Part of the problem was in their creation. Each tile is slightly different in size and smoothed using fingers and hands, so lots of little grooves for dust and dirt to collect. The bonus however, is the children's and animal foot prints that have been buried for hundreds of years.
We were about to give up and go the chemical route when a friend, Paula Ryan, arrived with a beautiful house-warming gift and asked if we had tried Raw Linseed Oil (also known as Raw Flaxseed Oil) and Beeswax?
So we set to work - the tiles are very porous and soak up all the Linseed Oil. So thirsty in fact that it took three very generous coats before they stopped drinking it all in.
Next came the beeswax or Cera as its known locally - which also took three coats.
We are really pleased with the outcome particularly as it is a totally natural. An environmentally friendly solution that has really brought the tiles back to life with a warm natural glow. Just needed this sound advice from Paula, plenty of elbow grease and some warm autumn days to get a really good result. Thank you Paula!