Cleaning a Rock Fireplace
Dear Natural Handyman,
We recently bought a house with a natural rock fireplace. The stones are dark and very sooty. How do we best clean them?
DL from Vista, CA
The first step would be to use a household detergent to remove as much dirt and dust from the stone as possible. Don't use anything with ammonia in it (because of the next step). When thoroughly dry, follow up with a phosphoric acid masonry cleaner, which should work to freshen up the stone and the grout. Cleaning off dirt and oils makes the acid's job easier and more thorough.
Though the phosphoric acid in a masonry mix is not extremely strong or as dangerous as muriatic acid, a primarily exterior masonry cleaner, you should nevertheless be sure to have lots of ventilation, wear eye and skin protection and protect everything from the acid except the surfaces you wish to clean. Follow the instructions on the container and be sure to rinse thoroughly when done.
for tools and supplies for your home improvement project Shop at AceHardware.com
Here's a tip: use a spray bottle or garden sprayer to apply the acid. This is much easier, more accurate and neater than trying to apply it with a sponge. The acid will not harm most plastic sprayers, but should be thoroughly rinsed out if you plan on reusing the sprayer.
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here naturalhandyman.com/aitikia. For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links naturalhandyman.com. If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page naturalhandyman.com/friends.
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at naturalhandyman.com/contest. Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Take the Next Step
Also in Home
- Cleaning the things that clean
- Painting a basement floor
- Make your own laundry detergent
- Inexpensive backyard play areas
- Buying a new furnace
- Recycling 'gray' water
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- How spring cleaning can save you money
- 4 secrets to budgeting for a home purchase
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?