Limestone is one of the most beautiful materials for your living space. Whether we’re talking counters, garden walls, or a cozy living room, limestone is great for aesthetics and gives your home a timeless, yet modern touch.
But this brings us to the question: how to clean limestone?
Caring for limestone is easy, but because it is such a delicate material, many people do it all wrong. Today, I’ll talk about how to clean limestone rock counters, walls, floors, and even fireplaces. You will learn how to get sparkling limestone without damaging it at all!
What Not to Do When Cleaning Limestone
Before I begin, let’s clarify all the things that you shouldn’t do when cleaning limestone.
As I mentioned, this is a very soft and delicate material and can be damaged very easily.
For starters, make sure you don’t use any kind of acid on your limestone, whether it is inside or outside the home. This means you shouldn’t use vinegar on limestone, no matter how dirty it may appear to be. Similarly, you should avoid home remedies like lemon juice on your counters.
In addition, when it comes to limestone floor cleaning, do not use bleach, even when greatly diluted. Bleach on limestone will dissolve the material, destroying floors and counters.
Any limestone cleaning products you use shouldn’t have things like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and kind of caustic solvents.
When cleaning limestone, avoid abrasive materials as well. This includes steel wool, rough dish towels, salt, and baking soda. This also applies to any kind of limestone stain remover too.
How to Clean Limestone: Everything You Need to Know
This section will show you how to clean limestone, and lift stains and dirt from different components.
Cleaning Interior Limestone:
Maybe you have limestone countertops. Or a limestone fireplace. Or even limestone floors.
The thing is, they get dirty real fast.
Instead of cleaning them every few months when the dirt is built up, gently clean your limestone components frequently.
When it comes to cleaning limestone countertops, do so at least once a day. At the very least, clean after preparing food on your counters. Use a little bit of dish detergent and lukewarm water to clean the counter. Instead of sponges, wipe them down with a microfiber dish towel.
Try to prevent acidic things from spilling on your limestone counter, as they can wear down the material. Dark things like soy sauce and food coloring can also stain your limestone counter.
A cleaner like Black Diamond Stoneworks 2 in 1 Cleaner & Sealer is also great to clean and prevent staining. Products like this spray on limestone cost a lot less and are easier to stock up on.
Fireplaces made from limestone make for the coziest nooks in a home. But regular fireplaces are hard enough to clean—so how to clean limestone fireplace?
The answer is simple. Every time you’re done using your fireplace, use a soft brush to sweep the dust, ash, and debris. This will be good enough to keep it clean. Once a week, wipe down the heart with a soft cloth and diluted dishwashing soap.
You can use some elbow grease as long as you aren’t using any abrasive materials. Then, wipe down with clean water until there is no soapy residue left behind. Let it dry completely.
Even in the summer, you should wipe down your fireplace every 6 weeks to prevent staining and excess dirt.
For limestone tiles, use a soft microfiber cloth or soft mop. Start by, sweeping away dust and debris. Then dilute some cleaner, like the Black Diamond Stoneworks Limestone and Travertine Floor Cleaner in a bucket with water.
Use your mop to clean the floor until satisfied. Then, rinse the floor with clean water and allow the floor to dry completely.
Cleaning Exterior Limestone
Cleaning limestone exterior walls and benches takes a little more work. This is because they are exposed to dirt and the elements. You will have to periodically use a strong outdoor limestone cleaner, such as the Stone & Tile Intensive Cleaner: Concentrated Deep Cleaner to bust stains and built-up debris.
But for weekly upkeep, the best exterior limestone cleaner is mild soap or dish detergent. As with counters, just wipe them down and rinse well.
Sometimes, cleaning limestone exterior areas will need something harsher. If your limestone walls have a lot of staining and stubborn dirt that other methods cannot handle, use a
poultice for limestone.
This is made by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide with flour to make a paste. Rub this paste onto the stained areas and allow it to dry, which can take a day or two. Once dry, scrape off the paste, which will lift the stain.
Keeping Limestone Clean and Polished
The best way to prevent limestone from getting dirty and wearing away is to brush or sweep away dirt often, and then wipe it down with a soft damp cloth.
After cleaning with solution, always seal the limestone, creating a protective layer between it and the environment. You can use a dedicated sealant, like this Miracle Sealants PLUS Porous Plus Sealer.
These will prevent your limestone counter and walls from getting stained and discolored. But if you’re in a pinch, a little mineral oil works just as well. Apply the oil to a soft cloth and then wipe the limestone in gentle circular motions.
Avoid polishes with wax as they can yellow the limestone and even trap dirt and debris against it.
Below you’ll find answers to questions I get asked the most about cleaning limestone.
01. Why Does Limestone Turn Black?
Limestone can decay and rot when exposed to polluted air and acids. This decay sometimes creates a black, gypsum crust on the exterior of the limestone.
02. Can I Use Vinegar to Clean Limestone?
No. Vinegar is acidic and will dissolve the limestone, making it crumble. Instead, use a mild soap to clean it.
03. Does Limestone Stain Very Easily?
Since limestone is delicate and porous, it can absorb dirt and liquids which stains the rock. This can be prevented by sealing the limestone and cleaning it often.
04. How Can I Remove Tough Stains from Limestone?
If you can’t remove stains with conventional limestone cleaners or dish detergent, apply a poultice to the stain made from hydrogen peroxide and flour. This will lift and remove the most stubborn stains.
Some people think keeping limestone counters is more trouble than what it’s worth. However, if you know how to how to clean limestone, you can enjoy the beautiful stone fixtures without dealing with any dirt or decay.
Preventing staining is easy, and the primary way to prevent your limestone from looking gnarly, so really, maintenance is key here!