Cleaning

Cleaning slate tiles – Top tips and tricks

how to clean slate tiles
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Slate tile floors are a popular choice in many Australian homes. They’re durable and make for a stunning natural stone look. With natural variants, no tile looks the same for a striking interior or exterior. But they’re not just beautiful, slate floors are also very functional. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for decades. So how do you go about cleaning slate tiles?

What exactly are slate tiles?

First things first, if you’ve never heard of slate floors before, we’ve got a little primer for you. Slate flooring is a popular type of tile that uses natural stone. That also means it’s much more durable than other hard flooring types like vinyl or hardwood. Even conventional tiles are less durable.

 

Slate is often used in kitchens. The stone look lends rooms a more natural feel because no tile will be exactly the same. They’re not the cheapest flooring but they can last a very long time.

Best slate cleaning advice

1. Sweep or vacuum

To ensure that your slate tiles last for a long time, it’s best to sweep them regularly. Little bits of debris can come off because the tiles naturally break into smaller pieces after they are first installed. This flaking off doesn’t continue forever and it will stop after a while.

 

You can get rid of dust and dirt by either sweeping or vacuuming your floors. Use a soft-brushed broom and avoid attachments that could scratch the floors when using a vacuum cleaner.

 

2. Avoid harsh cleaners

Although slates are durable, you should avoid using very harsh or toxic cleaning products on them. Stone is a natural material and can be damaged easily. It’s best not to use acidic cleaners like lemon or vinegar. Also, steer clear of abrasive chemicals like special cleaning products or bleach. Don’t use oil-based cleaning products. These tend to make floors slippery and clog up the surface.

 

3. Cleaning products

The best cleaning products for slates are the simplest. Just mix some dish soap with warm water and off you go! You can buy special slate cleaning tools for improved results. Some products also offer superior protection against grease and oil-based stains on slates. Others are formulated for more heavy duty cleaning or to remove mould and mildew.

 

4. Mopping slate floors

When you’re ready to mop your floors, use a damp mop but wring out any excess water. Mop the floor slowly and wring out your mop often enough to avoid spreading dirt around. If there’s a lot of dish soap residue all over the floor after mopping, give it another go using just plain warm water.

 

5. How to get rid of stains?

Most food remnants and stains should come away after you’ve mopped the floors. But sometimes stains can be persistent. A mild detergent and a little scrubbing should be your first attempt at removing any stains when you’re cleaning slates.

 

If that doesn’t help, you can mix baking soda with a little peroxide for a more effective solution to treat stains. Just combine the peroxide and baking soda in equal amounts into a paste. Apply it to the stain, wait for a few minutes and then wipe it with a cloth.

 

You can use rubbing alcohol to treat stains. Just soak a stone in a mixture of half a cup of rubbing alcohol to four cups of water and then treat the stain by scrubbing it a little harder. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, you can try out hydrogen peroxide. Mix it with water 1:1, spray it onto the stain and allow it to settle for 10 minutes. Then simply scrub the stain and rinse it with water.

Do more nooks and crannies between tiles mean more creepy crawlies?

If you’ve had your slate tiles fitted by an expert then there shouldn’t really be any issue, however there are always more nooks and crannies when it comes to tiles. Even the smallest little joins and gaps can encourage our pesky little friends to set up home in your kitchen.

 

Never fear though, there is one tried and tested way to beat the bugs and that’s to lay bait traps.

 

Bait traps beat sprays because they get to the nest, it means that you don’t have to chase cockroaches around your house in the middle of the night only to find another one has taken its place the day after!

 

Look for Combat gels and baits in your local supermarket. Add a little blob into the places where the cockroaches scurry off to and before you know it they’ll have been sent packing. They take the bait back to their nest and this gets rid of your problem at source - the nest. So your new slate tiled nest is happy and cockroach free!

 

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