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How To Clean Limestone Tile Floors

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If you have limestone tiles, or you plan to install them, it is essential knowing how to clean them. Limestone is a calcium carbonate made from shell fragments and marine bone to make a porous stone. Limestone is commonly durable, but it is still a soft stone that can stain or scratch. Follow these tips to clean limestone tiles.

Prepare to Clean Limestone Tiles

To clean limestone tiles, gather:

  • latex gloves
  • microfiber cloth or dry mop
  • broom
  • sponge mop
  • canister vacuum (optional)
  • old toothbrush 
  • white flour
  • pH neutral stone cleaner
  • floor mats (optional)
  • stone sealer

Wipe the tiles with microfiber cloth, which should remove loose dirt and stuck debris. If the area is large, use a dry mop or vacuum. 

If you choose to vacuum the floor, remove or disable the spinning brush. To keep the floors cleaner, lay mats at entryways, clean spills quickly, and dry mop the floor regularly.

Apply a pH Neutral Cleaner

Look for a stone cleaner with a pH of seven, and it should be safe for stone tiles. Don't apply anything with acid or citrus, since it will etch the tiles, and try the cleaner on a hidden area to test reaction. 

Pour tile cleaner in a spray bottle, if it doesn't have a spray nozzle, or mist a thin layer directly on the tiles. If the floor has stains, use an old toothbrush to scrub the area, scrubbing from the outside to the middle.

Moisten a mop in cool water, and avoid getting the mop too wet, to prevent water stains. A microfiber mop is more effective for trapping dirt, which improves air quality. Dry the floor quickly with a microfiber towel or cloth, since limestone doesn't air dry well.

If you prefer, mix three-fourths cup of flour and a small amount of bleach until a paste forms. Spread it on the floor, and leave it a day or two, then rinse. Don't skip rinsing cleaners, since soap residue attracts dirt, and it will leave behind a film. The flour paste is effective for removing tough stains. 

Steam and Seal

Steaming tile can remove dirt that collects in pockets or indentations, which is commonly hard to remove. The hard water gradually develops into discoloration and black stains. Rent a steam cleaner that has towel attachments and interchangeable heads from a home improvement store.

In some cases, you may need to reseal your tile. To determine if your tiles need resealing, dab a drop of water on the tile, and wait five minutes. If the water leaves a dark spot, reapply sealer to protect the finish.

If you have any questions, look into local house cleaning services. A professional can help or perform the service for you.