How to Clean Porcelain Tiles: 6 Easy Steps For Routine Care
Cleaning the tiled surfaces in your home is an essential part of routine care. After all, no one wants to reside in a home with crawling germs on dirty tiles.
Porcelain tiles, however, are durable and usually don't require too much care or maintenance. With very little effort, you can maintain the tiles' fresh look and showroom appearance. With the correct tile cleaning solutions and a bit of know-how, your porcelain tiles and tile grout will be as squeaky clean as it can be.
Keep reading to learn how to clean porcelain tiles the right way.
How Often Should You Clean Porcelain Tiles?
To understand how often porcelain tiles should be cleaned, let's start by covering the process for porcelain tile floors. Based on the foot traffic, porcelain floors should be swept and vacuumed regularly. However, every few days, the tiles require a deeper cleaning and sanitizing of the floor or removing dirt from the microscopic pores of the tiles.
You can mop and thoroughly dry the tiles for regular cleaning, along with sweeping and vacuuming to remove the debris; deep cleaning keeps the surface shiny and intact; for that, use mild detergents or floor cleaners and a scrubber when needed. The crucial aspect to keep a note of is to choose cleaning products that are compatible with the tiles, and safeguard your grout with a sealant.
A similar process can be applied to clean porcelain tile walls. However, the cleaning can be done less frequently as walls are not as susceptible to collecting dirt and debris as tiled floors.
- Avoid using tile cleaners containing acid or chlorine, bleach, or ammonia-based cleaners for cleaning.
- Do not use wax-based cleaners or oil-based detergents, as they leave residue on the tiles.
- Harsh cleaning scrubbers like steel wool pads or metal pads are advised not to damage the tile's texture.
Porcelain Tiles Cleaning- Do’s & Don’t Checklist
|Wiping with Clean Water||✅|
|Thoroughly Dry/ Vacuum||✅|
|Use pH-neutral or Mildly Alkaline Detergent (occasional deep cleaning)||✅|
|Nylon or Plastic Scrubber||✅|
|Oil- or Wax-Based Cleaners||❌|
|Bleach or Ammonia-based Cleaners||❌|
|Steel wool or Other abrasive scrubbers||❌|
What Supplies Require To Start Cleaning?
If you have planned to clean up your space, grab the supplies:
✅ Mop Bucket
✅ Dish Soap
✅ Commercial Cleaning Solutions
✅ Baking Soda
✅ Acrylic Stone Sealer (for unglazed porcelain tiles)
✅ Soft Bristle Brushes or Scrubs
How To Clean Porcelain Floor Tiles: Steps
Now that we are familiar with the prerequisites of clean porcelain tiles, let's read through the steps for cleaning the tiles to bring back that like-new appearance:
Steps to Clean Unglazed Porcelain Tiles
Unglazed porcelain can be subject to staining discolorations over time and requires the removal of a spill, and annual sealing treatment is needed. Cleaning the unglazed porcelain tiles requires a more careful approach as these tiles don't have a protective layer like the glazed floor tiles. You should be watchful about not using any abrasive tools.
For regular cleaning, sweep the floor with a microfiber dust mop to remove dust and dirt before mopping. You can use a mild cleaner to prevent damage or a commercial solution specially manufactured for cleaning unglazed tiles.
To initiate the removal of the debris with a dust mop. Use plain warm water to damp mop, or you also can have a few drops of mild ph-balanced dish soap. Scrub spots or stains with a soft bristle brush or sponge. Once the area is covered, rinse with clean water. Mix water and baking soda equally, and use a small brush to keep the grouts clean.
2. Drying the Floor
Use a microfiber towel to dry the floor after mopping to refrain water from penetrating the unglazed tiles, as it affects the tiles' durability. Unglazed porcelain tiles require vigilance. Ensure to remove any spills as soon as possible, as spills often may stain the tiles.
3. Sealing Treatment
Apply an acrylic stone sealer to a cleaned, dry unglazed floor, as it helps to keep the surface pores impervious. You can mix 1 cup of sealer with 3 gallons of rinse water after cleaning; adhering to the sealing treatment annually helps the tiles to withstand time. The grout lines are the vulnerable points that require sealing. To create a fresh look, replace the grout lines, matching your design aspects when necessary.
Steps to Clean Glazed Porcelain Tiles
Let's check out the best cleaning method for glazed porcelain tiles in this three-step method that is gentle on the floors:
1. Remove Debris
Initiate your cleaning regimen, and eliminate dust, dirt, and debris to get a better result. You can use a bottom, a dust mop, or a vacuum cleaner. If you choose a dust mop, opt for one with a microfiber pad, as it is used and gentle on glazed tiles. To remove tough dirt, you can pour warm water on the dirt and use a small nylon brush to scrub. Avoid scrubbing the tiles dry, as it will damage the finish.
