How to Restore a Stone Fireplace

Stone fireplaces are a beautiful addition to any home, but they’re also prone to a variety of problems. If your stone fireplace is looking dingy or dirty, follow these steps for restoring it.

Step 1: Do a Visual Inspection.

You’ll want to start by doing a visual inspection of the stone. Look for any cracks, chips, or missing pieces, and see if the color has changed. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to observe this kind of damage—you should be able to tell if there’s discoloration from water damage or mold.

Step 2: Clean With a Homemade Solution.

Make a homemade solution of hot water and trisodium phosphate (TSP). Pour the TSP into a bucket, then add hot water to fill the bucket. Mix well with a long-handled scrub brush or sponge until it dissolves into a sudsy solution. Some people like to add bleach or ammonia to their solutions for extra cleaning power, but these chemicals can damage stones over time if they’re left on too long, so try using them sparingly in this step.

Scrub all surfaces of your stone fireplace with this solution—especially those that are stained or dirty—and let it sit for several minutes before rinsing off the surface completely with clear water until you see no remnants of soap residue left behind on your fireplace wall, surrounds, or firebox flooring area (don’t forget about between each stone!).

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals. While it’s tempting to use bleach or strong detergents when cleaning your fireplace, these harsh products can damage the stone and grout. Instead, use an enzymatic cleaner that will clean effectively without damaging the stone and grout.

Use only soft sponges or cloths when cleaning the fireplace to avoid scratching or marring the surface of your fireplace. Avoid abrasive cleaners, acids, and ammonia as they can damage both your fireplace and yourself!

Step 3: Scrub the Fireplace

Cleaning a stone fireplace can be a daunting task. It’s important to start at the top and work your way down in small sections since you don’t want to damage the firebox or its surrounds. First, you’ll need a soft-bristled brush that you’ll use to brush away any loose dirt without scratching the surface of your stone. Next, wipe away what has been loosened with a clean cloth. Finally, use your soft-bristled brush to clean both sides of each grate individually before cleaning them as one unit together with everything else inside the fireplace itself.

Step 4: Rinse the Fireplace with Warm Water.

Once the solution has dried, rinse the fireplace with warm water. Use a soft cloth to wipe off any remaining residue and let it air dry. If you are using a sponge or brush, scrub in small circles to ensure that every surface gets cleaned thoroughly. Using a soft cloth, dry off all surfaces and make sure no moisture remains inside your fireplace before you put any loose elements back in place.

Step 5: Give the Fireplace a Deeper Clean Occasionally

A more abrasive cleaner can be used to clean the entire fireplace, but you will want to double-check the instructions for the specific product you intend to use. A toothbrush can be used to get into the cracks and grooves of your stone fireplace, while a soft scrubber or sponge can get into the grooves. If you are worried about scratching or damaging your stone fireplace, use a toothbrush instead of an abrasive brush or scrubber.

Step 6: Use Hot Water & Trisodium Phosphate to Scrub, Then Rinse

Use hot water and trisodium phosphate to scrub and then rinse your stone fireplace. Fill a bucket with warm water, add one cup of trisodium phosphate and mix well with a soft brush.

Using a clean cloth, wipe down the entire surface of your fireplace, including uprights and jambs. Rinse with warm water using a soft cloth to dry the fireplace. This process removes any remaining soap residue from the cleaning steps prior to this one.

Now use another clean cloth soaked in plain water to polish your stone surfaces, focusing on areas where smoke accumulations may occur (like along the upper edges of mantels) or areas that are heavily soiled (such as hearths).

Let Our Stone Care Experts Help You Restore Your Fireplace!

The steps above will help you get your stone fireplace looking like new again. If you want to do a deeper clean once in a while, try using hot water and trisodium phosphate. These products are strong enough to remove even the most stubborn stains from your fireplace without damaging the stone itself. However, if these methods aren’t enough and you find that your fireplace stones are damaged, the stone experts at Statewide Stone Care can help! Contact us for a free consultation to restore your fireplace to like-new condition.