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02920 218 943 / 08000 78 66 77

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Cleaning Limestone

Softwashing is a popular method for washing limestone in the US, and this service is now available in the UK too. It's gentle on stone and a very effective cleaning method.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock which can last a very long time, as the Giza Pyramid testifies, but to keep Limestone looking its best needs tlc and maintenance. Limestone can become blemished and stained easily, and also scratched. Tenacious organic growths can also be a problem. Softwashing is a proven means of cleaning limestone in order to keep this sensitive stone looking its best.

Many cleaning companies lack the experience to properly handle limestone. Power washing is not recommended, as it can blast away the surface and leave the subsurface open to erosion. Similarly many cleaning companies will rely on acid based agents, often off the shelf, no matter the condition of the stone or nature of soiling. Any cleaning agent with too high a pH level should not be used in limestone cleaning, as it seriously risks the integrity of the rock. Once damaged, Limestone is expensive to repair, and very expensive to replace too. For peace of mind, and the best results when cleaning limestone, it is best to rely on softwashing.

Before commencing to clean limestone, Softwashing UK will always inspect the stone from top to bottom. This is to see exactly what is dirtying the stone, and also to check any areas that might need more extensive repair, or perhaps resealing. We’ve come across some people who have tried to clean limestone after checking the internet, using flour and bleach. Needless to say, we will prepare an appropriate limestone softwash detergent blend, so there is no doubt about damaging the stone or the intensity and longevity of the cleaning results.

We will then use microfibre technology to remove the superficial dust, dirt, and any corrosive particles from the stone. Dust particles can scratch away at the surface if ground in while cleaning limestone.

The next stage is to then use an ultra light pure water solution to gently cleanse the limestone. Limestone is porous, to a degree, and we will work to ensure absorption of the detergent blend is at optimum.

In many instances, after this phase, organic and non-organic stains can linger. When this is the case we will apply a pH neutral paste, blended as always specifically to meet the task in hand.

The final stage is to use super-soft edges to remove the paste, and then perform a thorough rinse as many times as necessary, so as to remove any lingering detergent. While detergent will not in any way damage the stone, it can leave it looking a little wan if not removed. Then if use of a sealant is advisable, we will also make an appropriate application.

In prime condition, limestone looks magnificent. Softwashing UK will work at its conservation and restoration keep it that way.

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