Homes today feature all sorts of tiles and while most offer decades of beautiful use, it’s easy to damage certain types of tiles with the wrong cleaners. Don’t assume that a big bottle of industrial-strength cleaner is appropriate for your tiles. The best cleaning methods for each type of tile usually differs.
Instead, figure out what type of tile is in your home and employ the appropriate cleanser to keep your tiles shiny and undamaged.
Keeping Your Porcelain Tile Fresh and Clean
You might choose to install porcelain tiles because they require little attention and are easy to clean. Keeping the area swept once a week keeps dirt from building up around the grout, and the occasional application of a sponge mop helps keep the surface fresh.
When you buy porcelain tile for your bathroom or kitchen, the manufacturer might describe it as “impervious,” but remember that it’s still vulnerable to stains and dirt buildup. Just as you would with any surface in your home, removing colored spills (like grape juice) is a project requiring immediate attention.
If you’ve got a porcelain sink with terrible stains or your floor tiles have spots that you can’t remove, there are a few tricks professionals can use to remove those seemingly permanent stains.
Tip: Sweep the floor before you take a mop to porcelain tiles. You’ll remove loose dirt and dust and make mopping easier.
Savvy Slate Cleaning Techniques
Slate offers an earthy, natural look to any space and it’s become popular for areas like fireplaces. Recently built homes and refurbished kitchens have also started to feature slate countertops and backsplashes, in addition to flooring.
Slate’s a durable surface, but if you’re walking on slate tiles every day, you’ll need to pay it a little more attention than you would a porcelain floor. The experts working with Bob Vila suggest that a mild dish detergent combined with some warm water is a perfect option for regular cleaning.
Make sure that the surface is allowed to dry after cleaning. You don’t want to put the furniture back in place before the slate is completely dry, so clean it in the evening and leave the surface bare until morning when it should be safe to move things back into place.
Experts suggest a slate floor can last forever if you take care of it, so break out the mop at least once a season and take care to remove stains and dampness as quickly as possible.
Keeping Lovely Limestone Tiles Stain-Free
Unless you want your limestone floor to eventually resemble the spots on a Dalmatian, you’ll need to watch for stains and standing water. If you’re taking care of old limestone and notice that you can’t get old stains off, the person who used that floor in the past may have applied a corrosive cleaner and damaged the surface.
Unfortunately, it’s common for homeowners to choose the strongest, scariest bottle of cleanser in the supermarket and try to clean the floor only to find that the chemicals stain and damage the surface. Don’t use those terrible chemicals on your limestone. Employ a non-acidic cleaning solution.
You may need to look into restoration of your tiles if the damage is too severe, which often requires that the tiles are sanded down and resealed.
Clean Tiles Between Professional Visits
The soap you use in the shower is meant to clean, but it might leave a film on the surface of the tiles. Unfortunately, cleaning the surface of the tub or shower area after every single use may become annoying and rather time-consuming.
Between professional cleaning and regular maintenance, Better Homes & Gardens suggests you can make the surface shine with some fresh lemon juice. Get rid of the filmy haze on your tiles with a soft chamois dampened with lemon juice.
Remember: Never use lemon juice or any acid-based cleaner on marble or limestone! Lemon juice should only be used to clean ceramic tiles.
Like any surface in the home, care of tiles and grout isn’t something you can leave for next year unless you’re interested in putting down a new floor every year. The tiny, invisible pores in grout love to hold onto dirt and are just waiting for you to forget to regularly clean.
After your floors and grout sparkle from a professional cleaning, keep that shiny glow all year long with preventative maintenance and regular attention from a mop, sponge, and broom.
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