How to Clean Slate

Because of their durability and stain-resistance, slate surfaces are becoming increasingly popular in home decorating.

Here, slate flooring was used to add to the rustic charm of this room.Here, slate flooring was used to add to the rustic charm of this room.
Using slate tile is a sophisticated way to introduce elements of nature into your home. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors, textures and finishes that work in either indoor or outdoor environments. In addition to it's other qualities, it is easy to clean.

Wash slate with plain warm water to get the longest life from your slate surfaces. Using cleaners with high acid or alkaline pH levels will cause slate to become brittle. And applying anything containing wax will build up and cause slate to look dull and grout to darken.

Use a pH neutral cleaner when warm water just won't cut it. Because neutral cleaners are as gentle as water, they can be used on any surface that isn't harmed by water. They have no odor, either. For a standard sized kitchen in a three-bedroom home, a gallon of neutral cleaner concentrate could last for years.

Apply a stone and tile sealer with a cotton string mop every six to eight months. Sealing slate will help keep stains from absorbing into the porous surface. Before you seal your slate, keep in mind it will give your surface a shinier finish. Even though sealing slate will make cleaning easier, you might want to avoid it if you want to preserve the matte finish of the tile.

Don't drive yourself insane from scrubbing if you see rust colored stains appearing in your slate. Because it is a natural material, iron contained in the slate can rise to the surface and oxidize. Even if you seal your slate, you might still experience iron oxidization.

Things You Will Need

  • pH neutral cleaner Cotton string mop Stone and tile sealer (optional)

Tip

  • Frequent sweeping will extend the life of slate and keep it looking clean. When dirt and other particles are ground into slate, they create tiny scuffs causing the surface to appear dull and aged.

Warning

  • Avoid using cleaners like vinegar or citrus blends. These can cause slate to crack or break.

About the Author

Heather Mark is a writer and traveler living in Central Florida. Her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "International Travel News," "Pregnancy Magazine," "The Orlando Sentinel" and "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution." Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts in visual and media arts from Emerson College.