Cleaning Guides

How to Clean Your Limestone Fireplace

Other than keeping your home warm in the winter, a fireplace can also be a decorative focal point in your living room. And if you are a proud owner of a beautiful limestone fireplace, you need to know how to take care of it properly.

Table of Contents:

If you need to quickly learn how to clean, for example, your Portuguese limestone fireplace, you can find the information right below.

So, if you:

  • Want an in-depth guide on how to clean a limestone fireplace;
  • Are wondering which products you shoud avoid;
  • Are looking for extra steps you can take to protect your fireplace,

Then keep on reading, because this post will answer all your questions!

How to clean a limestone fireplace

Use a mild soap and a soft, microfiber cloth because limestone has a highly porous structure and is prone to etching. Start with removing all of the debris and loose dirt, either with a microfibre cloth or with a vacuum cleaner. Then mix a solution of equal parts lukewarm water and dishwashing soap. Wipe the fireplace with a soft cloth dipped in that mixture.

For stubborn stains, mix hydrogen peroxide and flour. Create a thick paste and apply it to the stains, leave it for around 15 minutes. Finally, take a soft-edged scraper and carefully remove the paste from the limestone fireplace.

No matter if you are using a DIY solution or a store-bought detergent, always make a test on a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid damage.

Now, if you really want to go into detail, here is how to dust, wash, and remove stains from your fireplace:

How to dust a limestone fireplace

  1. Protect the base
    You can start by placing an old cloth or a sheet at the base of your fireplace to catch any fallen dirt. After the cleaning is done, it will be a lot easier to just remove the sheet than to clean the floor and the fireplace’s surroundings.
  2. Vacuum
    By using a non-spinning brush vacuum attachment, get rid of all the debris and loose dirt. Be careful not to scratch the surface while cleaning.
  3. Wipe (if you can’t vacuum)
    If you don’t own such an attachment, or it’s not possible to vacuum without scratching the fireplace, don’t worry. You can dust it with a dry, soft cloth, starting from the top and working your way down to the base. Repeat the process if needed.
Dusting the fireplace before you start cleaning is extremely important. Debris and dirt can easily scratch the surface, so you always need to be extra careful.

How to wash a limestone fireplace

For this, you can either use a store-bought limestone cleaner or make your own cleaning solution. In case you prefer the latter, take a medium-sized bucket, fill it with lukewarm water and add around three tablespoons of mild liquid soap or dishwashing detergent. Make sure to stir the liquid well.

  1. Dampen the cloth and wash
    Take a microfibre cloth or a soft towel and soak it in a cleaning solution of your choice. Squeeze the excess water and start wiping the fireplace, starting from the mantel all the way to the fireplace hearth. Dip the cloth every couple of wipes to make sure that you’ve applied enough detergent. Leave it like this for a couple of minutes without rinsing.
  2. Wipe clean
    Take another clean, dry cloth, and wipe the surface by applying a bit more pressure so that all of the loose dirt is removed. If you encounter any stubborn spots and stains, use a toothbrush or a soft bristle one to clean it up.
  3. Repeat
    Repeat the whole process again to get rid of all the dirt.
  4. Change the water
    Lastly, you will have to rinse the fireplace with cold water. Get rid of the soapy solution, clean the bucket, and fill it up with clean water.
  5. Rinse
    Take your time in removing all the leftover cleaning solution from the surface. Clean the cloth you are using every couple of wipes so that you don’t apply detergent back onto the fireplace by accident.
  6. Let it dry
    When you are done, just leave the limestone fireplace to dry out on its own, so you don’t scratch it.

What products you should avoid

Limestone is a delicate material that could easily be damaged not only by accidental scratches. If you use the wrong product or cleaning solution, you can also harm your fireplace to the point where nothing can fix it.

So if you want to keep your fireplace in a good condition, remember that limestone is a porous, calcium-based material. This means that it will absorb all liquids quickly and that it does not react well with acidic substances. So whenever you are cleaning limestone surfaces, you cannot use anything that contains the following:

  • Vinegar of any kind;
  • Citrusy liquids, for example, lemon juice;
  • Ammonia sprays;
  • Acid-based cleaners;
  • Bleach;
  • Detergents that are not pH neutral.

Protect your fireplace by sealing it

If you want to take the extra step in keeping your fireplace dirt free, consider sealing it off with a special limestone sealer. Keep in mind that this method only works to a certain level and it requires re-application from time to time. This process will add an extra layer that will prevent liquids from being absorbed by the surface and it will keep the dirt away, as well.

Check with your manufacturer for the best sealer for your fireplace and don’t use any materials that you are not sure about. If you don’t have the time, you can hire a professional handyman to seal the surface for you. To learn more about our handyman and odd jobs service, visit this page.

Too busy for all of this? Let us do it for you!

We at Fantastic Services offer regular and one-off cleaning solutions that can fit any lifestyle.

The cleaners use specialised detergents for all the different surfaces across your house and you also have the option to supply them with your preferred products. The professionals will clean your home by following your priorities, so if you don’t have the time to clean your fireplace, they will do get it sparkling clean for you.

And we mean it.

Check what a fabulous job Fantastic Services recently did. Your fireplace can look just like as this one!

So scratch off the annoying chores from your To-Do list and leave the cleaning to Fantastic Services.

Need a Cleaner?

Find more about our regular and one-off cleaning solutions!

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  • Remember that dusting your fireplace is the first thing you need to do, so you don’t accidentally scratch its surface afterwards.
  • Choose your cleaning detergent wisely, as there are many solutions that might cause harm, such as bleach, vinegar and lemon juice.
  • If you want to save time in the future and avoid the deep cleaning sessions, seal the fireplace with a product recommended by your manufacturer.


What is your experience with cleaning limestone? Leave a comment in the section below and if you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with your family and friends!

Image source: depositphotos / zhugin

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