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How to Clean Natural Stone Surfaces

23/10/2019 - Featured Products

How many times have you placated a customer whose natural stone patio has developed unsightly stains and smears? Save yourself a lot of stress and head-scratching – your Landscape Industry Specialist has the solutions you need.

Removing efflorescence from natural stone

Efflorescence is a completely natural occurrence, but that doesn’t make it attractive…especially not in the client’s eyes. It happens when mineral salts (usually from the base layers but sometimes from the stone itself) get dissolved in water. The water rises to the surface of the stone and evaporates leaving a mineral deposit behind. The word efflorescence means “flower out” in French and that’s just what it looks like. A bloom on the face of your stone surface.
The good news is that most mineral salts will dissolve in a weak acid. However you need to choose your cleaning products carefully and be aware that some natural stone and some grouting products can actually be damaged by acids.  

For sandstone, slate, granite or clay bricks, Hanafinn Eff-Erayza TM is a brilliant way to remove efflorescence. It’s easy to use and works so quickly that your customers will think you’re a superhero.

Simply pre-wet the area with water, apply diluted Hanafinn Eff-Erayza TM to the area (refer to the pack instructions for application rates), and wait 3 minutes. Then clean off the solution and neutralize the acid with an alkaline product such as Oxy Klenza TM


Removing every day dirt and stains from natural stone

Patios, paths and driveways are designed to be used. And when they get used, they can also get grubby. Every driveway will have oil dripped onto it at some stage. Every path and every patio will be walked on by muddy boots or filthy pet paws – that’s what they’re for.

Natural stone is porous. Teeny tiny hollows and voids in the surface allow rainwater to penetrate the surface and filter through the stone to the layers beneath. Unfortunately, dirt and grime particles can also get into the pores – and no matter how stiff your broom is, you can’t sweep them away.

Try S-Tech Stone and Masonry Cleaner. It’s not at all acidic and can be used on most stone, rendered or brick surfaces (indoors or outdoors). This cleaner is stronger than a detergent and gentler than a jet washer. You’ll find application instructions here.


Removing heavy stains from natural stone

I’m thinking oil, bird poo, serious spillages and heavy stains. You know, those really challenging marks that ruin the look of a whole area.I thoroughly recommend adding some S-Tech SMC Boost to the mix when you use S-Tech stone and masonry cleaner.
Keith Llewellyn of Llewellyn Design in Norfolk had a major problem with a client’s patio. Berry stained pigeon poo had left some nasty and very stubborn stains on a light coloured patio.  I recommended that he try S-Tech and here are the results.

limestone after treating with s-tech cleaner

Help choosing the correct stone cleaner

As always, if you are wondering which products will work best for you, don’t waste time on internet research that just confuses you more – give me a call. In my long career I’ve had to find solutions for all sorts of obscure problems. And if I don’t know the answer straight away– leave it with me – I’ll make it my mission to find out.

You’ll find all of the products mentioned in this article available to order online from the sealers and enhancers category on my website. Alongside each product you’ll also find are detailed descriptions, application instructions and the relevant health and safety advice.

Stone cleaning products from Arbour Landscape Solutions