Slate is a natural stone flooring material that is quarried from out of the mountains. Slate is very durable and is available in a wide range of colors; depending on the location and minerals of the slate in question, this makes it a beautiful addition to any home.
Slate tiles are used not only for flooring; they can also be used for wall tiling, stepping stones, roofing, and a variety of other uses. So if you have slate tiles in your house, you have to know how to clean slate tile, and there are different slate floors cleaning techniques that we are going to look at.
8 Simple Slate Floors Cleaning Tactics
Table of Contents
- 1 8 Simple Slate Floors Cleaning Tactics
- 2 How To Maintain Slate Tiles
- 3 Conclusion
Although slate tiles are very durable and don’t require much attention like most types of floors, regular maintenance is very paramount in order to keep the tiles looking great for a long period of time. How are some steps on how to clean slate tiles
Mopping Slate Tiles
Mopping slate tiles requires a simple process as follows;
Sweeping And Vacuuming
Removing debris and dust from slate tiles can either be done using a broom or vacuum. You can make use of a soft-bristle broom or vacuum with a brush attachment. Going for tools with soft bristles will help to prevent any damage to your tile.
You need to pay attention to the crevices between the tiles to get a thorough clean.
Apart from when you want to mop your slate tiles, you should try to create a sweeping or vacuuming routine so that debris particles do not become too much on the tile surface, as this could cause scratches.
You can also make of a dust mop for cleaning of slate tiles, but you want to make sure that the dust mop is not oil-based. When using the dust mop, you want to avoid moving back and forth with the mop as this only moves the dust back onto the slate and can cause damage when you try to clean later.
Using your tool of choice, give your slate tiles a thorough sweep through, making sure there’s no dust, dirt, or debris on the floor when you start mopping because this will make the job a little bit harder.
Prepare Your Cleaning Solution
The cleaning solution or detergent you make use of should be gentle, mild clothing detergent, or mild dish soap; you can also make use of specialized slate cleaners that are non-acidic.
Going for a gentle product will help to ensure that your floor doesn’t get damaged, and you get the results you desire.
In a bucket, combine ¼ a cup of detergent with about a gallon of warm water. If you are using specialized slate cleaner, you need to mix it according to package instructions.
Once you get your cleaning solution, dip in your mop, wring out the excess water, and start mopping. You want to mop the floor using slow and smooth strokes. You need to rinse out your mop frequently to prevent any debris clinging to it and getting worked into the porous slate.
Anytime your mop starts leaving streaks or debris on the floor, throw out the water and get a fresh one.
You can also make use of steam mops on slate tiles, steam mops are great, and they pick up extra condensation and dirt.
Dry The Floor
After mopping, you can make use of a soft cloth or towel that won’t scrape the slate to wipe off as much water as possible. This helps to prevent standing water or moisture from seeping into the tile pores. Once the floor has been thoroughly wiped dry, allow it to also air dry.
Apply Teak Oil
Applying teak oil on your slate tiles will help to enhance the final look. Once the floor has air dry completely, pour some teak oil into a soft clean cloth, and apply a thin layer of oil on the floor.
You don’t want to soak the tile pores with oil, so apply only a small amount; you can also make use of slate oil for this, although they tend to be more expensive.
You want to repeat this cleaning process at least every three months because slate is a very delicate material, and giving your floor a thorough cleaning every few months will help to prevent the accumulation of grime and tough stains.
Using Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide
This combo is a great stain remover and can remove even the toughest stain. They are also relatively mild, so they do not damage your slate tiles. Simply combine equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and mix until a paste is formed.
Allow the bubbling to stop before applying it to the stain and let it sit for a couple of minutes before wiping it off with a clean, soft cloth.
For minor stains, you can mix a mild detergent with some water and use a clean sponge or a scrub brush with soft, non-metal bristles to gently scrub the stain till it comes off.
Absorbent materials like cat litter, baking soda, and mineral spirits are great stain removers.
Simply spread the absorbent material all over the stain and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes so that it can absorb the stain; if it is an old stain, the absorbent material will need to sit for a couple of hours; when done, vacuum or sweep up the material.
