The Nature of Cast Stone:
One of the best materials for the garden, cast stone looks like natural stone but can be any shape imaginable. Cast stone offers many shapes and uses, from fountains, planters, birdbaths, and sculptures. Its use goes back centuries as it was used in the buildings and structures of the past. It is a durable and reliable material that will offer a lifetime of enjoyment for all garden decor. Like any stone, cast stone is porous; it will absorb moisture and liquids. Here are the best practices for cleaning and maintaining cast stone to preserve your Campania International piece.
Clean all cast stone pieces in the warmer months of the year. Adding water to cast stone in freezing temperatures will encourage freeze-thaw damage. Fountains require extra attention in colder climates, and it is recommended to cover a drained and dry fountain before the first frost.
3 Cleaning Steps for Cast Stone:
The first step to cleaning your cast stone statue, fountain, birdbath, or planter is to clean it while it is dry. Using a soft to medium bristle brush, gently remove any moss or large algae buildup—dust off the dirt and any large stuck-on debris.
Water is the best cleaning solution. Use only mild cleaners if you have an excess of algae or dirt. It is always a good idea to test a small area with your solution to be sure it does not damage the patina.
●Spot cleaning with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water will help remove calcification that comes from our water, and it helps remove some algae. This technique is great for fountains and birdbaths.
●Clean with a Neutral PH soap mixed with water to remove excess algae and dirt. Original Dawn dishwashing liquid is a good choice.
Start by spraying the piece first using just water. Get the whole item wet but do not soak it for an extended time. Using a soft sponge, wipe down the area and clean the crevasses with a soft bristle brush. Rinse well and repeat with your cleaning solution, rinsing well after each pass. You must rinse well. Leaving cleaner or not getting all the debris can cause streaking of the finish.
To Maintain the Finish of the Cast Stone:
●Do not use bleach or harsh cleaning agents.
●Do not use a pressure washer.
●Do not use acid-base cleaners.
●Do not use metal brushes or scrapers.
The final step in the cleaning process is to allow your cast stone to air dry. For smaller items like statues, birdbaths, and planters, place the item in a dry, protected area. For heavier items, like fountains, large statues, benches, or urns, raise them off the ground with bricks or similar. The air needs to pass around the item for it to be completely dry. Taking this step before placing your item back in the garden ensures that the whole piece is maintained well.
●Bucket for mixing solutions
●Small soft bristle brush for getting the details.
●Medium-sized bristle brush for larger areas
●Hose end sprayer with several settings