Slate is a strong stone material with a spongy surface. It is a very durable material, which makes it perfect for floors and shower stalls. To keep your slate tile floors and showers clean on a daily basis, clean up any spills as soon as possible. The tile is sealed after installation, but you do not want to risk stains from cleaning supplies or liquids.
Commercial cleaning products for slate tile floors and showers abound; what they have in common is the fact that their pH is alkaline. Slate tile requires an alkaline cleaning solution because acids can etch the slate, causing pitting. Any time that you use a new type of commercial cleaner on your slate tile floor or shower, test the cleanser in an out-of-the-way location first. If the cleaning solution damages your slate tile, it is less of a hassle to repair.
Mild dishwashing liquid and water work well for everyday cleaning of your slate tile floor and shower. Dishwashing liquid is also on the alkaline side of the pH scale, so it will not harm the slate surface. If you are in doubt as to whether a new dishwashing liquid will work properly on your slate tile floor or shower, test it as you would a commercial cleaning solution. Choose an inconspicuous location, and clean a small area.
Whichever type of cleanser you choose to use on your slate tile floor or shower, allow it to sit on the tile for a few minutes, which lets the cleanser begin to break down the dirt and grime, making it easier to clean the tile.
Use a soft-bristled brush on the slate itself and the grout joints to work out dust and dirt that lodges into the porous grout.
Rinse your slate tile floor and shower well every time that you clean them. The slate can hold onto cleaning solutions; soaps and cleansers attract more dirt if they are not completely removed.
Always avoid acidic cleaners because they will damage the tile. Slate tile is not the right material on which to use vinegar cleaning solutions.