Stone flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, and the range of different stone materials and finishes that you can get will make for an incredible array of different looks that you can choose for the house. However, you will want to keep your stone floor looking incredible if you are going to bother getting it in the first place, and that starts with the way in which you care for it. Whilst cleaning is indeed a positive process that will contribute to the great look of the stone flooring in your home, you will need to be sure of how you go about it, as otherwise you can end up damaging the stone over time, leaving it looking a bit dreary, which is not what you want! Scratching, water damage and using the wrong cleaning product can leave stains, marks and discoloration that will leave the floor looking a lot sorrier than you likely intended it to when you paid so much for it! Have a look over the following points to ensure that your cleaning techniques are not contributing to the deterioration of your stone flooring.
For a start you will need to be thinking about the wear and tear that your floor goes through. You will find that the small bits of dirt and debris that get brought in to the house will scratch and mark the softer stone floors that may be in your home. Slate and other lighter stone will be particularly susceptible to this, and whilst granite and marble may be strong enough to withstand such small material scratching it, the wearing down of the surface in this way can open it up to more troubling staining and the like. For the same reason it is essential that you vacuum your floors before you mop them. This will mean that there is no chance of any smaller bits and pieces scratching the floor as you move the mop around across it. The scratches that you get form not vacuuming before mopping are called ‘spider scratches’ as they are small and circular, and can change the look of the whole floor, as the surface will not be as shiny. Use a non-scratching mop head and microfiber cloth when cleaning, if you are particularly worried about this issue.
You will hear horror stories about people who have used the wrong cleaning product on their nice flooring, but the fact is that you will rarely be in any trouble if you avoid strong acids or alkali in your mop bucket. Going to far either way on the PH scale will mean that you risk stripping the stone of its protective layer of polish, and this can mean serious damage later on as it is exposed. If you want a cheap PH neutral soap then look no further than washing up detergent, as this will be neutral enough to clean the stone safely. Do not leave the soap to sit on the surface after however, as it can leave white marks. When you are mopping, be sure to avoid using too much water as well, as that can be a cause for some serious staining, especially on softer slate type stone floors. Stains occurring from water can be quite serious, and will sometimes have wide spreading rings, that will be very unsightly, and can ruin the whole look of your room, given that the flooring will take up a large portion of the surface of the room!