Limestone is a very durable rock and is often used for floors, tiles and other pavings and surfaces. However, despite the lasting nature of limestone in surfaces like floors, it is very sensitive to how you treat it. Without proper care, you can expect scratches and even permanent damage to arise.
This article will cover what products you would need to give your limestone floor the best clean possible. First we will look at the properties of limestone, then at the cleaning products to use, that is the equipment and then the chemicals. Lastly we will look at other warnings as they relate to products used to clean limestone.
Properties of Limestone
The chemical name for limestone is calcium carbonate and it is sensitive to heat (producing lime when heated) and acids (experiencing corrosion when in contact with acidic substances). Everyday acidic substances include juice, soft drinks, acid rain and many chemical cleaners. Limestone is also porous, very absorbent and easily stained by oils and other liquids. It is softer than many rocks typically used for flooring like marble and granite.
Because of the sensitive nature of limestone, here are some tips on what types of cleaning equipment are recommended. Cleaning without water may be done with a vacuum cleaner (without the spinning brush) or a broom or a dry mop. Wet cleaning may be done with a mop.
A steamer may be used to loosen and dissolve stains from dirt lodged in the pores of your floor.
When wet cleaning limestone tiles, use warm water and non-acidic soap. To remove stains from the floor, you can make a poultice by mixing flour and hydrogen peroxide into a paste using some water left to dry for some days.
A high quality sealant may be applied to the floor to provide an additional layer of protection. This can be done if either there is no sealant covering layer already or if the existing layer is wearing away. The sealant protects the floor against acids, stains and general wear.
Here listed are some additional do’s and don’ts as they relate to cleaning products for your limestone floor:
- Do not clean limestone with a pressure above 800 psi.
- Any spills onto the limestone must be cleaned up immediately to avoid staining due to the absorbent nature of limestone.
- Hot dishes must not be placed directly onto the limestone tiles.
- Coasters and place mats are very important in protecting the limestone surface.
- Be careful about the contents of any cleaning products as acids are known to have adverse effects the floor.
- Other materials to keep completely away are abrasive materials like scouring powder, alkaline products, vinegar, bleach, ammonia, abrasive cleaners and abrasive materials and toiletries which often contain acids.
The purpose of this article was to inform you about the right products needed to take care of your limestone floor. The sensitivity of limestone to heat, acids and pressure have been dealt with in this article.