Cleaning Stone Tiled Floors

Cleaning Stone Tiled Floors

Many customers have asked us how they should keep their stone floor clean in between professional stone floor cleaning services

This article provides valuable insights on maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of stone floors in homes.

Stone floors are a beautiful addition to any home. Whether you have marble, granite, limestone, or slate floors, proper cleaning and maintenance is essential to keep them looking their best.

Without proper maintenance, the dirt particles may damage the stone and cause it to become dull.

Table of Contents

 

In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to clean and maintain your stone floors to ensure they stay in great condition for years to come.

Cover picture broom for sweeping tiled floors cover picture.jpg

How To Clean Stone Tiled Floors

The first step in maintaining your stone floors is to keep them clean.

  1. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is a great way to remove dirt and debris from the surface.
  2. When it comes time to clean your stone floors, it is important to use the right cleaning products. A mild detergent or a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for stone is the best option.
  3. When cleaning, be sure to use a damp mop or cloth and avoid using too much water, as this can run onto your furnishings.
  4. Allow the cleaning solution time to dwell because this will soften the dirt. 
  5. Rub the dirt off and try to absorb the dirty solution onto the mop before rinsing in a clean bucket of water. 
  6. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots or stains.
  7. You may want to seal the floor with a mild solution of stone soap. 

The best stone floor cleaning Products

Please see our Blog Page for the latest products that we recommend for cleaning and maintaining floors in between professional cleaning and restoration services.

The best tile cleaning detergents should always have a neutral pH. Anything slightly acidic will eventually make your floor dull. Anything too alkali will remove the sealer that’s protecting your stone floor.

In our experience, marble is the most susceptible to acidic solutions, so if you can find a neutral pH cleaner that’s suitable for marble, then it’s safe to say that you can use it on any hard floor.

Other stone floors that respond similarly to marble, is travertine, limestone and even slate floors. This is because these rocks consist of a high concentration of calcium carbonate.*

Neutral pH cleaning solutions would also be safe for harder stone floors such as granite, slate, quarry, Victorian, porcelain and even LVT.

Just a capful should be enough for a bucket of warm water. The solution should never be hot because you could erode the sealer, the grout or even the tile. When using a stone cleaning solution and technique for the first time, always do a test patch in an inconspicuous area, such as behind a door or under a staircase.

If your test results in stone damage then at least it will be hidden from view. This damage can be restored by a professional stone restoration specialist.

If you find that your new technique doesn’t damage the stone then you can continue with the rest of the floor. 

The best mop for stone floors

The best mop floors is a flat mop with a thick microfibre cloth that can soak up all the dirt and lift it into a rinsing bucket.

If there are any grease stains on the floor then avoid heavy scrubbing or grease-removal products which would also remove the sealant.

Ideally you want to prevent any grease build-up and therefore mop regularly or as soon as an oil spillage occurs. When it’s freshly spilled, it’s still soft and easy to clean so don’t wait for it to get hard.

Stain Removal from Stone Floors

Despite your best efforts, stains may still occur. If this happens, it is important to address them immediately using a pH-neutral cleaner or a specialised stone stain remover.

Use a stronger concentration of the neutral pH cleaning solution, don’t use any other stronger products.

With the right products and techniques, it is possible to remove many stains and restore your stone floors to their original condition.

Maintaining stone floors requires a little bit of effort, but with regular cleaning, sealing and protection, your stone floors will remain beautiful and durable for years to come.

It is important to consult with a professional for regular maintenance and for any issues that may arise to prevent long term damage.

Removing stains from stone tiles and grout

If there comes a time when you do find a grease stain that you can’t remove, don’t worry too much about it.

It’s likely not permanent damage and can probably be removed during a professional stone cleaning service (unless it’s sandstone which is very porous which allows the stain to soak too deep and the stone is too hard for us to sand out).

We recommend a service every two years, depending on the traffic that you have in your home.

Over this period there’s bound to have been some occasions where dirt and oils have settled into the stone.

The only way to remove this is with a grease remover that I’m not going to recommend because it will remove the sealant and expose the floor to more dirt. Rather leave it for a professional tile cleaning service.

