How to Clean Slate Tiles

Slate tiles provide natural beauty to flooring, making the material a popular choice for many rooms, like kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. Slate is super durable and aesthetically pleasing to look at, but it can require a little work to keep it looking fantastic.

If you’re concerned about damaging your tiles while cleaning, here’s a general guide on how to clean your slate tiles so you can keep them in the best possible condition.

Slate floor

Sweep/Vacuum

You need to keep your slate floor clear of dust, dirt and debris before it can be adequately cleaned. It will make the job easier and make the overall cleaning much more effective. Dirt that contains tiny stones and particles of soil could also cause scratches or abrasions on your floor, so it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum with a soft attachment and go over the floor to give it a thorough clean. Get in all the corners and crevices to ensure all the debris is picked up. Make sure you don’t accidentally use attachments meant for carpets, as these can scratch the floor.

Mop the Floor

When mopping your natural slate flooring, make sure you’re using a proper slate cleaner or a mild dish soap. Using products with harsh chemicals could cause damage or alter the appearance of your slate tiles, so take care with your chosen cleaner. Mix it with plenty of warm water to dilute it.

Dip the mop into the cleaning solution and wring out the excess water. Start at the top of the room and work outwards, using smooth strokes to clean the entire floor. Dip and wring your mop periodically to wash it, and if the water is starting to get dirty, consider changing it for some fresh, clean water.

You can use a steam mop to help pick up extra dirt and disinfect the floors for a deeper clean.

Teak Oil

Wipe or leave your floor to dry, then you can finish it off with some teak oil. Teak oil can help enhance the final appearance of your floor. Apply a thin layer with a soft cloth but don’t soak the slate tiles, otherwise they will begin to absorb the oil. Slate oil can also be used.

A closeup image of slate tiles

Removing Stains

If your slate floor has stains, it may need more careful attention than just a general clean. Here are the steps to dealing with stains:

  • Wipe spills immediately – as soon as a spill occurs, wipe it up so it doesn’t sink into the porous surface. Use a cloth or towel.
  • Mild detergent – dip a cloth in a mild cleaning solution and gently rub the stain to remove it.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – this contains a mild bleach that can remove stains without damage. Use equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide and apply to stain and leave it for ten minutes. Scrub with a brush or sponge and rinse with water.
  • Rubbing alcohol – this can be effective at removing stains. Combine rubbing alcohol with plenty of water, soak a sponge and work the stain until it is removed.

Removing Scratches

Slate can become scratched, which can add a level of character to the surface, but too many or too deep scratches can ruin the floor’s beautiful aesthetic. There are a few techniques that can remove or hide scratches from a slate floor’s surface:

  • Mineral oil – clean and dry the area and work it with mineral oil on a cloth. The darkening effect will help hide minor scuffs.
  • Stain pen – this can be used to match the scratch to the colour of the slate. Clean and dry the area and wipe the pen on the scratch and wipe to blend the scratched area into the slate’s surface, matching the colours.
  • Sanding – fine-grit sandpaper can be used gently to achieve a polished look and remove scratches. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth afterwards.

Slate Bathroom
Your slate floor needs a regular clean to keep it in tip-top condition. It should be swept a few times a week and mopped once a week to keep it nice and clean. When your slate floor is clear of dust, dirt and debris, you minimise the risk of scratches occurring, so not only does a clean floor look great, but it will last longer.

At UK Slate, we can provide you with a vast range of slates in a variety of colours and styles from quarries across the world, including right here in the UK. If you’d like to learn more about our range of slates, including our ridge tiles, do not hesitate to contact us.