How to Clean a Sandstone Hearth

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Sandstone is a sedimentary rock common through southwestern regions of the United States.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock common through southwestern regions of the United States. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Distinguished by its contrasting colors and smooth texture, sandstone is a porous, durable rock composed of sand and various mineral deposits. A sandstone fireplace hearth adds natural character to any home but especially compliments southwest décor. Like all fireplace masonry, a sandstone hearth collects dirt, ash and soot whenever it is in use. Regularly cleaning your sandstone hearth maintains it appearance and overall cleanliness. Unsealed sandstone hearths may require more frequent cleaning, as they absorb grime more quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic drop cloths
  • Rubber gloves
  • 2 pails
  • 2 oz. trisodium-phosphate cleaner
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Cloth

Cover the floor surrounding the sandstone hearth with plastic drop cloths. Put rubber gloves on your hands to protect against chemicals in the trisodium-phosphate cleaner.

Prepare the trisodium phosphate mixture. In a pail, combine 2 oz. of trisodium-phosphate cleaner with 1 gallon of hot water.

Fill another pail with clean water for rinsing the hearth.

Scrub the diluted trisodium-phosphate solution onto a 2-by-2-foot section of sandstone using a soft-bristled brush. Detach all grime, soot and ash from the section.

Immerse a cloth in the water pail. Wipe the 2-by-2-foot section of clean sandstone with the drenched cloth to rinse.

Clean the remaining dirty 2-by-2-foot sections of sandstone until the entire hearth is spotless. Concentrate on only one 2-by-2-foot section of the hearth at once and always rinse the sections after washing them.

Let the sandstone hearth air-dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spot-test the diluted trisodium phosphate on the sandstone to prevent damaging the hearth.
  • Trisodium phosphate may damage any exposed flooring and fabric.
  • Trisodium phosphate contains strong chemicals that may damage skin.

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