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How to Clean a Natural Stone Floor

Your new or existing natural stone floor when laid would, with any luck, have been well sealed to protect it from the grime and grease that every day traffic throws at it. And a lot of traffic it certainly gets – particularly hallways and kitchens have an endless stream of muddy boots and perhaps even dogs paws!

marble kitchen floor

The marble floor in our kitchen prior to cleaning

The problem is that the more you clean your floor (even with the cleaning products recommended by the flooring supplier) the more you erode the sealant that was originally applied, and that becomes a vicious circle, because dirt then sinks into the floor easier and is therefore harder to remove. The grout between each tile is hit particularly badly. It becomes a sponge for all the dirt and grime, and is very hard to clean with every day floor detergents.

So ever 12 to 18 months or so (don’t worry, for me it was more like 3 years!) you really ought to give your floor a deep clean, and then reseal it. That way you’re preserving the life of the floor, and making your life a whole lot easier on the cleaning front.

kitchen floor cleaning products

The floor cleaning products that I’ve assembled to sort out my kitchen floor

So just before Christmas, with a house party looming, I decided it was about time I sorted out my kitchen floor.

The products pictured above were all bought from Topps Tiles, but the FILA products have now been replaced by Topps Tiles own brands. So here’s the Tool Kit I used to clean my marble floor (take a deep breath before reading on – these products aren’t cheap!):

  • Tile and Stone Cleaner (£8.99) – for every day cleaning of the floor
  • Vileda Super Mocio Micro and Cotton Mop (£10 approx)- my choice of mop for cleaning the floor
  • Tile and Stone Stain Remover (£10.99)
  • Grout Cleaner (£10.99) – to attack and remove the dirt that has sunk into the grout
  • Paint brush and jar – to apply the Grout Cleaner and Grout Protector
  • Scrubbing brush – to remove the dirt from the grout
  • Large sponge (£2 approx) – to wipe off the Grout Cleaner once it’s done its job
  • Grout Protector (£18.99) – to seal the grout once you’ve got it clean
  • Satin Effect Finish Wax (£19.99) – to seal the entire floor once you’ve removed all the dirt
  • Roller and emulsion insert (£3 approx) – to apply the two coats of Satin Effect Finish Wax to the floor

If you’ve got a travertine, marble or other natural stone floor, then the chances are, like me, you’re a bit unhappy with the degree to which it’s muddied in tone over the years (particularly the grout).

But with a bit of elbow grease and the right products you can do a pretty effective job of restoring it to something like its former glory – check out my video to see how I got on!

mopping kitchen floor

I mopped my floor about 4 times before applying the grout cleaner

The key to all this is to get the floor as clean as you can – I think I did 4 laps of the kitchen floor with my Vileda mop, before I had even started cleaning the grout. You want to keep mopping the floor until the water in the bucket is no longer brown when you pour it away!

cleaning grout on marble kitchen floor

With the grout cleaner applied, a scrubbing brush quickly lifts the dirt from the grout

Then came the Grout Cleaner, which I applied with a paint brush, left for a minute or two and then scrubbed out. The grout cleaner is incredibly effective, and you can clearly see the dirt lifting out of the grout. A large sponge is then used to wipe up the dirt and grout cleaner, rinsing well and regularly in a bucket of water.

kitchen floor grout protector

Applying the Grout Protector to seal the grout

Once the grout was dry I then applied a coat of Grout Protector to all the grout lines, to seal the grout.

applying satin effect finish wax to marble floor

The Satin Effect Finish Wax then seals the floor

The final and most important step: when the Grout Protector was dry I then applied two coats of Satin Effect Finish Wax to the floor using a roller with a medium pile emulsion roller sleeve. Applying two coats doubles the protection and also ensures that you don’t miss any of the floor (which is easier to do than you would think!)

As I emphasise in the video, this is the most important part of the process, because after all your hard work cleaning the floor, it is very raw and susceptible to dirt. By comprehensibly sealing the floor you are protecting it, but also making it much easier to mop clean – because none of the dirt can actually sink into the tiles or grout.

marble kitchen floor after cleaning

The cleaned and sealed floor – restored to its former glory!


How to Remove Mould from Fabric

This blog is, I have to confess a little thrown together, as the content for it appeared completely by chance, but in connection with the research I was doing for my recent blog and video on how to remove condensation.

I borrowed a Karcher WV50 Window Vac from my friend Polly for the video I was preparing, and after using it (wow, what an AMAZING product – I so wish we had one of these), I dropped it back round at Polly’s house. starbrite mildew stain remover spray

We got talking (we both share a bit of a passion for DIY!) and she excitedly told me about a stain remover she had bought to remove mould from her roman blinds. Before replacing the windows in her cottage with double glazing she had quite a bit of condensation and as a consequence the back of her blinds, and her bathroom roller blind had gone very mouldy.

She told me about how this spray had completely removed the mould from her blinds, and excitedly said that we should give it a go on a bathroom roller blind that was completely beset with mould – and which she hadn’t yet tackled. Unfortunately I had neither my phone nor video camera with me, so all photos in this blog are kindly provided by Polly. I’m just a little gutted I don’t have a video to show you this amazing spray in operation.

roller blind mouldy

So off we went upstairs, and suspended the roller blind over the bath.  We liberally sprayed the Mildew Stain Remover directly onto the blind. The stain remover spray began to work almost immediately, and the mould started to turn paler and then disappear. After 10 or 15 minutes, we gave the blind a rinse under the shower to remove the spray and mould residue and resprayed a couple of areas where the mould had been heaviest. We then rinsed it again and left it to dry.

mouldy roller blind after mildew stain remover treatment And the finished result is, I think you’ll agree, pretty staggering! The blind, which I would have been tempted to throw away looked almost brand new!

Clearly not all products can be rinsed clean in this way, but we rinsed the blind because I knew a single layer polyester fabric like this would be fine to rinse.

I believe the manufacturers’ instructions don’t recommend spraying the product on clothes and other fabrics, but the reviews Polly read before buying it suggested she ignore this as other users had achieved such good results with it. For the roman blinds in the rest of her house, Polly had simply sprayed the lining on the back of the blind where the mould had formed. She didn’t need to rinse the fabric after applying the stain remover and is really pleased with the results.



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