Cleaning of blackened stones on fireplace ?


What would be a good product to use to clean natural river rock that has been blackened from a fireplace? The smut seems to only be on the surface, but it has been there a long time.
What would you recommend, and would you use a wire brush or something else ?
Thanks !!
--james--
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James wrote:

I don't know. I can tell you this, according to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, the only substance in which carbon is soluable is molten iron (that's how they make steel), so searching for a chemical solution is probably futile.
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Well, I am not so sure of this. I feel certain there is a common household product that will clean smut off of a fireplace.
--james--
-------------------------------------
I don't know. I can tell you this, according to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, the only substance in which carbon is soluable is molten iron (that's how they make steel), so searching for a chemical solution is probably futile.
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just saw simple green has a product for stone. The regular simple green works great on natural resins maybe this will work on the stones.
peace dawg.
: Well, I am not so sure of this. I feel certain there is a common household : product that will clean smut off of a fireplace. : : --james-- : : ------------------------------------- : : : I don't know. I can tell you this, according to the CRC Handbook of : Chemistry and Physics, the only substance in which carbon is soluable is : molten iron (that's how they make steel), so searching for a chemical : solution is probably futile. : : :
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I have had great success with the regular Simple Green product on black residue on glass fireplace doors...I would be willing to bet if Simple Green makes a product specifically for stone...it would probably work great. In fact, if you try it, I would love to hear if it worked!
Deputy Dumbya Dawg wrote:

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B McGee wrote:

I recently did a chimney cleaning of my oil fired boiler using chimney sweep brushes (first time in 22 years). I then vacuumed out the firing chamber with a shop vac. After I emptied the shop vac, I took it outside to clean it. I cleaned the vac on a brick walkway (the wife wasn't home, luckily). The terra cotta stones were then an oily black. I used Simple Green to clean out the vac and washed the stones with a stiff broom, then washed it off with the hose. The vac and the stones were as good as new (and the evidence was gone!)..

--
Bill
in Hamptonburgh, NY
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Glad to hear it works on the walkway as well! It's pretty great stuff for soot stains. Glad you got it all cleaned up before your wife got home...sounds like something I would do!
Willshak wrote:

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I have natural river rock around my wood stove, built by the previous owner ( I hate it! Ugly!). Anyhow, like with brick, the stuff is porous, and you will probably never get it completely clean. Unlike brick, it river rock tends to not be as porous, so you might get it cleaner then if it were brick.
Your local fireplace store has cleaners that do a half decent job. Soap and water and a good stiff scrub brush works. Oven cleaner might work, but might not be feasible and might stain the rocks. The mortar holding the rocks in place is probably more porous and more susceptible to staining. I would not use a wire brush, as the wire might be hard enough to scratch the surface of the rock. A good plastic scrubber should do the job.

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James wrote:

Mix a solution of high-alkaline cleaner and one ounce of chlorine bleach per gallon of warm water. . Wet the surface of the fireplace well with the solution, but don't use so much that it runs. Dirty water running down the face may cause hard-to-remove streaks. Then scrub with a brush. You know it's working when the suds are black. This always worked for us but time consuming. We use thick bristle brushes and scotch guard pads.
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Thank you all for responses !! BTW, what is a "high-alkaline cleaner" ??
--James--
Mix a solution of high-alkaline cleaner and one ounce of chlorine bleach per gallon of warm water. . Wet the surface of the fireplace well with the solution, but don't use so much that it runs. Dirty water running down the face may cause hard-to-remove streaks. Then scrub with a brush. You know it's working when the suds are black. This always worked for us but time consuming. We use thick bristle brushes and scotch guard pads.
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James wrote:

We use a product called Aquamix which we bought at Lowes. It is for deep cleaning of stone or porous(sp) surfaces. It's a bit more user friendly than the industrial types - ie: product used in a steam cleaner for engine cleaning. I guess the blackened stone is from smoke which is acidic and an alkaline cleaner lifts it. all i know that it took off 60 years of sute off our fireplace brick.

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Thanks a lot Robson !!!
--James--
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snipped-for-privacy@nf.sympatico.ca wrote:

Along that same line..... always work from the bottom up when cleaning a vertical surface to prevent streak lines.
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James wrote:

On page 245 of their book "Home Maintenance for Dummies" (ISBN 0-7645-5215-5) the Carey brothers recommend the Advanage cleaning products (note the spelling) from www.advanage.com.
I have no connections and no experience whatsoever with the website or the product, I just happened to have the book handy and saw your post.
Best,
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wrote:

Alcohol is effective for cleaning off carbon residue. I havn't tried this on a fireplace, however. You may need a wire brush. This sounds like a messy job.
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wrote:

The Aquamix Recommended by Robson sounds like a good product. I was going to recommend tri sodium phosphate (TSP).
A wire brush might be a bit harsh; so, mind the mortar. Nylon bristles are more pliable and might work better.
I can't imagine working from the bottom up, as John recommended, but you can decide for yourself.
I'd use a spray bottle and start applying the cleaning solution at the highest point. Let the solution do the work. Agitate the solution, and rinse. If you want to remove the maximum soot, use a well-pressurized garden sprayer to apply the rinse as a fine mist, and use a wet vac to collect the rinse water as it runs off the bottom.
________________________ Percussion: a masterful mix of speed, force and finesse.
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Rutland makes some good products for this ...
http://www.nextag.com/Rutland--2700400/stone-fireplace/brand-html

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