Whether your home has been built from stone or brick; whether you have a stone patio in place or a gravel driveway; whether your garden is decorated with stonework and accessories or left as an expanse of grass. One of the most common questions we get asked by modern homeowners, in particular, is how to use a soft wash to clean both natural and man-made stone structures effectively.
Of course, it helps to be able to picture what we are talking about before we dive into the cleaning guide, so as a way of reference, here are a few examples of what we mean by natural and human-made stone:
Man-made stone in the garden
• Concrete paving slabs, crafted using different colours to create an attractive patio
• Porcelain paving slabs, bringing a modern minimalistic appearance to a patio
Natural Stone in the garden
• Natural paving slabs designed for durability
The fact is, we use natural and human-made stone for mostly the same things – the difference comes in the way they respond to the cleaning process, ageing and damage over time.
How to clean natural and human-made stone
1. This is where our soft wash comes in, with top brands offering a range of options designed for use on different types of stone – for example, a hard stone like granite, or a softer material such as sandstone.
Whichever type of stone you are cleaning, and whether your stone is at ground level or on a vertical wall surface, it is important to make sure that you are using the right kind of solution and that the cleaner you use is designed to cling to the surface without running off.
After all, we don’t want it to run off until we are sure that we are going to get a great result!
TOP TIP: If you’re not sure about the right product to use on any stone surface, always do a test patch first to see how the solution will respond to the surface. A professional cleaner will always engage in a patch test before working on the entire stone surface, no matter how confident they are in the product they are using, and so this is a trick worth taking from the pro’s if you decide to do your soft wash DIY-style!
2. Once your solution has had time to soak into the surface, it’s time for the rinse – using plenty of water to ensure that all the soft wash solution is removed from the stone completely.
This is where we sometimes talk about re-treatment, but when it comes to outdoor stonework, we tend to find that secondary treatment is not required until a few months down the line – provided the initial clean has been done effectively and correctly.
If you’re unsure about the best options for repeated cleaning or need assistance with getting to grips with a soft wash and all the variables out there when it comes to the different types of stone you can use across a garden space, we recommend giving a local professional cleaning company a call.
Not only can they assure a high-quality finish and time-efficient service, but they engage in full health and safety precautions through every step of the way.