Slate floors are among the hardest surfaces which require little maintenance after installation. But then again, they still call for proper cleaning and sealing to preserve their luster and finish. Regular cleaning of slate floors helps prevent the loose dirt and debris from scratching the surface – more-so when you step on it.
Sealing the grout joints and slate is also the best practice intended to protect these floors from everyday dirt and stains. When cleaning slate floors, it is essential to use the recommended cleaning tools and cleaners to safeguard them from undue wear and to maintain their pristine look. Although you might have a busy schedule, it is important that you dust mop the slate floors daily and dump mop it at least once a week.
In today’s blog post, we walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to clean slate tile floors and seal them the right way. This simple procedure will help you keep your slate floors looking spectacular all year round. Let’s get started right away.
Supplies and Tools Needed for Cleaning Slate Floor
- Broom and dustpan
- Dust mop
- Mop and bucket
- Hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol
- Mild dish soap
- Stone floor stripper
- Grout sponge
- Shallow plastic pan
- Stone and grout sealer
- Clean cotton cloths
Dust Mop Your Slate Floor
Thoroughly clean the entire slate floor using a top-quality machine-washable dust mop. Ensure that you start at one end pushing your dust mop to the other far end. You must use the same motion when performing this step.
If you simply move your dust mop back and forth, the dust and debris will be dispersed everywhere on the floor. You should also work in defined areas one at a time. After completing one section, sweep the accumulated dust and debris off the floor before starting on another section.
Mop Your Slate Floor
Carefully dump mop the whole slate floor using a high-quality mop and a bucket of plain water. Occasionally when you need to perform deep cleaning, you can add a mild detergent to the wash water. Fabric detergent and dish soap are considered a safe mild detergent.
When moping your slate floor tiles with water it is vital that you completely dry off all the water. After cleaning, ensure that you let the slate floor tiles dry completely before anyone can start walking on it.
Remove the Stains
Water and regular rubbing alcohol can help spot-treat all the stains on your slate floor. Mix 1 quart of water with a 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol. Dip your sponge into the mixture and use it to wipe the stains.
When dealing with tough stains on the slate floor, you will have to scrub using a cloth or towel. You could also use a quart of water and hydrogen peroxide drops for this step.
Prepare to Seal Your Slate Floor
The first three steps above are all about how to clean slate floor tiles. When through with those steps, it is recommended that you seal the floor. The sealant should be applied every four years, or in line the with the manufacturer’s instructions. Prepare for applying the seal by first using a chemical stripper to remove all traces of the old sealant.
Choose a Sealer
Choosing the right sealer for your slate floor will depend on the amount of traffic in your home, the type of slate, and the desired look you want. You can either use a surface or below-surface sealer. The below-surface sealer clogs the pores ensuring stains don’t get in while the surface sealer creates a protective layer over the stone surface.
Apply the Sealer
Before you start applying the sealer, ensure the floor is completely dry and clean. Put the recommended amount of sealer in a shallow plastic tub. You can then proceed to swish the sealer gently to ensure it coats the tube’s bottom. Use a sponge to gently rub the sealer over your slate floor tile in a circular motion to ensure you cover the entire surface.
Buff the Floor
Let the sealer sit for around five minutes before you buff the entire sealed area with a towel or clean cloth. You can add a second coat and repeat the same process after you let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Cleaning your slate floor should not be difficult especially if you applied a sealer. Slate floors can be cleaned using various other methods including steam. You need to do extensive online research to learn how to clean slate floors with steam should you want a different cleaning method.