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How to Clean a Slate Patio

Updated February 21, 2017

Slate stone provides a warm and natural look when installed as patio flooring. Each slab of natural slate will vary in design and colour. The surface of slate is rough and can attract dirt and pull it into the topmost layer. Over time, the slate patio can become stained or scratched from everyday wear and tear. Cleaning this natural stone will help to eliminate these stains, without taking much time.

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  1. Sweep the slate patio thoroughly with a soft-bristle broom to remove all dirt, dust and loose debris.

  2. Fill a bucket with water. Pour in a capful---or the recommended amount listed on the package---of stone cleaner, specifically manufactured for stone surfaces such as slate.

  3. Dip a scrub brush into the bucket and let the excess water drip from the brush back into the bucket. Work the cleaner onto the slate patio in firm circular motions. Since slate is riddled with uneven clefts, hills and rough texture, using back-and-forth motions will not thoroughly clean the stone.

  4. Use the garden hose to spray the slate patio until all soapy residue is rinsed away.

  5. Apply a penetrating sealer to the slate patio with a clean mop to increase stain resistance and protection. Keep the sealer on the slate surface for a few minutes---up to five---to allow the sealer to penetrate fully into the stone.

  6. Wipe the first coat of penetrating sealer off the slate patio with a sponge. Use the same mop as before to apply a second coat of sealer. The second coat must go on right after the first coat gets wiped away.

  7. Allow the slate sealer to dry for 24 hours.

  8. Tip

    Do not apply the penetrating sealer to the slate patio if temperatures are expected to fall below 50 or rise above 37.8 degrees Celsius.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristle broom
  • Bucket
  • Stone cleaner or pH-neutral cleaner
  • Scrub brush
  • Water hose
  • Clean mop
  • Stone sealer

About the Author

Rachel Turner

Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.

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