tips from the trade: how to clean your slate tile floors quickly and easilyMay 06, 2017
You love your slate tile floor, a stunner that adds color, texture and a bit of nature indoors or out. But beauty doesn’t have to be a beast to maintain. The trick is to spend a few minutes each day getting rid of dirt and dust, which will save you major cleaning time in the long term.
Wherever you chose to install slate tile, here are a few easy tips for keeping it looking like new for a long time.
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#1. Clean spills on the spot
Slate sealant should have been applied when the slate was installed, and will help keep liquids from soaking into the stone. But time is the enemy when it comes to preventing liquid stains. Soak up liquid as soon as it spills, especially acid-based liquids like vinegar or lemon, and dark liquids like wine or grape juice.
#2. Sweep diligently
When slate is first installed, tiny pieces typically flake off. Add those flakes to crumbs and dirt the kids track in, and you’ve got floors that needs daily sweeping. Since slate has varied texture, make a couple of passes with a broom in one direction, and then reverse and sweep in the opposite direction to dislodge dirt still trapped between ridges.
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#3. Favor microfiber cloths
Microfiber cloths are magnets that attract dust and pet hair. Make a daily habit of giving slate a once-over with a wet or dry microfiber mop.
#4. Use the correct cleaner
Cleaners with a neutral pH are friends to slate, while abrasives, steel wool, or oils will harm the floor. Play it safe and buy a cleaner specifically designed to clean slate. Rinse with clean water and air dry.
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#5. Suck out stains
It’s not easy to stain slate. But if you let grease or other staining agents slop onto the floor, stains can develop. The best way to remove grease stains is to apply a poultice that sucks out oils. For example, a mud poultice is good for removing greasy gravies and sauces.
You can even make your own poultice by mixing flour and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Spread the paste over the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and let it work its magic overnight. Remove with a damp cloth or plastic scraper. If the stain remains, repeat.
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#6. Keep up with sealing
Sealant doesn’t last forever, and slate floors that see high traffic must be resealed periodically. How can you tell it’s time to reseal? Drip a little bit of water on the floor, and see how long it takes for the damp spot to disappear. If it takes longer than 10 minutes, the floor needs to be resealed.
Mother Nature took millions of years to create the slate tile you love on your floors. So be sure to take a few minutes every day to clean the floors that add so much beauty to your home.