While undoubtedly charming, a limestone fireplace can be a bit demanding in terms of maintenance, compared to other natural stones. Unlike granite, limestone is slightly softer and more porous, hence more likely to scratch, stain or develop discoloration.
Even though it’s more vulnerable to damage compared to granite, keep in mind limestone is still very strong and durable. Moreover, the craftsmanship of the fireplace limestone mantels is usually clear and will provide an astonishing focal point for any room. To preserve the beauty of your fireplace longer, you will have to perform regular maintenance. Following are 5 tips to remember when cleaning your marvelous limestone fireplace.
1. Wipe off dust before cleaning it
As a rule of thumb, it is best to remove the dust and debris with a microfiber cloth from the limestone surface before applying any cleaning solutions. If you don’t wipe off the dust in advance, then the fine particles may become embedded in the stone upon cleaning with fluids. Even though vacuuming seems convenient, it’s also contraindicated because the hard attachments could scratch the surface.
2. Thorough cleaning should be performed with care
If you’re planning to clean the fireplace more thoroughly, then you can prepare a mix of mild or neutral dishwasher soap and lukewarm water. For best results, you should use a sponge to wipe the limestone. After you removed the dirt and stains, rinse the surface with clean water and absorb as much moisture as possible with a microfiber cloth. Take note that a terrycloth towel is one of the best tools to use in order to effectively remove moisture from limestone.
3. Avoid placing flower vases on the fireplace mantle
To avoid ring-like marks and other water-related staining on the surface, it’s advisable to avoid placing flower vases containing water onto the surface. In addition, you should be careful when handling fireplace essentials such as wood or charcoal. In case you didn’t know, the debris from these items can easily get imbedded within the surface and hence, permanently stain your limestone.
4. Use poultices to remove fresh stains
In the event that you spilled something or notice a stain on the surface, then you can use inert poultice to absorb as much of the residue as possible. Unlike other cleaning solutions, poultice doesn’t react with limestone. To prepare the poultice, it’s best to wet it with a solution made from a small quantity of baking soda and distilled water; simply place it over the stain and leave it overnight.
5. Apply a sealer treatment periodically
To avoid soot and smoke from becoming ingrained within the limestone, it is highly recommended to apply a sealer treatment regularly. In case soot is a major problem for your fireplace, then use an impregnating sealer that can penetrate deeply into the surface and form a protective film that doesn’t allow anything to protrude.
When polishing your fireplace or your amazing limestone mantels you should carefully select the cleaning products and avoid items like steel wool, wax or spray polishes and specially-formulated solutions for bathrooms and kitchens. In addition, if your fireplace and mantle are made of unpolished or unfinished limestone, then refrain from wiping the surface with paper towels.