How do I remove stains from sandstone?

You know how it is. When your sandstone patio or garden area is first laid it looks pretty and pristine but after a while, you may begin to notice some staining. It could be darker patches or possibly even rust-like marks, mostly caused by usage and changing weather conditions.

Don’t despair! This is easily remedied. Thanks to sandstone’s naturally porous nature it can soak up liquids and get stained quickly if it’s not cleaned properly. The stains are likely to be minerals coming through, so they’ll be primarily salts which should go in time as regular application of water will wash them out. The simplest solution for this is to wash your sandstone frequently.

Tip: NEVER wash your sandstone when you think it might become frosty as that will shatter the slabs.

How to clean sandstone

You will get deposits on sandstone, making them look stained but with regular maintenance this can be avoided. Here are five ways to keep your sandstone looking tip-top:

  1. Brush regularly

This will get rid of any surface debris and prevent algae or moss from building up.

  1. Replace jointing sand

An easy way to stop any weeds from building up.

  1. Wash with soapy water

This should help bring out the staining from your sandstone but for tougher stains you can use a mixture of bleach and water.

  1. Scrape off weeds

This will prevent discolouration from growth such as moss.

  1. Avoid cleaning solutions that contain acids

These acids could create rusting on the slabs so it is best to avoid these.

Three ways to clean sandstone

Cleaning Indian sandstone couldn’t be easier. It requires soapy water, or, if you have tougher stains as well as moss and algae, you can use bleach.

Cleaning with soapy water

You can use washing up liquid for this (do not use an acid based cleaning product). Just pour over the stone and then scrub with a brush. After washing, rinse away the soapy water and leave it to dry for around 24 hours. You may need to repeat the process if you don’t get rid of all the staining the first time around.

Cleaning with bleach

If you have a serious build-up of dirt and moss, or someone has built a glass of red wine on your beautiful patio (stuff happens!) then you may need to use a bleach solution. After sweeping away any loose debris and making sure outdoor furniture is either removed or covered up, use equal parts of bleach and water and pour the solution onto the slabs. Leave this for around 30 minutes, then clean the surface with a stiff brush, power washer or a hose to ensure you’ve got rid of all the bleach.

Washing with a pressure washer

The high tech solution to cleaning is by pressure washer, which blasts the slabs with water to easily remove any discolouration.

For more information or advice on natural stone paving, please do not hesitate to contact our team by calling 0800 689 5236 or sending an email to


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