A slate tabletop is considered by many to be one of the most attractive of all tabletop materials. In part, this is because of the wide color range from which you can choose. Not only is there a large variety of shades such as the cooler colors of greens, blues, and purples; the warmer shades of browns and tans, but also lighter and darker shades of these colors. If there is a downside to using slate for a tabletop it is that this material scratches and chips easily and can be discolored by heat. This means that to maintain its beauty, you will need to know how to maintain this type of tabletop and what types of cleaning materials and methods work better.
Step 1 – Preparing Your Slate Countertop with a Sealer
Before using your new slate countertop, be sure to seal it. Understand that a slate sealer will not prevent stains but will only increase the time it takes for a spilled substance to soak into the slate and create a stain. You should also be sure to use a sealer that works better with slate. Ask the merchant where you purchase your sealer which of his products will work better.
Step 2 – Treating Your Countertop
Keep dust from collecting on your countertop by using a clean, damp, absorbent cloth to wipe off any dust from the countertop. To repair light scratches, sand them lightly with fine-grade sandpaper. After wiping away any dust or debris from the sanding, apply a new coat of sealer to the sanded area.
Step 3 – Cleaning Up Food Spills
When spilling substances such as food on your countertop, you should immediately remove these substances by wiping them off your countertop with an absorbent cloth. This applies especially to those foods that have an acid-base, those with food coloring, and beverages. Foods that are more likely to stain your slate countertop include those with a tomato base and others that have colorings, such as highly colored juices and red wines. Remove coffee and tea stains with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (1 tablespoon) and ammonia (3 to 4 drops)
Step 4 – Removing Oil Base and Ink Stains
Remove oil-based stains like oil, butter, cream, etc., mix a paste of flour and hydrogen peroxide. Onto the stain on your slate tabletop spread some of this paste. Cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it covering the stain overnight. Then, to draw the stain to the surface of the remove the plastic wrap and remove the past by wiping it away. Remove ink stains by applying nail polish remover.
Step 5 – Reapplying Sealers
After applying a sealer to your countertop, the sealer may wear away through the normal use of your countertop. You can determine when you may need to reapply the sealer by a simple test. Water deposited on your countertop when the sealer is present will bead up. When you need to reapply the sealer, you will see this same water soak into the countertop, indicating that you need to reseal.