The Best Method for Cleaning Limestone

Cheryl Waters Likins

Office buildings, cultural venues and even private residences have limestone exteriors, floors and unique features. Limestone lasts for years if properly maintained. However, due to normal wear, the environment and stains, limestone begins to look dull and discolored.

Whether you maintain limestone flooring yourself or hire a professional to refinish the exterior of an office building, limestone has the potential to provide years of attractive durability. The right approaches to cleaning and maintenance yield the best results.

Contact a Professional

Contact a professional for assistance with large, exterior jobs or interior ones with significant damage. Routine cleaning of interior home flooring and fixtures poses few, if any, challenges. Limestone does require the right approach to keep it looking as good as the day you purchased it. In its natural state, limestone appears to have tiny holes or indentations. However, larger holes should be filled and refinished by a professional. Sometimes limestone floor tiles may be uneven, which allows more dirt to seep in between the tiles. A professional can grind down the surface to expose the undamaged part of the tiles and then reseat them. The stone professional may also use a special sealant to protect and preserve the limestone (see Reference 1).

Choose the Right Products

Use a non-acidic, neutral-pH cleaning product specifically designed for natural stone. While natural stone offers a durable alternative to other materials, limestone does require proper care, so that it retains its original beauty and luster. Do not use acidic natural substances such as lemon juice or vinegar. In addition, avoid using acid-containing cleaning products intended for bathroom tubs, tile and grout. These products are too harsh for your limestone. Rinse and thoroughly dry surfaces after cleaning.

Keep Limestone Looking Good

Regularly dust your limestone flooring or fixtures using a soft cloth or dust mop. Immediately clean up spills to prevent staining. Use a weak bleach and water solution to remove algae and moss from limestone surfaces outdoors in pool or patio areas. Rinse with clear water. If you have limestone flooring, consider using area rugs for high-traffic areas. To maintain your limestone over the long term, hire a professional to deep-clean flooring and fixtures once per year (see Reference 2).