Do you have a home with slate floors? Are you concerned that washing the natural stone may damage it? Your worries are valid. Slate is a dense stone, yet it is porous and sensitive to some cleaning agents.
These sorts of floors may give any home an earthy vibe. However, it is essential to understand how to properly clean slate flooring. This guarantees that you avoid damage and that the lovely surface is preserved.
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What Exactly Is Slate Flooring?
Slate flooring is one of the most popular natural stone flooring options. It is long-lasting and durable if properly maintained. Slate is frequently utilized in high-traffic areas of the home, such as the kitchen.
One of the reasons why many homeowners prefer slate floors is because they require less upkeep and cleaning. Due to dust and filth, hardwood, tile, and laminate floors require more regular cleaning.
Fine slate stone can only be found underground and must be mined. A less expensive slate can be discovered near or on the ground’s surface. However, just because something is less expensive does not imply that it is inferior. Simply said, it is less expensive to extract.
Slate flooring of excellent grade is stain- and slip-resistant. It’s also non-porous and will stay that way for the rest of its life. Because it has been exposed to the elements, the ground slate has a more worn appearance. Although many homeowners enjoy this appearance, it is permeable and should be handled with caution.
Purchasing and installing slate floors in your house may drain your cash account. As a result, it is critical that you take proper care of it.
How to Care for Slate Floors
Slate floors do not need as much maintenance as other types of flooring. However, while cleaning, you must do so appropriately. When cleaning this natural stone, there are a few things you should avoid:
- Acidic cleaners: When exposed to slate stone, acid can produce a chemical reaction. The floor will etch and get damaged as a result of this. As a result, avoid using acidic cleaners, even natural ones like vinegar or lemon.
- Strong chemicals, such as abrasive cleansers, can remove the sealer from the floor and grout. The porous surface will be exposed to liquids and stains as a result.
- Oil-based cleansers can make the flooring slippery and clog the textured surface.
Sweep and Vacuum
Do not use carpet accessories or vacuums, such as beater rollers. The stone floor will be scratched and damaged as a result of this.
Before you begin mopping, it is critical to remove any dust, grime, and debris. This will not only make the task simpler, but it will also improve the final product. Cleaning the floor is also necessary to avoid scratches produced by bigger soil particles or tiny pebbles.
A soft-bristled broom or a vacuum with a soft attachment and a hard floor setting can be used. To ensure a thorough clean, pay special attention to the gaps between the tiles.
You may use a dust mop with a clean microfiber pad for a more thorough clean. Glide it over the floor in a single direction.
Make Your Solution
You may mop slate floors using a slate cleaner, light laundry detergent, or mild dish soap. We recommend that you use a commercial solution to preserve your flooring and achieve the best results. A pH-neutral product can also be used.
Warm water should be used, along with a quarter cup of detergent or dish soap. If you use a commercial product, be sure you follow the mixing and application directions.
Wring out the surplus cleaning solution from the mop. A spin mop is useful for cleaning slate floors since it easily wrings out a large volume of water.
As you sweep across the floor, use gentle, smooth strokes. Consider changing the water for a new batch if the mop begins to leave streaks of dirt.
You can really steam clean your slate flooring if you want a deeper clean. Using a steam mop will remove more filth and aid in the disinfection of your flooring. Steam mops are an excellent choice for pet-friendly households.
After cleaning, properly dry the floor to avoid remaining water that will soak into the pores. Wipe the surface with a gentle towel or cloth.
Finish With Teak
Using teak oil to polish your flooring might improve the overall appearance after you’ve cleaned them. Apply a tiny quantity with a cloth — don’t saturate it, since this will cause the oil to penetrate into the pores. You can use slate oil, but it will be more costly.
Stain Removal Techniques for Slate Floors
If you come across any tiny stains or markings when mopping, use the same cleaning solution to remove them. Dip a tiny brush in the solution and gently scrape the stain away.
To remove very tenacious stains, prepare a paste of baking soda and peroxide. These components work together to efficiently remove and dissolve grime and grease. These elements are also rather mild, making slate flooring safe.
Mix equal parts peroxide and baking soda together until paste forms. Wait until the bubbles have subsided before applying it on the stain. Allow the paste to remain for a few minutes before wiping with a towel.
Rubbing alcohol works well for clearing stains from slate flooring. In four glasses of water, dissolve half a cup of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Wipe the stain with a sponge soaked in the solution. Scrub with a little extra force if it won’t budge.
Allow the solution to work for 10 minutes after spraying it on the stain. When the timer goes off, use a brush or sponge to clean the stain. Then, thoroughly rinse with clean water.
Because this product contains bleach, it should not be used on coloured grout because it will erase the colour.
Shaving cream may be used to erase stains from the floor if you have coloured grout. Shaving cream does not include bleach, yet it should be helpful at removing blemishes.
Apply a liberal amount of shaving cream on the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wipe it away with warm water and a towel.
To guarantee that your coloured grout will be alright, we recommend performing a spot test in an inconspicuous place.
Materials You Can Use To Clean Slate Floors
You might be amazed at what an absorbent material can do for a fresh or old stain. You may experiment with a variety of things, including cat litter, baking soda, and mineral spirits.
Pour the absorbent over the stain and let it to soak for 10 minutes if it is a new stain or a few hours if it is an old stain. When you’re finished, vacuum or sweep the material up. If you use cat litter, choose clay-based litter since it absorbs faster.
Begin by creating a paste with water if you’re using baking soda. Allow the paste to dry completely before covering the stain. Then, scrape off the dry flakes and repeat as needed.
Pour mineral spirits over the discoloration and allow it for 30 minutes. Using a brush, scrub the area and soak it in newspaper. Finally, clean the area.
Seal Slate Floors
Sealing your slate flooring is the best method to safeguard them. If your floors were not sealed when they were built, try sealing them during or immediately after installation. Or perhaps you’ve recently moved into a home with slate flooring and want to give them a fresh coat of paint. But first, decide whether it’s essential.
Before installing a new sealant, you may need to use a chemical stripper to remove the old one. Some sealers have a glossy finish, while others have a more natural appearance. Choose a sealer that is appropriate for your slate type and design.
Before applying any sealer, properly clean and dry the flooring. Follow the manufacturer’s directions before applying the sealer.
After you’ve finished, buff the floor with a cotton towel to remove any leftover product.
Washing Slate Floors Bottom Line
Slate is one of the most popular natural stone flooring options, and it’s simple to understand why. It has a lovely aged, dark appearance that complements both rustic and contemporary houses. Slate is a tough stone, although depending on the grade, it can be permeable.
You can maintain your slate flooring looking new by deep cleaning them every two or three months. Avoid using acidic cleansers and think about sealing your flooring for further protection and peace of mind.
Have you attempted to clean your slate flooring with a steam mop? Leave a comment below and tell us how you maintain your slate stone looking great.