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How to Clean Tiles

If you’re the lucky owner of a tiled floor, you know the immense satisfaction that comes from having a spotless floor that is oh-so-easy to keep clean and impervious to spillages and other issues.

That said, while tiles are a blessing for the busy family household, you do need to work hard to ensure that you keep them clean so that they look amazing all the time.

Tiles, whether you have ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles, are pretty easy to keep clean. You don’t need to do a great deal, but you should clean them around once a week to ensure the best results.

Often people will complain about their tiles and say that they’re really hard to keep clean, or that they get dirty really quickly – but this is rarely a problem with the tiles and just needs some expert cleaning.

We’d like to look at some of the common tile-cleaning complaints and show you how to clean them.

Tiles are Hard to Keep Clean, or They Seem to Get Dirty Easily

Problem: Surface grout

When your tiles are initially laid and grouted, there’s going to be some surface grout left on your tiles that you or your tiler are going to have to buff off.

If you don’t buff your tiles, you’ll find that there is a grout sheen which can trap dirt and make your tiles appear dirty faster.

Problem: Detergent build up

If you use detergent to clean your tiles (you don’t need to – vinegar and water are sufficient), you need to ensure that you rinse it thoroughly.

If you continue to wash your tiles with detergent, it can make the problem worse, with a layer of soap scum building up to the point that the tiles appear to be going white.

Both problems have the same solution, and it comes in the form of heavy duty tile and grout cleaner.

This product works to clean the floor thoroughly and removes dirt and any kind of detergent build up. You need to follow the directions completely and to rinse thoroughly after use.

If you still have a grout haze left over after you have cleaned with the heavy duty cleaner, then we recommend that you use a Phosphoric Acid Cleaner with Poultice which will work to remove a grout haze effectively.

Make sure you follow the directions very thoroughly as this is a powerful cleaning agent!

Stained Porcelain Tiles

Problem: Incorrectly sealed porcelain tiles

When you have polished porcelain tiles, you have a product that’s made entirely from porcelain and has been polished, as opposed to glazed tiles.

Many tiles have a layer of glaze added to the surface that protects the tile from staining. Porcelain is very strong, virtually non-porous and doesn’t absorb liquid.

So you don’t need a layer of glaze to protect them, and you can get tiles that are very shiny.

The problem is that although porcelain is non-porous, it can contain microscopic bubbles which can get opened up during polishing and become tiny holes on the surface of the tile.

When polished porcelain appears stained, it’s usually just the tiny holes on the surface filling with a liquid that’s been spilt.

You need to ensure that your porcelain tiles have been sealed with the right kind of sealer. It won’t coat the surface of the tile but will fill the microscopic holes and ensure that tiles can’t stain.

Regular cleaning won’t get the liquid out of these microscopic holes, and you’ll need to go through a couple of steps to get them clean again.

Solution: Thorough clean and seal/reseal

If your tiles haven’t been sealed, you need to clean your tiles with heavy duty tile and grout cleaner and then seal your tiles with the correct kind of porcelain tile sealer.

If you think the tiles you have were sealed, contact your tiler to find out what product they used. If they didn’t actually seal it, follow the step above.

If the tiles have been sealed, you need to follow up with the manufacturer of your tiles to find out what you can do to remove the stain. You can use a concentrated tile cleaner, but be sure to consult with an expert for advice first.

If anyone ever tells you that you don’t need sealing on unsealed porcelain, don’t listen to them.

While some polished porcelain is pre-sealed and won’t need sealing in the home, you must always protect your porcelain tiles with the right products.

Unglazed Tiles Have a White Stain on Them

Problem: Soluble salts

If you have terracotta-type tiles, they can often develop a white powder on the surface. It’s due to soluble salts rising to the surface from your concrete slab, and when they dry they appear white and powdery.

Solution: Clean with a brush and vacuum

The only real solution is to brush the grout away and to vacuum the residue. When you repeat this enough, you’ll see that it eventually stops happening.

We hope that these tips have been helpful for keeping your home and tiles cleaner for longer.


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