AFTER IT HAS BEEN LAID
After it has been laid, leave the stone to dry out for about 2 to 3 months so that all humidity in the stone’s bed (glue or mortar) can evaporate. Clean it with clear water, sparingly and without soap. If you use soap during this period, humidity can become trapped, creating unsightly white traces on the stone’s surface.
For regular cleaning, try to use clear water as much as possible. If you must clean it with soap, make sure to use pH neutral soap, like Marseille flakes, or Carolin… Just a little is more than enough, and too much of it can create unsightly little spots, rings or cloudy traces on the stone’s surface. If they do, clean several times with clear water.
Regular cleaning with soap will darken the stone and accelerate patina, which is perfect if that is what you want. If you want to avoid acceleration of the patina, alternate cleaning the stone with clear and soapy water or clean it with a little ammonia or baking soda.
For more in-depth cleaning, degreasing for example, choose baking soda or a multi-cleaner for natural stone, such as Lithofin. Avoid at all cost any acidic, chemical or anti-scale products. Blue stone, being a limestone, does not respond well to such treatment.
Cleaning with soap in moderate quantities actually feeds the stone, increases its protection and helps any scratches to fade. The contemporary method to protect blue stone implies to coat it with either an oil or water repellent product, from the Lithofin range for example. If you have a clear shaded stone and to keep its clear appearance, use water-based products (such as Fleckstop W). At the other hand, to darken the stone and increase the patina, use oil repellent products such as Fleckstop Plus.
Traditional method (for dark stone): thinly coat the blue stone with a solution of 50 % linseed oil and 50 % turpentine. Remove all excess solution to avoid unsightly residue. Let it dry for 48 h.
For an extended protection, reapply a solution of one-third oil, two-thirds turpentine 2 to 3 times per year. This method will add a patina-effect to the stone.
At your request, your local distributor of Blue Limestone of Hainaut can also pre-treat your stone.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF STAINS OR ACCIDENTS ?
Immediately wipe the stain with a cloth and just a bit of water and if need be, add a little washing-up liquid.
To ‘erase’ tougher stains
The stone’s non-porosity protects it from stains. Even the toughest stains, such as grease, do not penetrate the stone, they remain superficial. They will dull over time due to of the patina effect. However, if you wish to remedy them straightaway, here are a few tips:
Wine, ink or soda stain
Place a cloth soaked in oxygenated water or bleach diluted with clean water on the stain and let the solution work. Rinse.
Just clean with clear lukewarm water to remove the stain.
Let the wax dry. Remove the worst bits delicately with a painting knife without scratching the stone’s surface. To remove the rest, spray with K2R (see ‘grease stains’), let it work and rinse.
Splashed acid product on your Blue Limestone? Dampen it first and then sand it using the finest possible sandpaper in little circular movements, and then rinse. Stone treated with sandpaper can be slightly lighter, but after a while the patina will render the colour uniform again. To accelerate the patina, use an oil-repellent product over the area in question.
Olive oil, grease or body lotion stains? Just spray some K2R (do not use it in liquid form because that will leave traces), leave it so the powder forms and then rinse off. If it’s a recent stain, let K2R work for 1 to 2 minutes. If not, let the powder work for 1 hour or two or even more, so it can absorb all of the grease.
If the stain cannot be removed, dampen it and then sand it using the finest possible sandpaper in little circular movements after which you can rinse the stone. Stone treated with sandpaper can be slightly lighter, but after a while the patina will render the colour uniform again. To accelerate the patina, use an oil-repellent product over the area in question.
Blue stone is a compacted limestone, so you should strictly avoid using anti-scale products. Coat the stain with a solution consisting of four parts water and one part potassium alum (available at your chemist’s, pharmacist’s). Let this solution work overnight and rinse.