Tile Cleaning 101
Make your kitchen and bathroom tiles look like new again with these easy cleaning solutions
Regular maintenance is the key with ceramic tiles. They do get dusty so wipe or vacuum (use a soft brush to avoid scratches) at least twice a week and definitely before you clean. This stops debris becoming embedded in the grout.
Water is the best cleaner for ceramic tiles and can remove all but the most stubborn stains. Use a gentle cleaner if the tile manufacturer recommends it, or use a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar for a sparkling finish. Make sure the mop you are using is clean before you start. If it is worn and dirty, it could be the reason you are not getting the shine you’d like.
Try using a gentle scraper (not sharp) on anything that water cannot remove.
WHAT TO AVOID: Abrasive chemicals and detergents – they can damage and discolour your grout over time.
Glass tiles are gorgeous when they are sparkling clean, but can look dull and unappealing otherwise. The best way to remove things like soap scum and other residue is with a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar. Add the mixture to a spray bottle and apply to your tiles. Leave for approximately 10 minutes, then use a soft brush to clean the surface.
WHAT TO AVOID: Hard brushes that can scratch the surface. With glass floor tiles, sweep every day to remove hard particles that may damage the tiles.
Natural products to clean your house with
Porcelain tiles are the easiest to clean. Sweep every couple of days with a soft broom or brush, and vacuum once a week with the brush attachment to remove most dust. Once a month, wash with a solution of water and dishwashing detergent. Use a soft mop and leave to air dry. Mop with warm water and a little vinegar for a great finish.
Vitrified tiles are ceramic tiles. The clay is mixed quantities of silica, quartz and feldspar, and when they are fired these elements melt and form a glass-like texture throughout the tile. They are non-porous and stronger than regular ceramic tiles. They have a glossy finish and you can apply the same cleaning method as with porcelain tiles.
WHAT TO AVOID: Clean up spills as they happen. Don’t leave them to dry on the surface of the tile as they may cause a stain.
You only need to use a mild detergent in warm water to clean the surface of marble, granite and other natural stone tiles. Use a soft cloth or mop to avoid scratching the surface.
Rinse with cold water to remove any soap residue. For a nice shine, buff the tiles with a microfibre cloth.
WHAT TO AVOID: Off-the-shelf floor cleaners, ceramic tile cleaners, acidic or alkaline products and rough cloths or brushes.
How to clean tile grout
You can clean most metal tiles, with the exception of stainless steel, copper and titanium, using a mild detergent and water. Use a microfibre cloth and rinse afterwards to make sure there are no streak marks.
For stainless steel, copper and titanium use the specific cleaners made for these metals for the best results. You can research these online, or talk to the manufacturer of your particular tiles.
WHAT TO AVOID: Abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, steel wool, ammonia and bleach.
One of the difficulties with cleaning slate tiles is the uneven surface – which is why we love them in the first place. Their rustic charm adds an earthy feel to any room.
Avoid any build-up of dust or dirt by regularly sweeping with a soft broom or brush. Use warm water with a quarter capful of dishwashing liquid to wipe or mop the tiles. Always use a non-oil-based mop or a soft cloth. Air dry the area and only rinse if soapy residue can be seen.
WHAT TO AVOID: Acid-based cleaners including citrus and vinegar.
12 ways to wow with patterned tiles