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.
Cleaning at the end of winter
Regular cleaning is not necessary because the weather does it all for you. Once a year though, thorough cleaning may be required. During spring, remove all the vegetation which gathered around the stone during winter. Use water with a dash of bleach, let it soak, brush it and rinse with water. Alternatively, you can also use out of a product from the Lithofin range.
Blue Limestone from Hainaut® does not require specific protection. If needed, the areas which are more exposed to stains like BBQs and tables can be protected with either Lithofin or Imperplex products, or ‘the old way’ with Marseille soap flakes. Soap up and scrub without rinsing and you’re ready for summer! One or two cycles of treatment should be enough.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF STAINS AND ACCIDENTS
A small accident? No problem. 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 hardness and 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 stains
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 stain.
We recommend Imperplex or Lithofin products to clean tags or graffiti.
Rust stains from products using iron sulphate, such as herbicides.
Here, some ‘elbow grease’ will be needed. Dampen the stone 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. Other option: use Rouille-Net of the Lithofin range. This might give a surprisingly reaction, but after a rinse it will go back to its usual appearance.
Barbecue grease stains on your beautiful Blue Limestone? 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.
Paint or varnish
Here, the treatment depends on the composition of the paint or varnish. Check with the manufacturer first, they may recommend a specific cleaning product for their paint. Always make sure any product can be used with natural stone, however, and does not contain any acid which could damage the stone. Otherwise, go for a specific product of the Lithofin range, or for pure acetone, available at the chemist’s which can dissolve varnish (but not paint) without damaging your Blue Limestone.
Mineral grease stains
For all mineral grease stains such as oil for manual work or motor oils, you can also use a homemade solution of one part solvent and three parts absorbing powder (trichloroethylene). Apply it first and then wash the stone with warm soapy water (such as Marseille soap flakes, Carolin…).