Limestone is a common choice for fireplaces due to its durability and heat tolerance. It is mostly used in electric or gas fireplaces. Cleaning a limestone fireplace is critical to ensure proper working and long life.
Let’s see how you can clean a limestone fireplace.
Step 1: Removing the Dust from a Limestone Fireplace
- Old towels
- Vacuum cleaner with handheld attachment
- Microfiber cloth
- Place old towels at the foot of your fireplace to protect the floor from catching dust, grime, and soap during cleanup.
- Remove everything from the fireplace mantel and ensure it is not hot before you start working.
- Vacuum the fireplace to remove as much dry dust, dirt, and grime as possible. Do not use a brush attachment while doing so.
- You can dust the place with a dry microfiber cloth if you don’t have the appropriate vacuum attachment or it is impossible to vacuum it. Start from the top and go towards the bottom.
Step 2: Washing the Fireplace
- Water bucket & mild detergent soap
- Or commercial cleaner
- Prepare a DIY cleaning solution by adding 3-4 tablespoons of mild soap to a bucket of warm water. Mix them to form a soapy liquid. Avoid detergents with ammonia, bleach, chlorine, acids, or other harsh chemicals, as they can corrode limestone.
- You can also use a store-bought limestone fireplace cleaner. Follow the instructions on the packaging if you are using a commercial cleaner.
- For a DIY solution, damp a clean microfiber cloth or a soft, non-abrasive sponge in the soapy liquid and wipe the entire fireplace from top to bottom.
- Cover the whole fireplace in the solution and let it sit for 4-5 minutes.
- Dip the cloth again in the solution and wipe the fireplace. You can also use a soft toothbrush to remove stubborn dirt and grime.
- Rinse with a cloth damped in clean water to remove all the cleaner from the fireplace.
- Wipe with a dry microfiber cloth or let the fireplace air dry. You can also use a fan to dry your fireplace but don’t use a hair dryer.
Step 3: Poultice to Clean Stubborn Stains
You may not need to do this step if you regularly clean your fireplace. However, some stains are stubborn and won’t go away without special treatment. You can use a commercial limestone poultice or make one using hydrogen peroxide and flour.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Plastic scraper
- Take some flour in a bowl and add hydrogen peroxide drop by drop until you achieve a toothpaste-like consistency. You can increase the quantity if there are more stains.
- Apply the poultice on the stains and let it dry completely. It may take up to 24-48 hours to dry.
- Ensure that children and pets don’t go near the fireplace when the poultice is drying.
- Use a plastic scrapper to remove the dried poultice. Do not use a steel scraper, steel wool, or abrasive tools, as they can damage the stone’s natural finish.
- Wipe the place with a damp microfiber cloth or vacuum to remove the remaining poultice.
- Follow the directions on the packaging if you are using a commercial poultice.
Step 4: Seal the Fireplace
Consider sealing your limestone fireplace with a limestone sealer after cleaning it. The sealant forms an additional protective layer over the surface and protects from stains and liquid spills. You may need to reseal the surface time-to-time to protect it.
Make sure that the limestone surface is completely clean and dry before sealing. Follow the instructions on the packaging and take all safety measures while cleaning. Never use sandpaper to seal limestone, as it can damage the smooth finish.
How frequently should I clean my Limestone Fireplace?
It depends on how often you use your fireplace. Most cleaning experts recommend cleaning a limestone fireplace every two weeks to two months if you use it 1-2 times a week. More frequent usage requires weekly cleaning. You must also clean and seal the fireplace before and after the winter season.
It is advisable to clean your fireplace every 1-2 months during summer or seal it properly to avoid dust buildup.
How to Clean Limestone Fireplace Hearth?
You can clean the limestone hearth with a commercial cleaner or use a warm water-dish soap mixture. Start by removing all the dust with a vacuum cleaner or dry cloth. Now wash the surface with a damp cloth dipped in the cleaning solution. Wipe after a few minutes and rinse with a damp towel. You may need to repeat the process depending on how tough the stains are.
Tips to Clean Limestone Fireplaces
- Never use harsh (strong) liquids or abrasive cleaners (steel wool or hard brushes) to clean limestone fireplaces.
- Sealing too often may change the color of your limestone.
- Contact a professional if stains and marks don’t disappear after using the poultice.