How to maintain natural stone floors

December 22, 2014

Different stone can require different care. Research your stone to find out more. This guide is for general maintenance and cleaning of all stone floors.

How to maintain natural stone floors

Unlike ceramic surfaces, stone is porous and is easy to stain. Sand, dirt, and grit do the most damage to stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness.

General maintenance

  • Sweep regularly, at least once a week
  • Vacuum using a 'hard floor' attachment
  • Mop stone floors with a clean cotton-string mop, using warm water and dish soap or stone soap. Rinse the surface thoroughly, changing water frequently
  • Clean spills right away by blotting rather than rubbing
  • Don't wax stone floors
  • Don't use products that contain lemon juice, vinegar, or other acids
  • Don't use abrasive cleaners
  • In outdoor areas, remove algae or moss with a mild bleach solution and flush with clean water (using bleach too frequently can discolour your stone)
  • Don't use rust, calcium or lime removers on stone. These products can contain hydrofluoric acid, which is harmful to all types of stone

Stain removal

  • Try to identifying the type of stain on your floor as it may be the key to removing it
  • Oil-based stains will darken the stone. Clean with a soft cloth and either liquid dish soap, mineral spirits, or acetone
  • Organic stains (coffee, tea, wine) may cause a pinkish-brown stain that can be cleaned with 12 per cent hydrogen peroxide
  • Rust and other metal stains need to be removed with a poultice. Deep rust stains may be permanent
  • Ink stains can be cleaned with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. On dark coloured stones only, clean with mineral spirits or acetone
  • Paint drops can be removed with mineral spirits or carefully scraped off with a razor blade
  • Hard water stains can be buffed out with dry fine-grade steel wool
  • Slight surface scratches may be buffed with dry fine-grade steel wool
  • To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover
  • Discoloured grout may be able to be bleached. Ask a dealer about specific products


  • Stone flooring should be sealed as frequently as every year
  • Sealing does not make the stone stain-proof, but does makes make it more stain resistant
  • To test if your stone has been sealed, put a few drops of water on it and leave it for a few minutes. If there's a dark spot after wiping, the moisture is permeating the surface, which means the stone has not been sealed
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