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Slate flooring can be a beautiful addition to any home, but it is not always the easiest material to maintain. It might seem like the perfect solution to hiring a professional, but that can get expensive.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to clean slate tile flooring so that they will continue looking new for years to come.
What Is Slate Flooring?
Slate is a type of metamorphic rock made up of clay, silt, and other minerals. It is quarried in various parts of the world and comes in multiple colors, including black, green, red, purple, and white.
One of the main benefits of slate flooring is its natural material. This means that it is non-toxic and will not release harmful chemicals into the air as some manufactured materials can.
Slate is also very durable and slip-resistant, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas.
Additionally, it is resistant to stains and moisture, so it is a good option for homes with pets or children. And unlike some other types of flooring, slate is relatively affordable.
How to Clean Slate Tile Flooring
Slate tile floors are a beautiful, natural option for your home. But like all types of flooring, it requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking its best. Here’s an easy, 5-step guide for effective slate floor cleaning.
Step 1: Sweep or Vacuum Your Slate Floor
It is vital to remove all loose dirt and debris from your slate floors before mopping them and apply any cleaning solution. Doing so will help prevent scratching the tile’s surface.
When cleaning slate floors, remember that they can be scratched easily. Hence, use a vacuum cleaner with a non-abrasive attachment or a soft-bristled room. Try to reach between the slate tiles to remove all the dirt.
Step 2: Mix Warm Water and a Mild Detergent
If your floor appears dirty or stained, mix a mild detergent with warm water in a bucket before mopping the slate tiles. A mild-dish soap or laundry detergent will be great for cleaning slate floors.
Never use any harsh chemicals on your slate tile floors, as the ensuing chemical reaction might damage the tile’s surface.
If you must use a commercial slate cleaner, make sure it’s a natural PH product, as acidic cleaners can damage natural stone flooring. Please read the product label on how to use it before applying.
Step 3: Mop and Rinse Your Slate Floors
Dip your mop in the soapy water and wring out most of the liquid until the mop is damp but not wet. Then start mopping your entire floor from one corner to another, using gentle back-and-forth motions. The smooth strokes will help prevent scratching your slate floors.
If needed, make a second batch of cleaning solutions. You can also use a steam mop for optimal results. Steam mopping will give your slate floors a deeper cleaner, so consider doing it from time to time.
Once done, remember to rinse off the soap with a clean mop dipped in warm water.
Step 4: Dry the Slate Floors Thoroughly
Slate floor tiles have a porous surface. Hence, you should wipe off any excess water. You don’t want the standing water to get into the pores in the slate tiles and grout.
Use a soft cloth or towel to absorb most water before allowing the flooring to air dry. Ensure your slate floors have dried thoroughly before walking on them again.
Step 5: Apply Teak Oil
Once your slate floors are completely dry, finish it off using slate oil to bring out its natural shine. If you don’t have slate oil, use teak oil instead.
Apply a thin layer of oil onto the natural slate tiles to enhance their natural beauty. Don’t apply too much since you don’t want to make your floors slippery.
How to Remove Stains on Slate Floors: 4 Effective Ways
If you’re wondering how t remove stubborn stains from slate floors, fret not. There are several ways to clean slate floors.
Method 1: Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda Solution
You’ll need baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make this solution. Mix the two ingredients in a bowl until you get a paste-like consistency.
Once bubbles have stopped forming, apply them on your slate floor. Let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes on the stain. For tough stains, it is okay to rub the area with a soft cloth gently. Finally, wipe it off with a soft towel.
It is worth noting that this cleaning method is that recommended for floors with colored grout as it may lighten the grout over time.
Method 2: Hydrogen Peroxide With Water
This method is particularly effective for removing light stains on natural stone flooring. However, bear in mind that hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties. Hence, it would be best not to use it on colored grout.
Fill a spray bottle with warm water and hydrogen peroxide. Then, spray the mixture directly into the stained area. Leave the solution on for at least ten minutes. Next, gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush. This will help lift the stain without damaging the textured surface of natural stone flooring.
Once you have removed the stain, rinse it with a wet mop. Dry the area thoroughly before using the floor.
Method 3: Shaving Cream
Believe it or not, shaving cream can remove stains on slate floors. Plus, it is suitable for use on colored grout since it does not have bleach.
To clean up using this method, spray the cream directly onto the stained area. Let it sit for at least fifteen minutes. Next, wipe it off with a soft cloth dipped in warm water.
Method 4: Mild Detergent
You can also use mild laundry detergent to remove stains. Mix two teaspoons of liquid detergent in a water bowl to use this method. Next, dip a soft rag into the solution and apply directly onto the affected area on your slate floor.
Let it sit for at least ten minutes before wiping it off with another clean cloth dipped in clean water. For tougher stains, gently scrub them off with a soft toothbrush.
Essential Tips for Slate Floor Cleaning
Below are essential things to keep in mind that will help keep your slate floor in excellent condition.
Have a Regular Cleaning Routine
A cleaning routine is essential no matter how frequently you clean your floor. The more frequently the natural stone floors are maintained, the better they look and last longer.