Sealing Stone Floors

The final step in maintaining your stone floors is to seal them periodically.

A stone sealer should be used to prevent damage from liquids and protect the surface of the floor.

The frequency of sealing will depend on the type of stone, the level of foot traffic, and the level of exposure to liquids.

A professional can help you determine the appropriate frequency for your floors.

What’s the best stone tile sealer

If there comes a time when you’ve cleaned the floor too harshly and it removes the sealant, you can apply this impregnating sealant after the floor is cleaned and dried.

Use a very clean microfibre cloth. You cannot use this cloth on anything else afterwards so either throw it away or keep it next to the sealer bottle for future use.

Don’t try to wash it out because you’ll end up with sealant all over your sink.

WARNING:

  • Good impregnating sealers will make the whole room smell potent for many hours.
  • Do not spill this stuff on anything else.
  • Colour Enhancer sealers will darken the stone and cannot be removed until a professional service strips the sealer off again.

 

Impregnating sealers don’t give the floor a shine, it simply soaks into the stone and provides a protection that should last until the next professional clean.

If you’ve applied too much sealant, simply buff it off before it dries. If the residue persists, let it cure for a few days and then wash the surface residue off the stone with a more concentrated cleaning solution. This will not remove the sealer from the underlying stone.

Please note that impregnating sealers don’t stop harsh chemicals or hot solutions from soaking through to the stone. 

Stone Floor Protection

To keep your stone floors in top condition, it is also important to take steps to protect them from scratches and damage.

Use felt pads under furniture and rugs to protect the floor from scratches.

Also, avoid exposing the stone floor to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight or UV rays which can cause discoloration over time.

In Summary

  1. Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Clean the floor using a mild detergent or a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for stone.
  3. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots or stains.
  4. Seal the floor periodically to protect it from stains and damage.
  5. Use felt pads under furniture and rugs to protect the floor from scratches.
  6. Avoid exposing the stone floor to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight or UV rays which can cause discoloration over time.
  7. If stains do occur, address them immediately using a pH-neutral cleaner or a specialised stone stain remover.
  8. Lastly, it is important to consult with a professional for regular maintenance and for any issues that may arise to prevent long term damage.

Top tips for stone floor maintenance

  1. Don’t spill acids or hot liquids onto the stone floor. Eg vinegar, tea, wine. This will etch the floor.
  2. Don’t use any cleaning solution that’s not for stone (eg domestos, limescale remover, bleaches, etc). These have acids which could etch or turn the stone yellow.
  3. Don’t use heated mops on the floor as this would remove the sealant and also degrade the stone as well as the grout.
  4. Keep the floor free from sand and dust particles to prevent scratches where dirt can get trapped.
  5. If you scrub too hard, don’t panic, just seal it afterwards, or call us to re-polish it.
  6. If in doubt, give us a call.

* Why do rocks, containing calcium carbonate, erode in acid?

Rocks containing calcium carbonate, such as limestone and marble, can erode when they come into contact with acids due to a chemical reaction.

Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is a compound that is sensitive to acids.

When an acid is introduced to calcium carbonate, it reacts with the acid to produce water, carbon dioxide, and a dissolved form of calcium ions.

Here’s the chemical equation for the reaction:

CaCO3 (s) + 2H+ (aq) → Ca2+ (aq) + CO2 (g) + H2O (l)

In this reaction, the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) reacts with the hydrogen ions (H+) from the acid.

This results in the formation of calcium ions (Ca2+), carbon dioxide gas (CO2), and water (H2O).

The carbon dioxide gas is released as a by-product, which you can observe as bubbles if the reaction occurs in a liquid solution.

The dissolved calcium ions are carried away in the solution.

As a result of this chemical reaction, the solid calcium carbonate in the rock is gradually broken down, leading to erosion.

This is why rocks containing calcium carbonate are susceptible to damage when exposed to acidic substances.

The rate of erosion will depend on factors such as the concentration and strength of the acid, as well as the specific characteristics of the rock.

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