Cleaning stained hearths is never a pleasant task. Largely this stems from the large amounts of sweat and effort you need to use in order to get your hearth stain free again. There are methods that you can use though that will speed the task up just a little bit. However, each of these methods will also have a few drawbacks. Of all the possible methods available for cleaning stained hearths, here are the most effective.
- Trisodium phosphate. A common cleaner, and ingredient in many cleaners, Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is probably the single most inexpensive method available for cleaning stained hearths. On the average you can purchase this cleaning compound for as little as $3.00. Simply follow the manufacturer's directions, which will have you use this cleaning compound in a manner similar to most powdered cleansers. Keep in mind though that as you use this product, you should wear some simple protective gear such as rubber gloves and goggles. (TSP can dry out your skin rather quickly, and can easily become painful.) You may have to use several applications of this powder to clean your stained hearth though, so be prepared for applying some elbow grease.
- Muriatic acid. Another relatively cheap method for cleaning stone and concrete, muriatic acid can be purchased in liquid form by the gallon. When using this method you really want to make sure that you have on gloves and goggles since you are working with a mild acid that eats stone and concrete. Once again, you will want to follow the directions that come on the bottle, but take a few other precautions as well. Since this is an acid, you will want to lay a drop cloth or tarp around the hearth to catch any spillover. You really don't want to have this acid eat away your flooring. You'll also want to make sure that there is plenty of ventilation in the room.
- Professional cleaner. A more expensive method is to hire a professional cleaner. There are several plusses to having a professional do the cleaning for you. Some of these are that they are the ones who have to do all the work on getting your hearth cleaned, they usually guarantee their work, and they have the experience to get the job done. The big downside is that it will definitely cost more than purchasing a cleaner and doing the work yourself.
- Replace the hearth. As an absolutely last resort, you can always replace the entire hearth. Maybe you are looking for a good excuse to do some home improvement work, or you have tried everything else, this is the one method that you can absolutely guarantee will get rid of the stain. Keep in mind though that the cost associated with replacing a hearth is going to be extremely high. I really wouldn't recommend using this method, unless you have no other choice.
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