Garden Advice

How to Clean Indian Sandstone?

Indian sandstone is a pretty popular paving material and it’s not hard to see why. It fits perfectly in both gardens with a traditional and modern design. This is in part, due to the paving material’s rustic finish and earthy tones. However, as is the case with all-natural stones, Indian sandstone too is not immune to heavy foot traffic, winter frosts and stains. Therefore, it needs regular maintenance, in order to retain its refined looks.

If not maintained properly, Indian sandstone can become susceptible to discolouration and staining. But fear not, this natural stone is pretty easy to clean and maintain. In this post, we’ll look at how you can keep your Indian sandstone paving looking fresh and immaculate.

So, if you:

  • Are wondering how to clean your Indian sandstone paving;
  • Want to learn what causes Indian sandstone to stain;
  • Wondering how to prevent your Indian sandstone paving from getting dirty;

Then, this post is for you!

What are the most common causes for Indian sandstone stains? 

The most common causes for stains on Indian sandstone are the following:

  • Using the wrong cleaner – Sometimes, trying to clean your Indian sandstone paving and using a product that’s not meant for it can lead to more bad than good. The wrong detergent can discolour your sandstone paving or patio and even change its texture.
  • Lichen – Lichen is a stable symbiosis between fungi and algae. It grows under leaves, plants and trees and can be easily transported on to your patio. Once in touch with Indian sandstone, lichen can leave behind stubborn black stains.
  • Moss and algae – If the area around your Indian sandstone paving has poor drainage, then this can contribute to the spread of algae and moss, which leave pretty nasty stains behind.

Identify what’s causing your Indian sandstone to stain before cleaning it 

When it comes to cleaning solutions, there isn’t any universal one that removes all types of stains off Indian sandstone paving. So, before you start cleaning, it’s best to investigate and find out what’s causing your Indian sandstone to deteriorate and become discoloured. This way, you’ll be able to use the appropriate method for your particular case.

Here’s how to identify what’s causing your sandstone to lose its shine.

If the sandstone is just plain dirty, that’s probably caused by all of the foot traffic it’s getting on a daily basis. 

However, if you’re noticing green fuzz over the entire slab, the most common cause for that is algae. Furthermore, green borders forming around the slabs is the result of moss growing out of the dirt below them.

As for lichen, it’s pretty easy to spot, as well. Just look for patches on your slabs that keep increasing in size over time. If your Indian sandstone has these, chances are they’re caused by lichen.

How to clean Indian sandstone the right way

Check out below some of the most common ways of washing your paved area, made of Indian sandstone. 

Cleaning Indian sandstone with bleach

Bleach is great for removing dirt, algae and moss off Indian sandstone when used the right way. However, when used wrongly, it can actually damage your slabs by discolouring them even more, so be very careful when trying this method out. Mix an equal amount of bleach and tap water so that the bleach becomes diluted (this is extremely important). Once the mixture is ready, pour it over the affected sandstone slabs and let it sit for around 30 minutes. When the time’s up, wash the diluted bleach off your slabs using plenty of water.

It’s good to note that bleach is not effective when dealing with lichens and will not make them go away. Also, bear in mind that although bleach kills moss and algae, it doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be a new infestation. 

Cleaning lichen from Indian sandstone

There are a couple of ways of removing lichens off your Indian sandstone completely. The first involves using a wire brush. Just lightly brush the lichens off the sandstone using the wire brush. Although this method is effective, it does pose the risk of you accidentally marring the appearance of your Indian sandstone slabs.

The second and most effective method for removing lichen off Indian sandstone is by applying a fungicide over the paved surface. Simply buy a fungicide that is especially made for sandstone. Follow the instructions it comes with and your sandstone slabs will become lichen-free in no time.

Steam cleaning Indian sandstone

Steam cleaning is a great but a little slow method for removing algae and lichen off your Indian sandstone paving. In some cases, when chemicals cannot under any circumstances be used for treating the sandstone, a steam cleaner is the perfect alternative.

Superheating your steam cleaner is the way to go when dealing with Indian sandstone. By cleaning the sandstone slabs at a low pressure and temperatures between 100 and 150°C, you can achieve great results.

Pressure washing Indian sandstone

Pressure washers are great for cleaning pretty much any hard surface and that applies to Indian sandstone, as well. They are great for removing almost anything – dirt, grime, algae, moss and even lichens. However, when pressure washing Indian sandstone, be sure to choose a low-setting on your appliance, as these types of slabs can be relatively soft, meaning that a powerful stream can actually erode parts of your sandstone slabs along with all the dirt.

Wash your sandstone diagonally across the slabs instead of parallel to the joints. Repeat this pressure washing process until the Indian sandstone paving is entirely clean.

What to avoid when cleaning your Indian stone patio 

There are some things you must absolutely avoid doing if you want your Indian sandstone to have a “long and healthy life”. 

Firstly, never use fungicides that contain iron to treat lichens, as the iron will discolour some of the minerals inside the sandstone, giving it a rusty-brown colour.

Also, avoid using undiluted bleach to clean your sandstone slabs, as that will do more harm than good. Bleach can potentially strip your Indian sandstone’s colour.

How to maintain Indian sandstone and prevent dirt build-up 

The best way of keeping your Indian sandstone slabs looking on fleek is by applying a quality sandstone sealant onto them.

However, before you do that there are several things you should take care of:

  • Make sure the surface of the sandstone is immaculately clean and free of lichen, algae, moss and dirt.
  • Apply the appropriate fungicide to the sandstone’s surface to make sure that lichen and moss won’t come back.
  • Wait until the sandstone is completely dry before you apply your sealant. If you by any chance apply sealant to a damp surface, it will not stick. Aside from this, water can become trapped underneath the sealant and leave marks on the surface of your Indian sandstone slabs.

Have your Indian sandstone paving professionally pressure washed!

If you don’t have a pressure washer at home or just aren’t confident in your ability to use one, your best bet is to book a professional pressure washing service. The gardening specialists we work with are extremely efficient, very experienced and equipped with high-end pressure washers. So, contact Fantastic Services at your convenience to make your Indian sandstone patio look as good as new. And best of all, the job won’t take more than an hour or so!

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Takeaways

  • Always identify the cause for the stains on your Indian sandstone slabs before you start cleaning them.
  • Bleach is effective in cleaning Indian sandstone paving, but only when diluted with equal parts water.
  • Pressure washing is perhaps the most effective and eco-friendly Indian sandstone cleaning method, however it does require some skills and experience working with the equipment.

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Did you find our post helpful? How do you clean your Indian sandstone paving at home? Please, tell us about it in the comments below!

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