Cleaning Ceramic Tile

Dirt adheres easily to the surface of ceramic tile, especially styles with textured surfaces. Cleaning ceramic tile regularly is important.

Here is how cleaning ceramic tile should be done as recommended by the Consumer Flooring Guide by the World Floor Covering Association.

  • Regular sweeping loosens and removes most dirt. If you use a vacuum, make sure you use one without a beater bar to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles. Vacuum cleaner attachments are great to suck up dirt along edges or in between tiles.
  • Damp mop your ceramic tile floor using manufacturer-recommended grout and tile cleaners. For heavier soil, spot clean the floor with a sponge or clean cloth using the same recommended cleaners.
  • For heavier cleaning, mildly scrub with a soft brush. An electric polisher/scrubber may be required for textured tiles. After cleaning with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove leftover residue. If necessary, wipe the tile dry with a clean towel to remove any film.If you have soft water, an all-purpose cleaner may be necessary. Apply it to your floor and let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Then lightly scrub with a sponge, rinse well and you’re good to go.Products for cleaning ceramic tile is available from your local grocery or hardware store to be used to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew stains from ceramic tile. Be sure to consult the cleaning product’s instructions to ensure the product is recommended for your type of tile. After cleaning, rinse well and wipe dry for a sparkling shine.

If you are cleaning ceramic tile, here are some recommended Dos and Don’ts:

  • Use doormats to keep dirt from being tracked across your ceramic tile floor. This will also reduce the wear to the finished surface. Make sure you shake the doormats out often.< li>
  • Clean up spills as quickly as possible so your grout will not become stained.
  • Do not use steel wool, scouring powders, or other abrasives that can scratch the finish of your ceramic tile.
  • Remember that while ceramic tile is very durable, it is not indestructible and may crack or chip under extreme force.
  • Do not use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners. These products can discolor your grout if used too often.
  • Take the proper precautions when moving heavy objects across a ceramic tile floor.
  • Cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against scratching.
  • Finally, remember that if a repair is necessary, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the original tile. However with time and usage, the replacement tile will blend in with the others.
Dave Altman
 

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