Suitable for modern or traditionally styled homes, stone fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any room in the house. They can act as an aesthetically pleasing centrepiece or as a calming and relaxing backdrop. The traditional design (that works with modern and traditional interiors), and durable qualities, makes them a worthwhile investment. Like most items found inside your home, they require a little bit of maintenance to keep them in the best condition possible. We’ll take you through how to clean a stone fireplace.
Equipment & Solutions
To begin with, you’ll want to have all the correct equipment. A common chemical used in the cleaning process is trisodium phosphate (TSP) as it has the ability to remove tough stains. You’ll need around half a cup to a cup of this, mixed with about four litres of warm water. You can get it online from places such as Amazon. Please remember that this solution is toxic to digest so you should have all the appropriate protection (goggles and rubber gloves) and you should keep it away from children. If you feel uncomfortable about using TSP, try using a strong household ammonia.
Before using a strong ammonia or TSP, you’ll want to use a mild detergent. This presents less risk to the stone and is safer to use around the house. Throughout the cleaning process, you’ll also need a vacuum (or dustpan and brush), towels, a scrubbing brush, sponge and a cloth or wipe.
Cleaning a Stone Fireplace
The process of cleaning a stone fireplace is fairly simple. Start by preparing the area around the fireplace. Floor space around your hearth should be covered with towels. This will stop liquid (and dirt from non-electric fires) from falling onto the floor. If you have a wood or coal fire, you may want to cover the hearth with towels too. Brush any dirt and soot from the fireplace or use a vacuum to make this process easier. Once you have done this, you can start cleaning the fireplace.
Ensure you are wearing your protective equipment mix the mild detergent with warm water. Apply it to the fireplace and hearth using the sponge. If there are difficult areas to get into, a toothbrush can be used to apply the solution. You can be fairly firm when using the sponge but try not to scrub too hard as you can risk damaging some fireplaces. Allow this to activate fireplace for around ten to fifteen minutes before doing anything else.
Using clean, warm water and a soft sponge, rinse down the fireplace and hearth. Do this a couple of times over until all the detergent and dirt has been removed. During this process, you may notice some stains that haven’t been removed by the detergent. Complete the rinsing process before tackling these difficult stains. Any liquid or moisture rinsed off of the fireplace should be absorbed by the towels.
Once again, ensure you are wearing your protective equipment before mixing the TSP, or ammonia, with warm water. Apply it to the fireplace and hearth with the sponge. You can also use a scrubbing brush for tough stains but try to scrub as lightly as possible. You could risk damaging the stone if you go too hard. Repeat the same process as before, leaving it for ten to fifteen minutes, before completing the rinsing process. Due to the nature of strong TSP and strong ammonia, some people like a flow of fresh air through the house and open windows before this cleaning stage begins.
Cleaning Sandstone Fireplaces
Sandstone fireplaces are a beautiful addition to a home. Due to the unique colour of sandstone fireplaces, chemical cleaners can cause discolouration and shouldn’t be used for cleaning. While you’ll still need to brush them down before cleaning, you should only apply warm water to the fireplace surface. Polishing is also not recommended.
Remember to take care when cleaning any fireplace and always give them an extra rinse to remove any excess cleaning solutions. If you need help with your stone fireplace, or with the cleaning process, feel free to call us on 0116 442 2703.