How to Clean Stone Slabs Using a Carborundum Sanding Stone

Using a carborundum sanding stone to remove dirt from stone paving slabsA carborundum sanding stone can be used with great effect to remove deep ingrained dirt, paint splashes and water marks from the surface of natural stone.

Do you have natural stone paving slabs with deep ingrained dirt on the surface? Have you have tried to clean them with various paving cleaners with no success? Then why not consider using a carborundum sanding stone to clean your paving stone.

This is a great way to  clean stone when all other methods of removing the dirt has failed. A carborundum sanding stone is also excellent for smoothing down any rough and uneven paving surfaces. Especially if they have chipped or have a very riven surface.

We take a look at how to clean stone slabs using a carborundum sanding stone. You can watch the video showing you how simple it can be to completely remove the surface dirt. Making your paving slabs look like brand new.

Use a carborundum stone to remove dirt, paint splashes and stains from stone

Carborundum stones are a great way to remove difficult to remove paint splashes, dirt and stains. Especially when other methods of cleaning your stone have failed or are not practical.

Compared to using a paving cleaner, sanding large areas of stone slabs can be a very time-consuming work. So it is not practical to rely on this method to clean large areas of paving. But If you have a small area of dirt, paint or staining that cannot be removed then this is an excellent way to remove them. Your very stubborn stains that a paving cleaner or bleach has failed to remove can be miraculously cleaned and your paving transformed back to looking new.

There are companies that do use mechanical machines that can offer you cleaning and sanding of your stone on a commercial-scale if large areas of your paving need sanding and striping.

We are using the carborundum stone to sand  natural stone paving slabs. If you’re paving is made from coloured man-made concrete you could expose the aggregate the paving was made with by sanding with a carborundum stone. Before you begin, it may be worth doing a small test patch of to check the results.


Video on How to clean stone slabs using a carborundum sanding stone

At first we tried to clean the stone steps with bleach and then when that did not lift all the dirt. We then tried a few different alternative paving cleaners that still did not remove all the deep ingrained dirt.

When cleaning with a liquid failed we then tried using the carborundum cleaning stone with amazing results. All the dirt was removed within a few minutes of sanding the surface of the paving slabs. If you are wondering how do they give such great cleaning results the secret lies in the fact that a carborundum stone works by sanding away the surface of the stone removing the dirt as it sands the surface. Leaving you an almost new looking stone paving slabs. When carrying our sanding and cleaning of natural stone you may want to wear a dust mask

Below we have a video showing how we cleaned an indoor stone step with a carborundum sanding stone.

If you prefer not to watch the detailed video you can read our quick guide on using a carborundum stone below.

Step-by-step instructions on how to clean stone slabs using a carborundum sanding stone

Dirty stone steps that need cleaningPlease follow these simple instructions if you intend to use a carborundum sanding stone to clean your paving/

As you can see we are gong to clean two stone steps.

The stone paving slabs that are used on the steps are made from sandstone. This is quite a soft type of stone that allows it to be sanded down quite easily. If you are using paving stone made from a harder stone such as granite, marble or limestone you may find it takes longer to sand down the stone to remove the dirt.

Carborundum rubbing stone

The carborundum sanding stone we will use to clean the stone stepsIn the photo we have shown you the carborundum stone we are using to clean off the dirt from the stone paving slabs. They are relatively cheap and can be bought for less than £20.00.

They have different grades of hardness depending on what material they are sanding down. Here we have used an 80 grade of stone. There are many other grades of carborundum stone you can use.

Please view bottom for further reading on grades and other uses


Rubbing the stone to remove the dirt

Holding the carborundum sanding stone begin to sand the surface of the stoneBegin by first sweeping the surface of the paving to remove any surface debris. Then holding the carborundum stone with a firm grip begin rubbing the stone slabs with the sanding stone in circular motions.

Always keep the carborundum stone flat on the surface of the paving. This keeps the sanded and cleaned surface nice and even. You need to sand the whole area of paving to ensure you get a nice even sand.

Pay particular attention to corners and edges of the stone. Show care when near any mortar cement used in pointing the slabs as this will also be worn away by the carborundum stone. You can if you want also sand down the mortar/cement pointing at the same time as the stone.

Once the dust is removed you can see the cleaned paving

Once the dust is removed you can see the dirty stone is now cleanedOnce you have finished sanding a section of paving, stop and remove the dust and dirt particles and check your progress. You can remove the dust with a hand brush, or as we have done, use a vacuum.

Then you need to check that all the dirt and stains have been removed. As you can see in the photo, you can clearly distinguish between the clean & dirty areas of stone.

Re-sand any areas then give a final brush to remove the dust.

When completely sanded and dust removed you are left with clean stone stepsIf there are still areas of dirty paving you need to re-sand these areas again until all the dirt is removed from the surface of the stone.

Once you are confident that you have cleaned all the paving give your paving one last sweep or vacuum.

Inspect your paving then sit back and admire how clean your stone paving slabs now are.

If cleaning your stone paving slabs is something you don’t want to repeatedly do you may want to consider sealing them to stop the penetration of dirt. We have an article on the many kinds of sealers and impregnating sealants you can use to treat paving slabs here.

What are carborundum stones made from?

A carborundum stone is another name for the old-fashioned name ‘silicon carbide stone’ or ‘sharpening stone’ to the majority of people. It is a modern name that many people are not aware of.

Carborundum stones are made from many combined materials including powdered metal, ceramics, clay and silicone dioxide minerals. They are made in fine, medium and coarse finishes. Depending on what there required uses are depends how much abrasion they need to give. Generally the finer the carborundum stone the less abrasion there will be.

You can find much more information than I could ever give you on these kinds of man-made abrasive stones on Wikipedia here

Other uses for carborundum stones

As we mentioned above, carborundum stones are used for cleaning, sanding and sharpening many items besides sanding stone. There are many trade professionals that use them on a daily basis to sharpen and grind down metal. Sculptures for sanding down and rubbing away chisel marks, gardeners, joiners and foresters for sharpen axes, blades and scissors. All these kinds of trades will use a carborundum stone at some point. Carborundum stones are also available to buy in many shapes and sizes. You can buy oblong, square and circular carborundum sanding stone.This allows them to be used on almost any material, shape or surface.


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