Mark McCullough teaches host Kevin O’Connor how to clean stains from stone surfaces like limestone and bluestone. After explaining some of the older methods, Mark shows Kevin the procedure for lifting stains from these stones with muriatic acid to bring them back to life.
Stone is one of the toughest landscaping materials, but the fall and winter can be hard on it. Leaves that deteriorate on porous stone surfaces can leave stains, and mildew can grow in damp areas. The good news is those stains don’t have to be permanent, and mason Mark McCullough shows host Kevin O’Connor just what to do about them.
Steps for Cleaning Hardscape
- For smaller stones and bricks that can be removed from the landscape, prepare two tubs: one with water and the other with the stone cleaning solution, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Pre-wet the stone. Place the stone in the water tub and dip the brush in water to wet and scrub the stone. For hardscape materials that are large or stuck in place, use a garden hose to wet the entire surface of the stone. This will prevent the cleaning solution from damaging the stone while it lifts the stains.
- Apply the cleaning solution to the stone. For smaller stones, place them in the other tub and apply the solution to the surface with the stiff bristled brush. For large stones, dip the brush into the washing tub and apply the solution directly to the stone. Allow the solution to react with the stains for a minute so it can lift them from the stone’s surface. Then, use a clean brush and fresh water to wash the cleaning solution away. Heavy scrubbing is not necessary.
- Repeat the process if the stains aren’t completely gone.
Mark demonstrates techniques for cleaning up driveways and walkways after the winter. Although
common household items like baking soda and vinegar can handle some hardscape stains, Mark
recommends using a generic masonry detergent, with very low levels of muriatic acid, and a utility scrub brush. Follow the instructions listed on the container to dilute any masonry detergent properly.
There are also masonry cleaners available made to target specific issues such as rust and efflorescence.
Mark says to saturate the entire area with a water hose before applying your cleaning product of choice. This will prevent burning once the cleaning product is applied. Using a utility scrub brush gently scrub, focusing on the heavily soiled stains. Rinse and repeat until desired results are achieved.