For stubborn stains, you can mix equal amounts of baking soda and water and cover the stain with the paste, then allow the paste on the stain to dry and scrape the dry powder up. If the stain still persists, you can always repeat the process.
Apply mineral spirit to the stain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes, scrub with a stiff brush, then soak with newspaper and wash the area.
Rubbing alcohol is a great stain remover and can be used on slate floors. Simply combine half a cup of rubbing alcohol with four cups of water. Dip in a sponge into the solution and use it to wipe the stain. If that doesn’t remove it, scrub with slightly more force.
Shaving cream is a great stain remover, especially on colored grout, because it doesn’t contain any bleach it helps to remove the stain without ruining the color of your tiles.
Simply apply a generous amount of shaving cream directly onto the stain and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Then use a clean, soft cloth soaked in warm water and wipe it off.
This is best for uncolored tiles because hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach that can cause some amount of discoloration on colored slate tiles.
Combine equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray the mixture unto the stain and allow it to sit for ten minutes before using a soft cloth or pad to scrub it off. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
How To Maintain Slate Tiles
Cleaning Spills As Soon As They Happen
In the case of liquid spills or pet accidents, you need to attend to them as soon as they occur; this helps to prevent the spill from getting into the porous surface.
If you want to maintain the looks of your slate tile over time, you need to make sure that you have a mop and rags handy so you can clean spills as they happen.
Placing Rug Or Mats In High Traffic Areas
Placing high-quality rugs or mats in areas where furniture is placed, that is going to receive heavy foot traffic, or that you just want to be more comfortable helps to elongate the floor’s lifespan.
Due to their hard texture, slate tiles are not very comfortable, so placing carpet or rugs in specific areas around your home will create comfortable locations to lounge on as well as protect the floor.
Applying A Sealant Annually
Slate is a very porous material and requires constant sealing to prevent it from soaking up liquid and spills.
Stone and tile sealers can be purchased at flooring retailers and hardware stores. You want to mix the sealant according to package instructions and Use a clean cotton mop to spread the sealant evenly across the floor.
Although the process of Applying the sealer is a serious maintenance task that requires some time and you stay off the floors for a short period of time, when applied properly, a good sealer will extend the lifespan of your slate tiles and keep them looking like new for longer.
Not Using Abrasive Cleaners
Abrasive cleaning tools like rough sponges and steel wool does more damage than good on slate tiles. Abrasive tools can scratch your tiles and remove their protective finish.
You want to make sure you use only smooth cleaning tools when wiping down the floor surface, avoid using anything that can scratch the surface of your flooring.
Don’t Use a Vacuum With Beater Bar
As stated earlier in this article, vacuuming your slat tiles is actually a great way to maintain its looks. However, you have to Make sure that you don’t have the beater bar of your vacuum turned on when using it on your tiles.
The beater bar can cause serious damage to your floor because there can be rocks, metal, and other hard objects lodged in the bar as it moves around cleaning your floors. So you need to make sure the beater bar is turned off before using the vacuum.
Using Only pH Neutral Cleaning Solution
Using acidic or alkaline cleaning solutions on your slate tile can cause a lot of damage from discoloration to corrosion of the protective layer of sealant over the tile.
So you need to be very careful of the type of cleaning solution you use or make your own cleaning solution using different ingredients that are safe to use on tile floors. You also want to avoid oil-based cleaners as this will make the floors slippery and can clog up the textured surface.
Do Not Drag Furniture Across The Floor
Although slate tiles are very durable and designed to withstand heavy use, they can be ruined when they are not treated properly. When moving furniture around your home, you want to make they are actually lifted across and not dragged because a heavy piece of furniture is enough to crack the tiles and do serious damage to them.
You can also get your furniture protective feet or coverings that help to prevent the furniture legs from scratching the floor.
If you are using a protective mat, you need to make sure the mat is thick enough to provide complete protection and wide enough to pad each of the legs of your furniture.
The beauty of slate tiles is one of the reasons why homeowners are being to love it. Slate tiles are also very durable, so it’s a win-win. Slate floors cleaning techniques are not that complicated and require little chemicals. So if you are looking for how to clean slate tile, look no further.