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How to Whiten Limestone Fireplaces

Updated November 21, 2016

Limestone is a soft stone with lots of pores that pick up dirt and absorb stains. If you have a limestone fireplace, it will pick up the soot and look dirty quicker than other materials. Cleaning a limestone fireplace is not difficult if you use a non-acidic cleaner to properly clean and remove the stains. Cleaning the limestone is the best way to whiten and return it to its natural beauty.

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  1. Vacuum the surface of your limestone fireplace to remove as much surface dirt as possible. Gritty dirt can damage the limestone, so remove as much as possible before beginning your cleaning.

  2. Apply a stone cleaner that is pH neutral to your limestone. Use a sponge or rag to scrub the surface of the fireplace. Stone cleaners can be found at home improvement stores. Look for ones specially formulated for cleaning limestone.

  3. Use a clean rag to rub the limestone. This will help remove the cleaner.

  4. Apply a stone and grout cleaner to any hard stains on the limestone. Use a toothbrush to rub the cleaner into the fireplace, using a circular motion. Some commercial stone and grout cleaners will recommend leaving the product on the stain for several hours. Follow package directions for specifics for the brand you purchased.

  5. Use distilled water to rinse the cleaner, then dry with a clean rag.

  6. Apply a polishing powder to the fireplace, using a powder specifically formulated for limestone. Buff the surface of the limestone with a piece of burlap to finish your cleaning.

  7. Tip

    Avoid using household soaps such as dish soaps to clean limestone. These leave behind cloudy residues. Use a steamer for deeper cleaning. Utilise the towel attachment that comes with your steamer to clean the fireplace. The heat and moisture from the steamer and the absorbency of the towel will help to wipe away dirt and soot from your fireplace. Always dry your fireplace after steaming, or any other water contact, using a towel.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • pH neutral stone cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Rag
  • Stone and grout cleaner
  • Toothbrush
  • Distilled water
  • Polishing powder
  • Burlap

About the Author

Erin Ringwald
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