How To Clean Natural Stone

Sunday 10th September 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Natural stone floor tiles

CONTENTS

Both interior and exterior natural stone faces daily wear and tear and staining, both of which can detract from its appearance and even lead to damage. Regular cleaning by professionals is essential to maintain its finish and prolong its lifespan.

At ICE Cleaning, we offer our eco-friendly brick and stone cleaning services across the UK. Our technicians have access to non-toxic, non-abrasive cleaning solutions and industry-leading cleaning equipment which can ensure a thorough clean without damaging your natural stone.

Continue reading to find out the best way to clean your natural stone.

Interior natural stone

How to clean natural stone surfaces and floors

Cleaning natural stone is a delicate, complex process that requires specialist products and tools. Otherwise, you could damage the expensive material.

Natural stone like marble, travertine, limestone, and onyx can’t be cleaned with abrasive household products like white vinegar, bleach, and other cleansers. Anything that contains acid, bleach, or ammonia can damage and etch the stones.

An incorrect cleaning method can leave behind visible marks and streaks, as well, such as using too much soap. Even certain kinds of cleaning tools like mops or vacuum cleaners can damage the stone, such as scratching it.

It is recommended you leave the deep cleaning of your natural stone to professional cleaners. They will be able to identify the best way to clean your specific type of stone, as well as have the equipment required to cut through grime, dirt, and grease on your surfaces gently.

How to remove stains from stone

Just as some cleaning products can damage your natural stone, a lot of everyday spills can harm it, too.

You must mop up spills as soon as possible to prevent potential damage. Acidic liquids like vinegar and lemon juice, for example, can etch natural stone, whereas red wine and coffee can seep into the pores of the stone and discolour it. Even water if left for too long can cause unsightly marks. 

Removing stains from natural stone can be a complicated, challenging process requiring specialist cleaning products for different stains.

Oil-based stains for instance can be removed with ammonia or methyl chloride, but organic stains require hydrogen peroxide. These cleaning products can be dangerous to use and may put your health at risk. Ammonia, for instance, which when inhaled can cause lung damage.

Professional cleaners will have access to a range of specialist cleaning chemicals as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure safe and effective stain removal.

How to maintain natural stone

Natural stone tiles can have a lifespan of over 100 years if properly cleaned and cared for. Although it is recommended you leave natural stone cleaning to the specialists, there are lots of ways you can keep your surfaces in good condition.

  • Dust mop floors frequently to get rid of any grit, sand, and dust which can scratch the surfaces and floor
  • Place non-slip mats near entrances and have people take their shoes off to reduce the amount of sand and dirt people tread in
  • Seal your natural stone floor every few years to protect it against stains and damage

You can find out more about when you should have your natural stone floor cleaned and how to keep it looking pristine in this blog.

Exterior natural stone

How to clean natural stone patio

Overtime dirt, mould, mildew, and algae can build up on patios. This can make outdoor areas unsightly, put people at risk of slipping on organic growth, and even cause damage like cracks and structural issues.

Natural stone patios are particularly vulnerable to dirt as they have small indentations where organic growth and grime can accumulate.

There are lots of patio cleaning methods recommended online, the most popular being pressure washing. However, too high a pressure can roughen and damage patio slabs, particularly softer natural stones. The pressure can also cause the polymeric sand in the joints to come out.

You should also avoid acidic or harsh cleaning products which, just like on interior surfaces, can damage and etch the stone.

Professional cleaners will have the products and specialist equipment designed specifically to clean your type of natural stone gently but effectively.

ICE Cleaning’s technicians, for example, will probably use the TORIK Stone Cleaning System for your patio. This cleaning tool uses a super-heated flow of high-pressure water and steam to blast off grime, algae, paint, and guano.

It’s a non-abrasive tool that enables our cleaners to clean your natural stone precisely and carefully. As they can control the temperature and pressure of the water, they can clean your patio in the most optimal way.

How to clean exterior stone walls

Walls require similar cleaning methods to patios: avoid using pressure washers and abrasive cleaning products, and bring in professionals for a thorough gentle clean.

They will know how to clean natural stone outside carefully, saving you potential harm to your property.

Book your stone cleaning today

Our technicians have years of experience cleaning a range of delicate surfaces including marble, granite, porcelain, and travertine. They are available 24/7, 365 days a year, and can be on site in a matter of hours if it’s an emergency.

Get in touch with our friendly team by calling 0208 066 0360 or sending an email to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to find out more about our stone cleaning services and stone floor cleaning services. 

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