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We have some natural stone tile which is pretty coarse. This is actually a very pretty (IMO) natural texture but it is a little hard to clean. Vacuuming is fine but like most hard surfaces also needs some wet cleaning from time to time.

Regular mops we've tried tend to fall apart and leave bits behind on this surface. Sponge or cloth string types. Maybe there is something we haven't tried or thought of... or maybe there is a certain type of cleaner or something other than mopping that would help?

Just to be clear, I'm not asking for advise on leveling the floor or smoothing it, since that's not something we perceive as a problem itself.

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  • "Maybe there is something we haven't tried..." somebody needs a robot for Christmas! – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 6 '20 at 23:15
  • @JimmyFix-it as long as you don’t have a cat... apparently a cat pooped and the robot spread it all over. :) – Solar Mike Dec 7 '20 at 7:37
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I had a black slate floor just like that. I cleaned it 3 times by hand as soon as it was down and dry - still not used then treated it with 3 coats of oil and let it soak in. Ever since it is easily cleaned with a mop and liquids don’t sink in.

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Use a stiff bristle brush, or a wet broom.

Depending on how filthy, scrub with a brush and wet vacuum until you've rinsed it clean. If not so bad, sweep the dirty water to a spot where you can sponge it up without scrubbing the sponge (or use rags similarly - pad, don't wipe.)

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  • Wet vac after scrubbing I use a garden sprayer to feed rinse water as I vaccuum. – Kris Dec 6 '20 at 23:45
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A sponge mop would be hopeless, as you've found.

A (cotton) string mop should work - it might shed a little lint when new but is much tougher than sponge or fabric strips.

There are also cotton-covered mops similar to the sponge type, but I can't seem to find a search term. The fabric can be rather tough, which I think is what you're looking for - imagine (or test with) the leg of an old pair of jeans over a sponge mop.

Depending on how dirty it gets, and how willing you are to clean up the odd dirty spot with a cloth, a steam mop might work. The bonnet on the one I had (similar to this) used much shorter fibres that didn't snag, and it made the floor come up nice and clean. The downside is it's expensive to try out if you find it doesn't work too well.

As an aside, if a few odd sharp spots are particularly bad (snaggy or obvious) you may be able to take the sharp point off with set/dry sandpaper (silicon carbide paper) by hand, assuming the surface isn't sealed.

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