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Cleaning Stone, Marble, Travertine, & Terracotta Tiles

Owning stone, marble, travertine, terracotta and other natural mineral tiles is a great way to increase the wow-factor of your kitchen and/or bathroom.  They offer amazing durability as well as deep visual equity.  Although they are strong enough to put up with plenty of normal household abuse, they still need regular maintenance and sealing to keep them shining and vivid as the day they were installed.

Differences in Stone Maintenance

Firstly, you need to know exactly what stone your tiles are made out of: is it marble, travertine, terracotta, granite, or limestone?  This will insure that you don’t accidentally damage or dull them with improper cleaning products.  Some stones are softer than others and therefor will scratch and stain easier.  Even normal dust build-up can lead to a scratched surface.  

Everyday cleaning with vacuuming and mopping is essential if you don’t want to end up needing replacing early in its lifespan.  As far as store-bought cleaners, you should go for the most natural and neutral solutions possible.  Major commercial cleaners, like http://www.eco-steamclean.co.uk/commercial-carpet-cleaning-liverpool.html eco-friendly cleaning because it extends the life of the stone.

What is a Safe Stone Cleaner?

When browsing stone cleaners, pay attention to the pH levels and only go for cleaners that are non-acidic and are concentrated to get the job done with minimal scrubbing.  Before applying any cleaning solution, pour a thin layer of water over the surface to improve effectiveness.  You can try mixing the cleaning solution into a spray bottle if you have stone tiles on your walls, counters, backboards, and so forth.  Give the cleaner time to sit before wiping it up with a mop, sponge, or towel.

Periodically, you’re going to want to reapply wax to your stone tiles to keep them shining and to help repel potential stains or foreign particles.  The polish should be sprayed on and waxed off (Karate Kid-style) to prevent uneven layers.  You should get used to waxing your stone tiles as it’s easy to lose the luster if your surfaces receive a healthy amount of traffic and use.

Commercial Stone Cleaning

For reclaimed stone or any situations where stone, marble, traverstine, or terracotta tiles have been covered in heavy grime, you will need more than just a simple wipe down.  You need a stone cleaner and degreaser.  Sure, you could go out and purchase heavy-duty cleaning products, but be aware they’re not cheap and there is always some risk for those who don’t have any experience with commercial-grade cleaning jobs.  If you want to hire a professional like http://www.eco-steamclean.co.uk/hard-floor-cleaning-liverpool.html , then you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle while you’re at it.

If you insist on trying to cut through heavy dirt, then you will need to follow the instructions carefully on both the tile manufacturer’s guide and the cleaning solution that you purchase.  Again, you’re aiming for highly-concentrated cleaners with a neutral pH level.  You will also be avoiding any abrasive scraping or scrubbing, only use soft bristle scrubbers and repeated mopping until you finally get it all removed.

Dealing with Stains

If you encounter stains that will not budge under normal cleaning, you can either have a professional take care of it or use a stone poultice.  This special cleaning powder is made naturally from clay and it is made to absorb oil-based stains, especially.  It is worth noting that although this is the best homemade solution to stains, poultice can and will dull your polish, so you may have to rebuff your tiles after you finish.

A good marble polish can restore stone tiles of all types, which have been scratched, scuffed, and otherwise lost their former shine over the years.  Ideally, you’ll want to have someone with a floor buffer to take advantage of the polish and reduce the amount of work it will take to smooth out the surface.  This isn’t a replacement for a regular sealing, though, which should still be done about once a year, if possible.  You’ll notice when it’s time for a sealing when water no longer beads on your tiles.


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