Clean Like A Pro
How To Clean Stone Floors
Keeping your stone floors shining and stain free is what professional cleaners do! So if you want to know how to clean stone floors, you’ll need some expert advice. Luckily for you, we’ve asked a couple of pros to help us out. With the help of Debra Braman, owner of Maid By Design, and Annie Farron, owner of Annie At Your service, we’ve crafted an awesome guide on the best way to clean stone floors. Follow the below steps and keep your natural stone, marble, travertine, limestone, sandstone, slate, or granite floors looking like new.
Best Tips and Practices
The most important thing when cleaning stone is to not use a cleaner that is too alkaline or too acid. Both can remove the finish or shine from the floor. Always use a neutral cleaner when dealing with any natural stone. A pH of 7 is neutral. Anything below 7 is acidic, which can eat away the sealant and cause etching. Above 7 is alkaline , which is great for removing grease and grime, but can leaving a damaging residue if it’s not properly rinsed and neutralized.
Secondly, you should take simple steps to maintain your floors daily, especially when dealing with marble. This will make your cleaning much more effective and efficient, as well as keep your floors from scratching. Marble is one of the softest stones and can be damaged easily. So sweep high traffic areas daily and use mats, so the dirt is left behind on the mat instead of the floor. Under shoes, the dirt acts like sandpaper.
There are two methods when cleaning any type of flooring. The first is to use a spray bottle with a floor cleaner and a dry microfiber mop. Lightly spritz the cleaner on your floor and let it sit for a minute so the solution can grab the dirt. Then proceed to mop. This method minimizes the amount of dirty liquid that you may get into the grout lines or holes in a stone floor.
The second method is to use a bucket with your floor cleaner and dip your microfiber mop pad in the water, wring it well and mop. This method works great in your kitchens, since the extra water easily removes stuck on food. When using this method, work in small areas and rinse your mop pad often. You also need to make sure you’re not leaving behind a lot of water. Do this by making sure your microfiber mop pad is wrung out well. As you mop, check the pad for dirt. If the pad is getting dirty, change it out for a new one, never let the pad get too dirty. Always carry clean mop pads in a bucket with solution. The microfiber scrubber mop pad is perfect for stone floors, since it is aggressive without being abrasive! Make sure to let the floor dry before you replace rugs because mold can develop.
Tile Lines And Crevices
Most stone flooring, unless it’s been honed, likely has dips and crevices in it where dirt will accumulate. If continually left untreated, no amount of mopping will remove it. This especially applies if you are cleaning stone tile floors, because debris gets caught in the grout lines. If this is the case, you will need a scrubber of some sort with a brush that will get into the crevices to get the embedded dirt out. The lil Chizzler is a great tool to use, since it is made of rubber it won’t scratch your flooring. If the stains and buildup is too much, the best way to clean natural stone tiles may be to contact an expert tile and grout cleaning person.
Protecting Natural Stone Flooring
Sealing is a very important way of making your natural stone floor last a lifetime. Natural stone floors are porous. This means they have holes, which makes them highly susceptible to spills, cooking oil, dirt and grime. This stuff will penetrate natural stone that hasn’t been sealed properly, causing stains and making it harder to clean and maintain. Sealers impregnate the stone, meaning they seal the holes so liquids and oils don’t penetrate the stone’s surface, but remain on top of the stone for easy cleaning. Cleaning products containing acid will break down the sealant over time making your floors porous again.
The most common cleaner used on floors is an alkaline detergent added to mop water. In the short term, the soapy water collects some of the dirt leaving the tile looking clean. If the soapy water is allowed to puddle and is not completely removed, the dirty soap water may settle into the grout lines or holes in porous stone. As the water evaporates the dirt and soap remains. Since soap is on the alkaline side of the pH scale, when it dries it leaves behind a slightly sticky residue. This in turn causes more dirt to stick to the surface. This buildup, over time, produces dirty grout and stone and can harbor bacteria. Besides becoming unsightly, the bacteria build-up can produce odors.
That’s why the best natural stone floor cleaner is one with a neutral PH level. When you are looking for products to clean your floors look for the words “neutral,” “residue free,” and “pH 7” on product labels. With a residue free neutral cleaner, you will not leave behind any acidic or alkaline residue that could damage your floors. Dish soap is an inexpensive cleaner and most have neutral PH (check the label). We love to use OdoBan No Rinse Neutral PH floor cleaner. There are also products made exclusively for Stone.
Why We Do It This Way
The products and methods we use are simple and safe, so you can learn how to clean natural stone floors effectively and efficiently. They are meant to work on all types of stone flooring including, marble, travertine, limestone, sandstone, slate, and granite. Try them out and start cleaning like a pro today!
KEY PRO TIPS
- Look for floor cleaning products with the words “neutral,” “residue free,” and “pH 7” on product labels.
- As you mop check the pad for dirt and change mop pads as needed.
TOOLS WE USE