Warning: Don’t Use Rock Salt to Clear Your Outdoor Natural Stone Paving

December is here, and although December may be a great month for many reasons, it does come with its complications, especially in terms on weather. The season of not knowing what weather we are going to wake up to is now upon us – and in turn those with natural stone paving slabs around their homes need to prepare.

 When it is snowy and icy outdoors natural stone paving can become very slippery, making people more likely to slip and fall, which is someone that we all of course want to avoid. In turn with this, in efforts to make their outdoor flooring less slippery, it has come to our attention that many people head straight for rock salt. Whilst you may think that this sounds like a great idea – it is not, as rock salt can actually be incredibly detrimental to natural stone.             


Why is this?

 There are many reasons why rock salt is not the best substance to use when cleaning natural stone paving, with the main reasons being:

Rock salt degrades mortar – Using rock salt to clean natural stone paving can degrade the mortar which is holding individual slabs in place leaving them loose and often uneven

  • Rock salt causes discolouration – Rock salt acts like bleach when it touches natural stone – staining the surfaces and leaving a speckled appearance
  • Rock salt damages surrounding vegetation – Cleaning natural stone paving using rock salt can not only damage the paving itself but also surrounding vegetation, causing damage to plants roots

What to use?

So, now you know that you should not use rock salt to clean your natural stone outdoor flooring, it is time for us to point you in the right direction and tell you what you can clean your natural stone paving with…


Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)

 Today, the most common and probably the greatest substance when to comes to cleaning and clearing natural stone paving of ice and snow is calcium magnesium acetate. This is even what they use at airports due to it being much more environmentally friendly than salt-based de-icers.

 Calcium magnesium acetate is a natural acid that is soluble in water – it is safe for plants and pets and does not cause any damage to natural stone. This works best when mixed with warm water and can be bought from plenty of UK stores, both on and offline.


Need more advice?

If you are looking to ensure that you know how to best clean your natural stone paving and want further tips and advice, our team are always happy to help and only a phone call away. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with your questions today.