What stone tiles do you have?
Broadly-speaking, stone tiles can be broken down into two types. It’s important to identify which natural stone you have so you can ensure you care for your stone correctly and begin any cleaning task.
The first, calcareous, have a high calcium content, and can be sensitive if exposed to pungent chemical cleaners. This includes travertine, marble and limestone. Always be very careful to remove any spillages of products that have very high alkaline or acidic content quickly. If you have protected your stone with the appropriate stone sealer this will provide sufficient time to wipe away any spillages before they react with the surface and protect against staining.
The second variety, siliceous, are predominantly composed of silica. Quite often, these tiles will be much easier to clean and less reactive when exposed to chemicals. Siliceous tiles include slate, granite and quartzite. As Siliceous stones do not react as quickly to acidic products such as vinegar and lemon however, it is advisable not to leave acidic products on the stone for more than a few hours, as other minerals within the stone may still react. Sealing your stone with the appropriate sealer will enhance the beauty of your stone and repel water, oil and grease from the surface.
What can you do day-to-day?
The best thing you can do to reduce the risk or damage to your clean natural stone tiles is to wipe any spills up quickly and sweep with a soft broom or brush every day. By doing this routinely, you prevent the build-up or dirt that could cause staining and crumbs which could scratch them, or become stuck to grouting. If grout does become dirty, don’t hesitate to use a smaller soft brush, like a toothbrush to remove the dirt.
What can you do once a week?
Mopping your stone tiles weekly with clean water and gentle neutral cleaner at a ration 2 or 3 capfuls per bucket of warm water is an excellent way to ensure that dirt which has begun to build up can be removed. Using general supermarket cleaners will strip the sealer from the surface so using a cleaner formulated to work along side your sealer will help protect your floor tiles for longer and actually enhance the surface of your stone. Simply wash the surface of your stone with a clean cloth, and leave it in order to dry the flooring naturally.
How can I remove tough food stains?
Food, tobacco, coffee and tea stains can be targeted with a neutral spray cleaner which are available to complement your sealer, however, if you have a stubborn stain a simple home remedy can be created with a hydrogen peroxide (bleach) mix, at a ratio of about 1-part hydrogen peroxide and 9-parts water. Be careful not to apply for too long, or too regularly especially on delicate surfaces. Just remember to seal the area after as hydrogen peroxide will remove your sealer.
What about grease and deep dirt?
An oil or grease stain will typically make the stone surfaces appear darker than usual and may need to be dissolved chemically. You might be able to remove it yourself using a spot stain remover and a soft cloth, but don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you find yourself unable to remove the stain. This kind of issue is really frustrating when you’re trying to have that perfect clean stone floor.
How about moss, algae or fungi?
Plants or fungi can seem like an intimidating prospect to clean away, but you’ll find that the hydrogen peroxide and water mix suggested earlier in this blog will work wonderfully, even in lower strengths (1-part water to 15-parts hydrogen peroxide). You can also buy over the counter cleaning products that are pre-mixed and ready to go.
Ultimately, you need to learn about your stone tiles and appreciate how different cleaners, and types of wear-and-tear, might affect them. By doing so, you’ll find yourself prepared to deal with any challenges they might face and ensure their longevity. We stock a complete range of high quality stone cleaners, especially formulated to save you time, and make it easy to deliver an effective floor clean solution.
Have any further questions about tile care and stone cleaning? Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be only too happy to answer any queries you might have.