How to Clean Fireplace Stone – Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Christmas is just around the corner, and we all know what that means. It is time to take a cup of hot cocoa and cosy up in front of the fireplace. It sounds picturesque, doesn’t it? Well, not if the fireplace looks dirty – especially around the stones. To feel most comfortable when standing near the fireplace, here are some tips to clean a stone fireplace.

Vacuum First

This is perhaps the most important stone fireplace cleaning solution: vacuuming. When you vacuum, you remove the majority of the soot. Depending on the extent of the dirt, vacuuming is the only thing your chimney will need. Just make sure that when you vacuum, the nozzle doesn’t touch the stone.

Use a Dry Sponge

It might feel like a reflex to use a wet sponge to clean the chimney, but you should go for a dry one instead. If the sponge is wet, it will only spread the soot all over the stone. Only use wet sponges for heavy stains, especially if you have a light-coloured chimney.

Try Some Talcum Powder

One more tip for cleaning sandstone fireplace is to apply a layer of talcum powder. This works surprisingly well for fireplaces that have a stain on them. Leave the talcum powder for 5 minutes, and then use a vacuum cleaner or a sponge to clean it.

Use Breadcrumbs

As unusual as it may seem, breadcrumbs can represent a very good way to clean your fireplace. Similar to talcum powder, bread has a high absorbency rate which can help you deal with soot. Simply take the breadcrumbs and form a ball, dabbing it onto the dirty spots.

Scrub Stains with Dish Soap

If the stains are too stubborn to take out with dry solutions, you may want to consider using dish soap. It is gentle yet effective, and it can penetrate deep into the stone. Add some dish soap to a bowl of water and dab the mixture over the stain. You may want to test it out in an out-of-the-way spot first, to make sure it doesn’t leave any discoloration or streaks.

Use a Salt Mix

If the stain is incredibly stubborn, you may want to take your water and detergent mix, to which you add 3 tablespoons of salt. Use a sponge or a scrubber to rub out the stain. If the area is hard to reach, you may use a toothbrush to scrub the stains out. 


How Do You Get Stains Out of Hearth Stone?

The safest way to get stains out of hearth stone is to make a mix out of 3 parts warm water and 1 part dishwashing detergent. Pat the stain with the solution and use a soft sponge to rub in circular motions. You can add just a bit of hydrochloric acid solution to the mix if the stain is very stubborn.

Will Baking Soda Damage Stone?

Baking soda has a pH level between 8.4 and 9.5, depending on the amount of potassium. Natural stone stands at a neutral 7 pH level. Baking soda can have a caustic effect on the fireplace stone wall, leading to discoloration. This is why you should not use it on stone. The only exception is when you have a very stubborn stain.

Is Vinegar Safe for Natural Stone?

Natural stone (i.e., limestone, travertine, marble) will react to the acidity of the vinegar. It can cause dullness and etching in the stone, which is why it is not recommended to use it on fireplace stone, especially on marble. There are certain exceptions when the “cleaning fireplace stone vinegar” plan may work for heavy stains, but you need to dilute it and test it on a hidden spot first.

Can I Clean Stone with Hydrogen Peroxide?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can work well as a stone fireplace cleaner, but you need to dilute it. This is generally a good choice if you are dealing with lighter stones. On the darker ones, it may lead to discoloration.

Can You Steam Clean Stone Fireplace?

This is rather tricky. In some cases, steam cleaning can be the most effective way to clean the fireplace, especially when you do not want to use harsh chemicals. The problem is that steam cleaning can also lead to spalling or sealer damage, which is why you should be very careful. 

The Bottom Line

It may be rather challenging to clean a stone fireplace, especially when you allow the soot to gather. Remember that with the right fireplace cleaner, anything can be done. Try the dry solutions first, and then move to the liquid ones if it does not pan out. This will ensure you don’t have any unnecessary streaks on your fireplace, ruining the aesthetics of the entire structure.