If you’ve invested in a slate fireplace, you’ll want to make sure it continues to look its best and that means giving it a bit of TLC from time to time.
The first thing you need to be aware of though is that slate is a porous stone, which means it absorbs moisture, and therefore can stain. Cleaning it regularly is the best way to avoid any permanent marks, but if you’re restoring an old slate fireplace you might have a bit more work to do.
When it comes to regular cleaning, slate is simple. Dust the surface and then wipe it with a mild soap/water mix using a soft cloth. This should be enough to get rid of any grime or dirt that’s built up. You should do this at least every couple of months to keep the slate in good condition.
Once you’ve cleaned it, you can bring back the stone’s natural colour and shine by applying slate oil. If you’re struggling to find slate oil, WD40 or teak oil can work just as well. Simply wait for the slate to completely dry, apply a small amount of the oil to a clean, dry cloth and then rub it onto the slate using small, circular motions.
You should finish off the process by buffing it with another clean, dry cloth to remove excess oil and properly bring up the finish.
For more stubborn marks, you may want to try a stone acid cleaner or a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water mix. If you’re trying either of these techniques, make sure you’re very careful of any surrounding furnishings, or grout between your slates, as these harsher cleaning products can discolour or stain them.