Keep your slate floors in perfect conditions
Do you like slate floors? Slate floors are an attractive option for modern homes. However, they are porous and they absorb stains and get dirty pretty easily.
That’s why cleaning them regularly is a necessity. But you have to be careful about the kind of cleaning products you use on a slate floor.
Being porous, the solid stone surface is easily eroded by harsh cleaners. So, in this guide, I’ll discuss how to clean slate floors without harming their finish or texture.
Make sure you have a soft mop at home. Since it’s a multi-step process, do it over the weekend when other chores aren’t taking up your time.
Here are the supplies you need for cleaning the slate floors:
Remove dirt and debris from the floor. You can use a broom for this. However, make sure it has soft bristles as harder ones can scrape off the floor’s surface.
Or, you may use a vacuum for cleaning the floors. Attach the brush accessory to the vacuum and clean properly between crevices.
Keep in mind that slate damages easily. Thus, it’s essential to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush roll.
Mop the surface using an oil-free dust mop. Mop the floor in a single direction to collect the debris. Do not move it back and forth.
In this step, you can either use a store-bought slate cleaner or make a solution at home.
If you’re using a pre-made slate cleaner, it should be non-acidic. Follow the guidelines on the bottle to use the cleaner. Only use the recommended amount as saturating the floor can cause damage.
To make a homemade slate-cleaning solution, put a quarter cup of mild detergent in a gallon of warm water.
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Rinse the mop with clean water after covering a small surface. If you mop the floor with a dirty mop, the debris will embed into the surface since it’s porous. You can also use a steam mop to clean slate floors since they pick up debris easily.
If the mop is leaving streaks on the stone surface, make a new cleaning solution. Your existing solution is contaminated.
Dry it afterward before putting the furniture back. Use a microfiber cloth or a soft towel to dry the floor.
Try to wipe as much moisture as possible. Excess water may seep into the floors. To avoid that, go over the surface with a clean towel two to three times.
After that, let the floor dry for 24 hours before walking on it again.
Use a soft cloth to apply teak oil to the stone surface. Make sure you’re only applying a thin layer since excess oil will seep into the surface.
Slate is a delicate surface. Thus, you must clean it at least every three months to keep it in pristine condition. Regular cleaning removes grime from the floors, ensuring that stains do not get tougher over time.
To prevent staining on the slate floors, you can use a stone sealant to block the pores in your slate floors. In this way, spills and stains won’t be able to get into the pores. Also, it makes cleaning easier and less frequent.
Cleaning natural stone isn’t as simple as removing stains from tile flooring. While the latter retains stains on the surface, the former absorbs them. That’s why it’s harder to remove stains and spots from slate floors.
If there’s a spill, tend to it immediately. Don’t give it time to get into the stone flooring. Otherwise, you’ll have to follow an extensive cleaning method.
In an unfortunate situation where the stain does get into the floors, here’s how to remove it.
Rub the stain with a clean sponge. You can use a scrub brush, but it shouldn’t have metal bristles. Dip the sponge in warm soapy water and use it to rub the stain.
If there are stains on non-colored grout, tackle them with water and hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix water and hydrogen peroxide(1) in 1:1 amount and pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Spray the solution onto the stain. Wait for ten minutes before scrubbing with a brush. Since it’s bleach(2), it will remove the color from the grout.
For stubborn stains, make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. When you mix the two, the mixture will start bubbling. Apply the paste to the stain after the bubbling has died down and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes.
Then, use a soft towel or cloth to wipe the stain.
If your floors have colored grout, you can clean them using shaving cream. Apply the cream to an inconspicuous area to check if it discolors the area.
If it doesn’t cause discoloration, let it sit on the stain for 15 minutes. Then, use warm water and a soft cloth to remove the stain.
Since sealants contain polish and wax, they leave a long-lasting shine on the slate surfaces. Depending on how often you use the fireplace, you’ll have to apply the sealant every few months to a year.
Since it’s a rough and uneven surface, you can make it look better by sealing it. The StoneTech Stone Sealer works quite well for such surfaces. Remove the previous sealant coating before applying a new one.
When cleaning slate floors, here are a few tips and warnings to keep in mind:
In this guide, I’ve discussed simple ways to clean the natural stone flooring and prevent further staining.
Slate floors should be maintained properly, otherwise, they lose their finish. It’s crucial to clean the slate floors in your house every three to four months. Moreover, you can apply a sealant to restore the floor’s vibrant finish.