Some detailed instructions with regard to cleaning slate floors:
If the slate floor is adversely covered in cement or grout residue:
1. Use water to pre-wet the floor.
2. Apply some phosphoric acid-type cleaner solution to the floor – mixed with 1 part cleaner to 5 parts water to begin. (You can use a stronger mix if required). **PLEASE NOTE: Always conduct a small test on a relatively inconspicuous section of the floor first, before you begin.
3. Leave the cleaner to dwell on the floor for a few minutes
4. Agitate the floor and cleaning solution with a scrubbing brush (nylon bristle and not metal).
5. Soak up the cleaning solution remaining on the floor. Rinse well with fresh water, agitating again so you can get rid of any residual acid cleaner.
6. Make an assessment of the floor at this stage. You may need to apply an additional treatment of the cleaner.
If your slate floor only requires routine cleaning we would recommend a neutral cleaner like Ezy Clean by All for Stone – this is a mild cleaner and is safe and suitable for cleaning slate on a regular basis.
For more intensive slate cleaning, where the dirt is not mineral- based, we would recommend the use of a heavy-duty alkaline cleaner like Xtreme Clean. This a powerful cleaner and degreasing solution. When applied to the floor, leave to dwell for between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on how bad the contamination. Then agitate by scrubbing with a nylon or natural bristle scrubbing brush. Clean up remaining the dirty solution and rinse well with clean water.
The critical elements here are the dwell time and the rinsing. Alkaline-cleaning solutions need time to work. Once you have “extracted” the dirt from the floor it will be suspended in the solution so you absolutely must remove it – on no account leave it to dry naturally.Copyright Ian Taylor and The Tile and Stone Blog.co.uk, 2013. See copyright notice above.