Your Complete Guide To Limestone
An important part of caring and maintaining your limestone floor is to know all there is to know about it. Cleaning limestone can be a difficult task if you won’t know what you are dealing with or the best way to clean it.
Understanding the composition of your limestone floor will give you the knowledge you need to pick the best cleaning products required to care for it.
Don’t forget to use our ‘Find Your Floor‘ tool to discover the perfect way to care for your limestone floor…
What is Limestone?
Limestone is a sedimentary rock that commonly forms on the ocean floor.
There are different types of limestones that are dependant on where they are formed. Organic limestone is formed in marine waters and is made up of organic material and calcium carbide.
The animals on the seafloor extract the calcium carbonate into their shells and when they die their shell and skeletal debris mix with the ocean floor to form a limestone mud. This then compacts over time as more layers build on top of it. This squeezes out the water and forms it into solid rock. In many types of limestone, you can literally see the fossilised debris of sea creatures in the stone.
Chemical Limestones are formed in lakes, ocean waters or rivers using chemical precipitation. Detrital Limestones are formed using pre-existing limestone segment from the shore that has eroded back into the sea and travelled back to the sea bed.
7 Varieties of Limestone
Fine in texture, chalk will usually be white or light in colour. This is an organic limestone with a high calcium carbonate content.
Coquina is poorly cemented as it is predominantly formed from broken shell debris on beaches.
This is an organic limestone that contains obvious fossils from sea life.
This is a denser limestone that is formed with finer grains that will form a smoother surface.
This is made up of lots of calcium carbonite oolites (small spheres) that form during the chemical precipitation process.
Travertine is formed by the evaporation process which often occurs in caves and freshwater areas.
Tufa is formed in hot springs or lakeshores.
Uses for Limestone
Limestone is incredibly diverse and is used in a variety of different ways across the world. Here are just a few:
- Crushed up and used as a construction material
- Used as a road base
- An aggregate used for concrete
- Mixed with crushed shale and fired to make cement
- Beautiful Limestone floor tiles
- Stair Treads
- Window sills
- Crushed and used as a weather-resistant coating on roofs
- Used in smelting and other metal refining processes
- Crushed to sand size and used to treat/neutralise acidic soil
- Animal feed filler due to its high calcium content
- Mine safety dust
- Used as a Limestone fireplace
Your Limestone Floor
The natural composition, texture and colouring in limestone make it a popular choice for flooring in the home. Limestone floor tiles come in a range of fabulous finishes from the tactile and rustic tumbled finish to the smooth honed look.
Limestone when properly maintained is long-lasting, hardwearing and low maintenance. However, limestone is a very porous stone which means it will soak up water and stains very easily, which, over time, will damage the stone.
To avoid this you need to seal your limestone floor with an impregnating sealer. The sealer will penetrate beneath the surface of the stone to fill the pours and create a seal to block any other liquid or stains getting through. The sealing process will need to be repeated every 2 – 3 years to ensure your limestone floor stays as strong as possible.
Due to the calcium content of limestone, it will react with anything acidic, such as vinegar or citrus juice.
Luckily, sealing your limestone floor will help to protect it from acidic cleaners, but you should make sure to avoid any cleaners that contain strong acids in them. KleanSTONE’s Detergon R3 stone floor cleaner is pH neutral as it contains no acid and is, therefore, safe to use on your limestone floor every day. Detergon R3 is also safe for any delicate pet paws that walk over your floors, for more information on this read our blog KleanSTONE, The Pet Safe Floor Cleaner.
For tough, organic stains, you would be best suited to use a cleaning solution that contains Hydrogen peroxide and flour, which is called a poultice. A poultice is a paste made from a mix of different ingredients. The Hydrogen peroxide poultice will make light work of those tough, organic stains.
How To Clean Your Limestone Floor
Despite limestone flooring being relatively low maintenance, it’s important you understand how to clean it thoroughly. This will ensure your flooring stays in good condition for a long time and is always looking its best.
Cleaning Limestone Floors with a Kleanstone machine
KleanSTONE floor cleaning machines are the ideal machine to clean limestone. the machine sucks up excess water during the cleaning process which avoids any pooling water that could penetrate your limestone floor if it is not sealed to its maximum.
