Will bleach damage limestone tile?

Written by kaye wagner
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Will bleach damage limestone tile?
Limestone can have a luxurious or rustic appearance. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Limestone is a type of calcareous stone that is made of calcium carbonate. Limestone is common in home decor for worktops and floors. It can give your home a luxurious appearance. Caring for it properly will help make it last longer and look better. Never use any acidic cleaner on it, such as lemon juice or white vinegar, as these will etch and pit it. You can use bleach on limestone but should take some precautions.

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About bleach

Bleach is a strong chemical cleaner that will disinfect the limestone surface by removing bacteria, viruses, mould and mildew spores as well as other contaminates. Bleach is effective in cleaning food stains from the surface of limestone kitchen counters as well as scuff marks and dirt stains from limestone floors. For outdoor limestone, bleach is effective in killing and removing algae, mildew, mould and moss.

Safety

Bleach is a toxic cleaning solution that can poison you, your children or your pets if they swallow it. Prevent this by storing bleach in an area impossible for them to reach and by keeping children and pets away from the area while you are using the bleach solution. Never mix bleach with ammonia or use the bleach solution on limestone that has recently been cleaned with ammonia as the two can cause a toxic gas if they are mixed.

Using bleach on limestone

You must dilute bleach completely so that it doesn't damage your limestone surfaces. To use it, mix 118 ml (1/2 cup) of bleach with 3.8 litres (1 gallon) of water. Apply the solution to the limestone with a scrubbing brush, cloth or sponge. Scrub until the stains are gone and the limestone appears clean. Rinse the limestone completely with clear water, and dry it with a clean cloth.

Alternatives

You can use ammonia to clean limestone surfaces. Ammonia is toxic, but it is not as toxic as bleach. To use it, mix 118 ml (1/2 cup) of ammonia with 3.8 litres (1 gallon) of warm water. Scrub the ammonia solution into the limestone until it is completely clean. You can also use a household detergent or a detergent that was designed specifically for use on limestone surfaces.

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