Porcelain tile is a great material to cover or decorate walls and floors. It is quite strong and durable, hence have gained immense popularity as an architectural material in recent years. Unlike natural stones, it doesn’t occur naturally and manufactured under controlled conditions, thus can be produced in different colors, design patterns, shapes, sizes and thicknesses.
Regatta Tiles is a leading supplier and exporter of porcelain tiles in India that offers a wide range of porcelain and vitrified tiles at highly competitive prices. Whatever may be your choice, one thing you would always wish is that your tiles remain clean and shine like a new forever. Thankfully, cleaning a porcelain tile is not at all a tough job. However, it sometimes becomes cumbersome, if not protected well or somehow get stained.
Whether you have installed glazed (polished), unglazed (unpolished) or textured porcelain tile, there is always a different approach to clean each type of the three tiles. Keep reading to learn about these different cleaning methods:
Cleaning a Polished or Glazed Porcelain Tile:
- Sweeping the Floor with a Mop: Remove dirt or debris from the porcelain tile by sweeping the floor. Dry dust mop, microfiber mop or vacuum cleaner can be used. Avoid using brooms with hard or plastic bristles, which would otherwise damage the floor.
Note: Cover the corners and spaces between the tiles, so as to remove as much dust as possible prior to moving on to an intense cleaning phase.
- Using a Soft Brush for Dirt Removal: A nylon cleaning brush or even an old toothbrush with soft bristles can be used to remove spots or dirt from the tile.
- Make the floor wet with hot water and use the brush for dirt removal. Make circular strokes while gently scrubbing the wet floor.
- Avoid scrubbing the floor when it is dry as this would scratch the tile.
- Applying a Cleaning Solution for Stain Removal: To remove any stains on glazed porcelain tiles, use a cleaning solution and mop to remove it. A home-made solution of water and white vinegar or a commercially available cleaning solution can be applied.
- Home-Made Solution: Mix one-fourth cup of white vinegar with around 2 gallons of hot water. Mop the floor using this solution and leave for 10 minutes. Again mop the floor after rinsing off the solution. In addition to cleaning, the vinegar in the solution also helps to deodorize and disinfect the tiles.
- Cleaning Solution from the Market: Get a cleaning solution, specific for glazed tiles, from a local hardware shop. Initially, a spot test should be performed by applying the solution on an inconspicuous spot on the tile to check whether it is damaging the floor or not.
- Baking soda can be used to remove coffee stains from the glazed tile surface. Sprinkle the baking soda on the stain and then rub the area using a wet clean cloth. Keep rubbing until the coffee stain gets off.
- Mopping the Floor: Complete the cleaning by mopping the floor using a mild cleaner suitable for glazed tile. Re-mop the floor using hot water before the cleaner gets dry. This will prevent the cleaner to stain the floor.
- Drying the Floor: Use a clean, microfiber cloth or towel to completely dry the floor. One should ensure that there shouldn’t be any water spots left on the floor.
- Open windows and place a fan to let the floor air dry.
- Once the floor gets dry, use cheesecloth to shine the surface by moving it in circular motions.
Cleaning Unglazed or Unpolished Tiles
- Sweeping the Floor: Remove dirt or dust from the unpolished tile surface by using a dry dust mop. Avoid using brooms as this may bring scratches to the floor.
Note: Don’t leave any corner or spaces between the tiles, so that the rest of the cleaning process becomes easy.
- Mopping the Floor Using a Cleaning Solution: A mild cleaning solution is recommended to remove dirt or stains. Choose a home-made vinegar-water solution or get a professional one from the market.
- For home-made solution, mix one-fourth cup of white vinegar with approximately 2 gallons of hot water. Apply the solution on to the floor and leave it untouched for five to ten minutes. Apart from cleaning the floor, the vinegar would disinfect and deodorize the floor surface.
- When using a commercial cleaner, make sure that it should be specific for unglazed porcelain tiles.
- Scrubbing the Floor: Use a brush with only soft bristles to scrub off the stains. Keep scrubbing until the stains get off from the surface.
Note: All traces of the cleaning solution should be removed from the floor. Thereafter, rinse the floor using warm water. Do not allow the solution to sit for more than 10 minutes as this might damage the unglazed porcelain tile floor.
- Drying the Floor: Use a clean soft cloth or towel to dry the floor. Make sure that there should be any water splash or spot left on the floor.
Note: You can also open the windows and make use of a fan to air dry the floor completely.
Cleaning Textured Porcelain Tiles
- Using a Broom to Sweep the Floor: Sweep the floor in two different directions, so as to properly remove the dust and debris. Use only brooms with soft bristles. Initially, brush in the direction of the texture of the tile. Afterwards, sweep diagonally along the tile.
- Mopping the Floor with a Mild Solution: After sweeping is done, mop the floor using a mild cleaning solution with hot water. Further, re-mop the floor with the solution and allow it to rest for five to ten minutes.
Note: Textured porcelain tiles needs to be cleaned more frequently, especially in case of outdoor floors that observe foot traffic throughout the day. Mopping and scrubbing is required on a basis for textured tile floors to keep them good looking.
- Scrubbing the Floor with Nylon Brush: Use a soft, clean nylon brush to remove stains or dark spots from the floor. An old toothbrush can also be used to serve the purpose. Scrub the floor in two opposite directions; first in the direction of the texture and then, in the direction opposite to the texture of the tile.
- Rinsing the Floor: Prevent any damage to the floor by not allowing the cleaning solution to stay on the same for long. For this, you can rinse off the textured porcelain floor with clean water.
- Drying the Floor: A cloth with microfiber should be used to remove any water spot or traces. Opening windows and using a fan can also be used for the drying purpose.
Keeping the Porcelain Good Looking and Tiles Clean:
- Sweeping or Vacuum Cleaning the Floor twice a Week: Make a habit to clean the floor at least twice a week with a dry mop or broom with soft bristles.
- Avoid using brooms with hard bristles to prevent floor damage.
- Vacuum cleaners can also be used for cleaning. Make sure to use multi-surface and flexible vacuum cleaner to absorb the dust. Special attention should be given to corners as these areas are more prone to grime accumulation and are generally overlooked.
- Immediately Cleaning the Spills: If any spill occurs on the porcelain tile surface, remove it quickly. Use warm water and soft cloth for this. For large spills, you may also go for a water-based solution of vinegar.
Note: Never use steel wool to remove the spills as this may develop rust stains in the grout between the tiles.
- Never Use Bleach or Ammonia on Porcelain Tiles: Bleach- or ammonia-based cleaners are strictly prohibited. Such cleaners can stain the grout or cause discoloration of the tiles.
Note: Also avoid using color- or dye-based cleaners. Oil-based wax cleaners and detergents should also be avoided to prevent floor damage.
- Using Floor Mats and Rugs: Rugs and floor mats also help in preventing porcelain floors by keeping the debris and dust off the floor.
- Always put felt pads beneath the legs of the furniture to prevent scratches on the floor.
- On porcelain countertops, keep the habit of using coasters to save the surface from water rings caused by wet glasses.
By taking appropriate care of your porcelain tiles of all three types, you can keep them intact, clean and good looking for many more years after their installation.