The scrubbing brushes work hard to get into all the intricate rivets of the limestone floor to give it a full, thorough clean. The spinning brush makes light work of tough stains and is the best way to clean limestone.
The powerful suction on the machine completely removes all the dirt, leaving your floor looking as good as the day you laid it.
Here’s a step by step walkthrough on how to clean limestone with a Kleanstone floor cleaning machine:
- Start by vacuuming your floor to remove any dirt and debris.
- Choose a powerful floor cleaning concentrate for your floor. Pick one with degreasing properties as this will work well at cutting through grime from the surface of the stone (try Deepclean3000 or Detergon R3). Mix a solution of your desired cleaner with warm water directly within your KleanSTONE machine.
- Work the machine slowly and in a forward motion, you will immediately start to see results as the rotary brushes work the cleaning solution into the limestones surface to lift grease and dirt whilst eliminating odours.
- Change your machine to lower the squeegee before moving the machine slowly in a forward motion to vacuum up the cleaning solution from the floor. Repeat these until all the water on the floor is dry. That is limestone cleaning in a nutshell!
Cleaning Limestone Floors without a Machine
If you don’t yet have a Kleanstone floor cleaning machine then do not worry. You can still clean your limestone floor by hand, however, it will take a lot longer and require considerably more elbow grease.
Here are the best tips to clean your Limestone floor:
- Sweep or vacuum your floor daily to remove any dirt and debris. This debris could actually harm the surface of your floor in the long term so it’s important to keep on top of it. If you decide to vacuum your floor, take great care as some vacuums could scratch the surface of the floor.
- Use a soft cloth (preferably microfiber) or a soft mop to clean your floor. If using a soft cloth, carefully wipe down the surface of your floor with a solution of warm water and mild soap. Make sure not to use any cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals or acidic ingredients. Opt for a pH balanced cleaner that is suited for limestone and make sure to mix well with clean warm water.
- Once you have finished cleaning, make sure to dry your floor thoroughly using either another soft cloth or a microfiber cloth. Take your time to dry the floor and do not leave any standing water on the surface as this could stain.
FAQ’s about Cleaning Limestone
Q – Can you use vinegar to clean limestone?
A – No. We would not recommend using any acidic products to clean any limestone.
Q – Can you use bleach on limestone?
A – No. We would not recommend you use any harsh chemicals such as bleach to keep any limestone clean.
Q – Can you clean limestone with baking soda?
A – No. We would not recommend using any homemade cleaning solutions that contain baking soda when you clean any limestone. The harsh chemicals have the potential to damage your floor in the long run.
Q- Does limestone stain easily?
A – Being a very porous stone, limestone is vulnerable to stains fairly easily, especially if they are left to sit. Make sure to clean up any spills or stains as soon as they occur to avoid permanent discolouration.
KleanSTONE, The Perfect Clean For Your Limestone Floor
Gleaming limestone floors inspire confidence and style in any setting, whether domestic or commercial.
Here at KleanSTONE, we supply advanced floor cleaning solutions to help you achieve a spotlessly clean, perfectly finished limestone without the elbow grease. Our stone floor cleaners tackle spills, stains and everyday grime with ease for a healthier, happier home or work environment.
Our products extend the lifespan of your limestone flooring with powerful, effective cleaning that is gentle enough to use every day and perfect for floors in your home or business, inside and out.
Aside from offering a range of products for stone floor cleaning, we love to share our knowledge and experience from our years helping customers succeed at extending the lifespan of your limestone.
Read more on the KleanSTONE Blog, explore our Help & Guides or download our range of Cleaning Guides and learn more about how to care for your natural and engineered stone floors so that they last a lifetime!
Further Reading on the KleanSTONE Blog:
- A KleanSTONE Guide To Stone Flooring
- Will A Clean Floor Bring You More Business?
- Which Floor Sealer Is Right For Me?
- Should I Seal My Outside Patio?
- Floor Sealing: The Most Important Thing You Are Not Doing
- Cleaning Quarry Tile Floors
- How To Seal Your Stone Floors
- Cleaning Quarry Tile Floors
- Is My Mop And Bucket Damaging My Stone Floor?
- How Do I Clean My Natural Stone Floor?
- KleanSTONE, The Pet Safe Floor Cleaner
- What is Travertine?
- Everything You Need To Know About Your Slate Floor…