Cleaning Natural Stone Tiles and Stones

It’s hard to resist the look of natural stone tiles. Contrary to the popular myth, natural stone, as hard, dense and durable as it is, is porous and nothing that is porous is stain proof. For this reason, sealants are used on both interior and exterior stone tiles. You wouldn’t use a harsh abrasive cleaner on your polished timber dining table, yet that’s exactly what many homeowners try to do on their natural stone tiles, only to regret it when they see the damage they’ve done. Cleaning natural stone tiles is easy and effective if you do it right.

The Right Way to Clean Natural Stone Tiles 

            Prevention is always better than cure. The best way to preserve the sealant on your stone tiles is to sweep or vacuum the floors regularly and sweep up dirt or sand that’s brought into the house immediately. Dirt and grit on stone tiles acts like sandpaper, quickly “sanding” off the sealant when stepped on. Sweeping or vacuuming should be followed by periodically mopping with a well-diluted pH balanced detergent. Your choice of detergent is important, so either use a product recommended by your tile supplier or a home made solution using just enough mild dish washing liquid to help remove oily residues.
            You can be a little rougher on outdoor natural stone tiles because these are often not sealed or have a matte – finished penetrating sealant. Since they are often soiled, start by sweeping off as much dirt as you can and then use plain water and a shiff, natural bristle brush or broom to remove the ground-in dirt. Rinse off with a house and you’re done.
            There’s only one trick to preventing stains from occurring in natural stone tiles: act fast. If wine or any other liquid is spilled on your floor drop everything and clean it up immediately. Start by using paper towels or another highly absorptive material to remove the surface absorptive material to remove the surface liquid. After that use a mild detergent and water solution to finish the job. Work from the outside in to prevent spreading the stain. If there is any sign of deep stain, a 10 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide and water may work. For organic stains, a water and ammonia solution may work better. Never mix chemicals together. In some cases, such as ammonia and bleach, chemical interactions can have hazardous consequences.

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