Contrary to popular belief, natural stone tiles are very easy to clean and maintain in excellent condition; you simply need to know which products to use and which products to avoid.
Natural cleaning solutions like vinegar and lemon juice can be effective on other surfaces, but they are acidic and should never be used on marble or travertine tiles – these types of stone are sensitive to acidic products, and can be damaged by them. Whilst other types of natural stone, such as granite and slate, are more resistant to acid, their surfaces can still be dulled or etched by it, so it’s best to choose a detergent that specifies that it is neutral and suitable for all stones, such as Fila Cleaner.
You should also avoid any cleaning agents which are based on ammonia or which are abrasive – these can also affect the surface of natural stone- or those which are not designed for tiles, such as bathroom tub cleaners.
If you have marble or travertine floors, you should make sure that any spills are mopped up quickly – particularly if they are highly acidic substances like orange juice, wine, or many soft drinks, which may affect the surface if left for too long. Blot liquid spills up, rather than wiping them, so that the spill doesn’t spread. Sealing your tiles can help to prevent damage from spills and stains.
In terms of daily maintenance, the main thing you need to do with natural stone surfaces is to remove everyday dust and grit, as this can abrade the surface. A standard dust mop or soft broom is ideal, or if your floor is textured you can use a vacuum cleaner, as long as you avoid using the beater bar or extensions with stiff bristled brushes. Dry mop or wipe your tiled surfaces regularly and wet mop or wipe as needed to revitalise them. Make sure that you don’t use too much detergent or soap, as this can leave a film, and rinse thoroughly for a streak-free finish.
If your tiled floor leads to an external door, it’s wise to have a floor mat to help wipe away grit and dust from shoes before they reach the tiles – prevention is better than cure, after all.