How to Clean Slate Flooring

Thursday December 16, 2010
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Slate falls into the stone flooring family and is a form of fine grained metamorphic rock which forms in layers, often streaked with rich and colorful veins, which makes it an attractive flooring material. Slate flooring is usually cut into tiles which are installed over grout. Slate is naturally porous and so a commercial sealer is used after installation to preserve it. Even with a sealer, slate can be stained with some cleaning fluids and alkaline solutions which can pit the floor or cause cracks.

To clean a slate floor, first remove dirt and dust by sweeping or vacuuming. Then go over the floor with a dust mop to collect fine debris and particles. The next step is to mop the floor using a cleaning solution of 1/4 cap of detergent diluted in a gallon of warm water. If the floor is not too dirty, mop with warm water alone. Rinse and wring the mop frequently ensuring no traces of the detergent remain. Allow the floor to dry naturally. Cleaning is recommended once a week at least.

Slate floors can last and preserve their appearance for years if a few basic precautions are observed. It is best to avoid wearing shoes on a slate floor. If slate flooring is installed in the kitchen, use throw rugs to catch spills around the stove and sink. To remove stubborn stains in high traffic areas, rub lightly with a dilute solution of vinegar and water.

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