limestone fireplace mantel with burning firewood

However, limestone is porous by nature and prone to stains. Its pale color indicates that it requires some extra TLC to maintain its cleanliness and shine. Dirt and marks are easily noticeable on the surface, and if left untreated, they will make your lovely fireplace unappealing over time.

Don't worry because cleaning your limestone fireplace isn't too hard with the use of the right products and tools. Here's how you can clean it.

Materials:

  • vacuum
  • old clothes or towels
  • microfiber cloths or soft sponge
  • bucket of water
  • mild dishwashing soap or limestone cleaner
  • soft bristle brush or toothbrush

Steps:

  1. Put old clothes or towels around the surrounding area of your fireplace. This will protect it from getting wet and dirty.
  2. Remove the brush from your vacuum as this could scratch the limestone's surface. Proceed to vacuum the fireplace area to remove any dirt and debris that have accumulated there.
  3. If you don't have a vacuum, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the fireplace. Start from the top working your way down to remove all the dust and dirt on your fireplace surround and hearth.
  4. Prepare a soap solution by mixing 3-Tbsp of mild detergent with your bucket of warm water. Or you can use a limestone cleaner if you have one.
  5. Soak your clean microfiber cloth or soft sponge in soapy water. Wring out the cloth to remove excess water.
  6. Wipe the fireplace with soap again, starting from the top all the way down.
  7. Let the soap solution sit for about two minutes.
  8. Dip the microfiber cloth or sponge in soapy water again and gently scrub the limestone surface to remove the remaining dirt and debris. You can also use a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to remove dirt that has settled in the crevices as well as those stubborn marks on the surface.
  9. Get a bucket of clean water and soak a clean microfiber cloth into it. Squeeze out the excess water.
  10. Rinse off the soap on the entire limestone surface.
  11. Use an old towel to dry the surface then allow to air dry.

That's how you clean the surrounds and hearth of your limestone fireplace. It is recommended that you do this weekly if you're constantly using this heating appliance.

For the rest of the year that you're not using your fireplace, you still have to clean its surface at least once a month to make sure that the dirt and dust won't leave unsightly marks on the limestone surface.

What's the best thing to clean limestone with?

A modern limestone fireplace mantel with stainless cover

Because of its porous surface, you have to be careful with the products that you use on your limestone fireplace. Harsh substances can damage this rock and make your fireplace lose its beauty and appeal.

The best product that you can use for cleaning limestone surfaces is a mild cleaning solution that's made with natural and non-toxic ingredients. A mild cleanser will be able to remove the dirt from the limestone safely without ruining its finish.

Click this link to find this mild cleaner on Amazon.

When cleaning, just use a soft microfiber cloth to apply the soap mixture to the limestone surface. Don't use abrasive materials as they can scratch and damage the surface.

How do you remove stains from a limestone fireplace?

A limestone marble texture fireplace

As mentioned earlier, limestone is porous. It can easily absorb whatever substance you've spilled on its surface if you don't clean it right away.

Here's a remedy that you can try to bring back the original condition of your limestone fireplace. You can use a poultice to remove the stain. You can buy one from the market or make one at home.

Ingredients to make a homemade poultice:

  • 3/4-cup of flour
  • hydrogen peroxide

Procedure:

  1. Pour the flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Put small drops of hydrogen peroxide at a time.
  3. Mix the two ingredients together until you come up with a paste-like consistency.

Steps for removing the stain:

  1. Dip a sponge or clean cloth on the poultice.
  2. Apply the paste on the stained portions of the limestone.
  3. Give it time to dry completely. This may take 24 to 48 hours. Make sure that no one touches the surface. You can put a barrier around the fireplace in the meantime.
  4. After the poultice has set, you can now remove the paste. Use a scraper with a soft edge so that you won't scratch the surface.
  5. If there are stains left on the surface, you'll have to repeat this entire procedure until the poultice is able to pull out all the residue from the limestone.

Find this plastic scraper on Amazon.

That's how you get rid of stubborn stains on your limestone to make it presentable once again.

Can you use vinegar to clean limestone?

Aside from cooking, vinegar is also used for cleaning and disinfecting different surfaces. However, you shouldn't use vinegar or any citrus-based cleaners on your limestone. Since they are acidic by nature, they will damage the limestone surface.

Limestone is primarily made of calcium carbonate. When this compound is mixed with acids, it is broken down into salt, carbon dioxide, and water. Vinegar can also break down the components of the sealer that you used on your limestone fireplace leaving it without any protection from dirt and grime.

When dealing with natural stones such as limestone, you have to use cleaning products with neutral pH levels to prevent negative reactions to the surface.

Can you sand limestone?

A luxurious fireplace with a mid century design and flowers on the table

Sandpaper is used to remove dirt and marks on some surfaces. But it is an abrasive product that can damage limestone. You will only make the problem worse when you use it to remove stains on its surface.

You should use a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush instead when you want to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime on your limestone. They won't scratch the surface but will help you effectively clean the dirt that has seemed to settle on this sedimentary rock.

Can you use bleach on limestone?

Bleach is made of harsh chemicals that can do more harm than good on your limestone fireplace. It can leave burn marks and etches on the surface. It can also break down your limestone's sealer.

If you really want to use bleach for disinfecting your fireplace and get rid of any mold and mildew, you must dilute it completely with water.

  1. Mix one cup of bleach to a gallon of water and apply this bleach solution to the affected surface.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth or sponge to scrub the dirt away, and then rinse with clean water thoroughly.
  3. Dry the surface with a towel.

Do you seal a limestone hearth?

Limestone will greatly benefit from sealing since it is a porous material that absorbs liquids easily.

You need to use a sealant that can penetrate deep into the gaps and holes of the limestone hearth. Experts recommend using a silicone sealant for this job. It will ensure that no dirt and grime can settle in the crevices which will make your limestone hearth unattractive.

Click this link to find this silicone sealant on Amazon.

Make sure you clean the surface properly before applying the sealant. Give it sufficient time to dry, and make sure no one touches the limestone hearth until it's completely dry.

Take note also that sealants deteriorate over time and would need to be re-applied regularly to make sure that your limestone hearth is protected from spills and stains.

Final Thoughts

A white fireplace mantel with a stainless heat insulated metal

Clean your limestone fireplace with the use of a microfiber towel soaked in soapy water to safely remove dirt and grime on its surface. Do this regularly to maintain your fireplace's beauty and charm.

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