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How to Clean White Spots in Slate Tile

Sarabeth Asaff

Slate tiles have a natural beauty that makes them a desirable product for floors, wall and countertops within the home. Like any natural stone product, slate tiles are porous and are therefore able to absorb substances that come in contact with them.

Slate tiles should be cleaned with stone care products.

Slate tiles that have been used in a shower, may absorb minerals or soaps that will produce white spots on their surface. Slate tiles used on floors can develop similar spots from salt tracked in from the outdoors, improper cleansers or spills from various liquids.

  1. Apply a stone cleaner to the slate tile. Stone cleansers are available as liquids; pour some of the cleanser directly onto the white spots on the slate and then scrub the surface of the stone with a scrub brush.

  2. Rinse the slate with clear water and allow it to dry completely.

  3. Apply a poultice to the slate wherever white spots still remain. The poultice will penetrate the stone, lifting out stains to the surface where they can be rinsed away. Cover the poultice with plastic wrap or a plastic drop cloth and allow the poultice to work for one hour.

  4. Rinse the poultice off the stone with water and reapply stone cleaner. Scrub the surface of the stone a second time with the scrub brush to remove any substances the poultice has brought to the surface.

  5. Rinse the stone a final time and allow it to dry.

  6. Seal the slate tiles with an impregnating sealer to help protect them from further white spot stains. Paint the sealer onto the tiles with a foam paint brush, allow it penetrate for an hour and then wipe up the excess with a lint-free cloth.


A poultice is a special cleaning paste for stone that is available wherever stone cleaning products are found.