The frequency of your slate floor maintenance depends on several factors, such as traffic levels, footfall patterns, and so forth. While you may not have to clean your slate floor daily, it is always a good idea to mop it at least once a week.
Inspect for Damages and Repair Immediately
If you notice any damage such as chips, cracks, or scratches on your slate floors, repair them immediately. This is because damages will only get worse over time.
Use Appropriate Cleaning Solutions
When cleaning slate your tile flooring, always use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for floors made from natural stone. Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents as they can damage the surface of your tiles and grout lines.
It would help if you also avoided acid cleaners like vinegar and lemon to discolor the flooring. Oil-based cleaners are a no-no as well.
When removing stains, make sure the method you use is appropriate for your slate floor and the grout. As we’ve mentioned, some cleaning solutions are unsuitable for colored grout.
Clean Up Spills Immediately
Like any flooring, it is crucial to wipe up spills immediately to avoid stains from setting in. Remember to wipe the slate floor with a clean cloth dampened with warm water and mild detergent as soon as the spills happen.
Be Careful When Moving Furniture
It will help if you carry heavy pieces of furniture when moving them instead of sliding or dragging them. This is because slate floors are susceptible to scratches and chips.
Use Floor Mats and Rugs
Place floor mats or rugs at all entrances of your home, as well as in high-traffic areas. This will help keep everyday dirt and debris from getting on your slate floors. It will also protect the floors against scratches and other damages.
Apply Sealant to Your Slate Floor
Slate floor sealants are a great way to protect your floors. Aside from making slate floors stain-resistant, it protects from other damages caused by water, oil, dirt residue, and so forth.
When applying sealant or finish for your flooring, ensure that the product you choose is non-toxic and safe for use on slate tiles.
If necessary, hire a professional contractor to seal your slate flooring.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Slate Floors
Here are mistakes to avoid when cleaning slate floors.
Using Harsh Chemicals
As mentioned earlier, do not use any products or solutions labeled as having a high pH. This is because they can end up etching the surface of your slate flooring and stripping off its sealant coatings.
Using Acidic Cleaners
Never use acidic cleaners when you clean slate floors. Even everyday household items like vinegar and lemon will be too harsh for this type of flooring. These can damage the flooring over time.
Applying Oil-Based Cleaners
Oil-based products must also be avoided when cleaning slate tile floors as they will leave a film on the surface that will be difficult to remove.
Scrubbing Too Hard or Using Abrasive Tools
Scratching your slate flooring because you scrub too hard not only damages its appearance but also worsens any existing damage. It can even cause permanent marks.
Using the wrong tools can also damage your floors. For this reason, we recommend using a soft mop and soft-bristled brooms or brushes when cleaning your slate floor.
Dragging or Sliding Furniture
It is vital to carry heavy pieces of furniture when moving them, instead of dragging or sliding them. This will protect the surface from accidental scratches and chips.
Not Cleaning Your Slate Floor Regularly
Like any other type of flooring, slate floors need to be cleaned regularly. This will help keep them looking their best and prevent any severe damages from taking place.
Not Using Sealant
Make sure you use a suitable sealant to protect your slate floor from stains, scratches, and excess moisture.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Slate Floors
How Do I Clean Slate Floors?
The best way to clean slate floors is to mop them with warm water and detergent. You can also use mild dish soap if needed. Be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the surface of the tiles.
How Do I Care For My Slate Floors?
You can do a few things to help care for your slate floors and keep them looking their best. First of all, be sure to use a dust mop or soft-bristled broom frequently so that dirt does not accumulate on the floor. Also, try using area rugs in high traffic areas to minor wear and tear on the tiles themselves.
If you have an area rug, be sure to place it in front of the doorway when you enter or exit your home. This will help prevent dirt and grime from being tracked into your house.
You can also use steam mops on your floor from time to time. Steam mopping will help remove any stuck-on dirt, grime, and stains on your slate floor.
Can I Use Vinegar to Clean Floors Made From Slate?
No, you cannot use acidic household cleaning solutions on your slate floor. The acid can wear out and discolor the tiles. Instead, use a pH-neutral commercial cleaner specifically designed for natural stone floors.
Can I Use an Oil-Based Cleaner on Slate Floors?
No, it would help if you never used an oil-based cleaner on your flooring. These types of cleaners will leave a residue behind that can be challenging to remove. They will also make your floors very slippery.
How Do I Rejuvenate Slate Floors?
Applying teak oil can help rejuvenate your slate floor. However, you should also use the material on clean slate floors.
What Happens When I Pour Mineral Spirits on Slate Floors?
Pouring mineral spirits on your slate floor can cause it to lose its luster. This is because the liquid contains acids and will break down the stone tiles over time.
What Should I Use to Clean Grout?
Most people recommend using a mixture of bleach and water (a quarter cup each) to remove tough stains and grime from the grout.
Be sure to test this solution in an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire floor. You can also use commercial grout cleaners designed explicitly for slate floors. Also, remember not to use bleach on colored grout.
Easy Slate Flooring Care and Upkeep
Slate flooring can add beauty and personality to any room. With our simple guide, you will be able to clean and care for your investment so that it looks its best for longer.
We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have more questions on how to clean slate tile flooring, let us know in the comments section below!