Category: Fireplaces | Published: 10 May, 2017

Ask A Fireplace Expert: How to Clean a Stone Fireplace

Here at ELB, we’ve been in the fireplace trade for over 30 years, and in those three decades we’ve been asked a real plethora of questions ranging from the short and sweet to the downright bizarre.

In this series, we’re going to put together a list of the most common questions that we’ve been asked over the years, so that you can pick the brains of a fireplace expert.

First up, we’re going to talk about cleaning stone fireplaces. Now stone may seem like one of the toughest materials in the world, and by all intents and purposes it is, but it does actually have a porous surface that can be weakened over time if the wrong cleaning products are used.

How to clean stone fireplace mantel

Before you begin cleaning your stone fireplace mantel, it’s a good idea to lay tarp or plastic on the floor, in front of the hearth, to protect your floor against any cleaning solution that may be spilled.

What you’ll need for your stone fireplace cleaner:

  • Gallon bucket
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Mixing bowl
  • Water

The key to mixing a good stone fireplace cleaner is to keep it simple – forget about anything too strong. You want to gently wipe away any soot or dirt from your fireplace, not strip it of any character! To make your cleaning solution, simply mix 3 parts water to 1 part liquid dishwashing detergent and mix well.

If you have a stubborn stain that just won’t budge, try a hydrochloric acid solution. To make this mix 10 parts water to 1 part hydrochloric acid, and mix with a bit of the dishwashing detergent. It’s absolutely vital that you wear protective gloves at all times whilst using the acid solution, and rinse off immediately with water after you’ve cleaned the stain off to avoid any discolouration.

To clean your stone fireplace mantel, it’s important to pre-soak the area first with a sponge. This will help to prevent the occurrence of any etching or scraping during the cleaning process.

Once you’ve pre-soaked the area, dip your brush into your stone fireplace cleaner and gently scrub the area. Once you are satisfied, quickly soak off the cleaning solution with warm water. Never let the solution dry on the stone.

Top Tip: cleaning soot from stone fireplace can be tough in those hard to reach areas. To make this easier, use an old toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies.

How to clean stone fireplace hearth

Before you mix your stone fireplace hearth cleaning solution, be sure to vacuum the hearth to get rid of any dirt particles that could get in the way.

Also: be sure to cover the area around the hearth with old newspapers to protect your floor from any splashback.

What you’ll need for your stone fireplace hearth cleaner:

  • One cup of detergent
  • Three tablespoons of table salt
  • Three quarts of warm water
  • A litre bucket

Mix your stone fireplace hearth cleaner ingredients together in your bucket and apply the cleaner to your fireplace hearth, with rubber gloves on your hands. When cleaning your stone fireplace hearth, it’s important to leave the solution for ten minutes so that it sets.

After ten minutes, remove the solution using a brillo pad and use a toothbrush to get the dirt out of any difficult to reach areas. Once you’ve removed any dirt, rinse the hearth thoroughly with clean water.


For more info on looking after your stone fireplace, or to enquire about getting your dream fireplace fitted, contact a member of our friendly team today.


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