How To Clean Tiles
What you need to know for cleaning and maintaining your tiles and grout.
Cleaning Tiles and Maintaining Tiles
1 - Cleaning tiles
Tiles are one of the most susceptible parts of the home or office to dirt and debris, robbing them of their look. Hence, it is essential to clean tiles regularly to help retain their shining surface. How well you maintain your tiles also determines how long they serve you.
The question is, how do you clean and maintain your home tiling, what products to use, and how often to clean them?
Since tiles are of different types, cleaning tiles require different techniques. Here is a compressive floor tile care and maintenance guide for your home.
Cleaning and Maintaining Ceramic and Porcelain
Cleaning ceramic and porcelain tiles for a sparking look and bringing out their original look is straightforward and requires minimal effort, thanks to their durability.
Regular cleaning: ceramic and porcelain tiles require regular cleaning to prevent their surfaces from looking dull. Regardless of your cleaning schedule, it is important to clean up your tiles whenever you notice any signs of debris on them. Though this tile type is highly resistant to dirt, elements like grit and sand can deprive them of a glazing surface.
Use the right tool: one common mistake people make with cleaning ceramic tiles is using a sponge. While using a sponge might seem effective in thoroughly mopping the dirt, this practice sweeps dirty water to the grout lines, causing them to absorb the dirt. With this, the grout becomes harder to clean.
Instead, clean your ceramic and porcelain tiles with chamois-type mops. If you don’t have this type of mop around, use a rag. It is also essential to change the water frequently as you wash your tiles, so they don’t look dull after washing them.
Look out for stains
Again, ensure you clean any stain on your tile whenever you notice any discolouration. However, know what substance made the stain and choose the appropriate cleaner for the most effective clean.
Clean the water
You will be left with a wet surface after cleaning your tiles with the right mop and product. Though they may look clean, and you might be tempted to let them air-dry, shun the idea.
Leaving your tiles to air-dry after cleaning leaves them with water spots after drying. Dry the tiles by mopping with a clean, lint-free cloth.
Cleaning and Maintaining Stone Tiles
Unlike ceramic and porcelain tiles, stone tiles require more care while cleaning. Stone tiles – slate, marble, or granite – are sensitive to chemicals in traditional cleaners, and these chemicals can damage their surfaces. Fortunately, special cleaners are available on the market for cleaning natural stone.
It is worth noting that stone tiles are of different types, requiring different cleaning requirements.
This is the less sensitive of stone tiles but requires special attention to what product is used to clean them.
Marble tiles require more maintenance requirements than slate tiles as they are highly sensitive to chemicals in cleaning products. Hence, to maintain your tiles’ look, avoid cleaning with products with an acidic PH level. Other products and tools to avoid in cleaning marble include products with vinegar or lemon and brushes that can scratch the tile surfaces.
Cleaning granite tiles is no different from cleaning marble tiles. Maintaining granite tiles requires cleaning with products of neutral PH. Also, avoid cleaning with harsh cleaners, as this can lead to discolouration or streaks on the tiles. You can also consider polishing your tiles to give them a shiny look.
Cleaning and Maintaining Resilient Tiles
Resilient tiles are made from vinyl, rubber, or cork and are an excellent option for their ease of maintenance and a surface with ease on the feet. Here are how to clean different variants of resilient tiles:
Vinyl tile: thanks to their durability and their low sensitivity to chemical products, you can clean your vinyl tiles with solutions with vinegar. Do this by first sweeping or vacuuming the debris before applying the solution. However, give proper care to the surface by avoiding using a scrubbing tool or an abrasive cleaner, which can scratch the surface.
Linoleum tile: though people classified this variant of resilient tile as vinyl tiles, they are different and require different maintenance.
There are special linoleum flooring cleaning solutions to clean these tiles without causing any damage to the surface. You can also wash linoleum tiles with detergent and water and rinse them before drying them with a towel. Maintaining your linoleum tiles includes applying liquid wax every four months.
The cleaning process is the same for both sealed and unsealed cork tiles but unsealed cork tiles require applying liquid or solid wax once the tiles are dry. Clean cork tiles with mild detergent and water.
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Cleaning and Maintaining Tile Grout
Grouts are more prone to absorbing stains, making them difficult to clean. While you can efficiently clean your tiles with a cleaning solution and a mop, cleaning grout requires more than this.
Here are a few steps to clean your tile grouts
Make a DIY grout cleaner: you don’t necessarily have to spend on a commercial cleaner to clean your tile grouts; a paste of baking soda and water is an inexpensive solution to clean your tiles.
rub the paste on the grout and give it a few hours before scrubbing. It is recommended to apply the paste at night and let it sit overnight for the most effective result. However, avoid scrubbing with a metal brush, as it can damage the grout. Instead, scrub with a nylon brush.
unsealed grout are more susceptible to absorbing derris, and one way to tackle this is to seal the grout lines. Though you can apply it whenever you want, it is best to seal the grout a few days after installing it.
Is Steam Cleaner Good For Cleaning Tiles?
Experts have different views on if using steam cleaner can damage your tiles or not. While some pros say a steam cleaner helps give tiles a deep clean, others believe that steam clears can damage the grout.
The point is, if your grout is in good condition, steam cleaning won’t cause any damage to the tiles or the grout, but if the grout is somehow damaged, the cleaner will contribute to the damage.
Also, frequent use of a steam cleaner on your tiles exposes your grout to damage.
How Often to Clean Tile Floors
The rule of thumb is to clean your tiles whenever you visibly notice any debris on them.
Clean your kitchen tile floor once every two weeks and your bathroom tile floor once every week, as mould and bacteria tend to accumulate more in the bathroom. Clean the grout once in a few months or whenever it looks dirty.
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