2. Clean the Stains
To remove the stain, you can use it as a commercial product safe for glazed tiles, or you also can leverage white vinegar. Mix white vinegar (quarter cup) and two gallons of warm water. If you use vinegar
Use the solution to mop the area and allow it to sit for 10 minutes; afterward, rinse with clean water.
For commercial cleaning products, ensure to read the user guide and use it as directed. You can prepare a baking soda paste to remove stains such as coffee or red wine. To prepare the mix, blend water and baking soda and apply the paste to the stain. Scrub gently rinse the area with water and repeat if necessary.
3. Mop and Dry the Floor
Once you remove all stains, mop the entire floor. You can use the vinegar mixed with a water solution, as the solution is excellent on glazed porcelain. It brews out its shiny exterior of tiles without leaving a residue. Start from the back of the room; mope out to the entrance or exit. After mopping, clean the floor using fresh water to rinse, as it helps to remove the residue.
After mopping, dry glazed tiles, as any standing water, may make watermarks. Wipe the floor with a cloth or clean towel. Open the windows if possible to allow the fresh air to dry your tiles, or you also can switch on the fan. Buff the floors with a porcelain tile polishing pad and rub in circular motions to restore their shine.
Bonus: How to Clean Textured Porcelain Tiles
Let's check the two-step approach to clean stains and dirt on textured tiles:
- Textured tiles have more places where dust can hide; you can use a flared broom to sweep the floor in one direction. Once completed, repeat the process and sweep the other way. It helps to acclimate and remove all dirt and dust from the tiles.
- Once done with sweeping, use a microfiber mop and a mild solution to mop the floor. It is a best practice to allow the cleaner to sit on the floor for up to ten minutes and scrub stains or dark spots. Use a soft broom to clean a large area if the strain is multiple. Use a towel to dry the surface area.
What Are the Porcelain Tiles Routine Care Best Practices?
You can keep these tips handy to keep porcelain floors clean safely for a more extended period:
Vacuum, sweep, or mop the floors regularly. Minor grit particles damage both glazed and unglazed protective coatings and scratch the surface of the material, dulling the surface over the years.
Sweep the floors with a vacuum or broom at least twice a week, and for high-traffic areas in high traffic, you might need to sweep daily.
Be Quick To Cleaning Stains
To eliminate a buildup of grime and rigid spills:
- Be quick to wipe up stains, and flush away any.
- Avoid anything too heavy-duty cleaners when you use a commercial solution; ensure to check the manufacturer's label.
- When using a vacuum cleaner, avoid using vacuums intended for carpets, as they can cause deep scratches and damage to porcelain tiles.
Seal the Grout
Dirty or discolored grout creates an unappealing unclean look. While cleaning the tiles, also clean the grout lines. Use the water-based baking soda paste or use a commercial product that is safe to use on tiles; for the unsealed grouts, consider sealing them to prevent stains and discoloration.
💡Pro Tip: Avoid using any colored products on unglazed porcelain tiles. When cleaning, ensure to ventilate the area for evaporation and air quality. During cleaning, wear protective gear such as gloves and eyewear. Open windows to avoid inhalation damage, especially when you are using chemical cleaners.
1. Why Are My Porcelain Tiles Dull After Cleaning?
The porcelain tile floors may dull because of the cleaning solution residue or due to the water marks from dried water. It causes misting and dulls the porcelain tiles. It is always advised to rinse the tiles with clean water after the cleaning process is over and dry buff using a clean, soft rag or towel to dry the tiles to eliminate any watermarks. Also, avoid wax or oil-mixed commercial cleaners.
2. What Cleaners Should Be Avoided on Using Porcelain Tiles?
Avoid using corrosive cleaners that consist of ammonia, bleach, or acids, as these cleaners strip away the glaze on the tile surface. Besides, frequent use of abrasive chemicals may strip the coating, increasing water absorption.
3. What Protective Measure Should Be Taken During Porcelain Tiles Cleaning?
Wear gloves, and eyewear, and when you use chemical cleaners, open windows to avoid inhalation issues. Cleaners fall into three categories: alkaline cleaners with a pH above 7, acidic with a pH below 7, and neutral cleaners with pH 7. Prolonged use of highly alkaline cleaners, such as undiluted household bleach, may break down the sealers. If you prefer to use o alkaline cleaners, consult the grout manufacturer for their recommendations.
Cleaning porcelain tiles and routine care depend on the type of tiles. Compared to glazed porcelain, textured and unglazed tiles are more sensitive to water and cleaning chemicals. So choosing a mild product is always a choice, and sweeping dust before cleaning and drying the floor after the cleaning is a rule of thumb. And if you have stained tiles and are planning to remodel, you can explore the tiles of your choice from Mosaic Tile Outlet, and before ordering, you can order the samples to check the quality & texture.