How to clean tiles of any kind
Date Published: 28 January 2021
You wouldn’t wash antique hardwood floors with any old soap, and the same rule applies to your tiled surfaces.
Although tile floors and walls are beautiful and low-maintenance finishes for your room, they do require care to keep your room looking fresh.
If you chose a ceramic or porcelain tile with no decoration, then keeping your space looking neat only requires a regular tile cleaner and a good cleaning cloth, pad, or brush. But natural stone tiles require a few extra steps and designated cleaning products.
“How can I clean my bathroom tiles and keep them looking brand new,” you ask? Here are our best tips for keeping your bathroom, kitchen, or fireplace tiles looking showroom ready with a few extra tips on how to achieve clean grout.
What you need to get started
- Tile cleaner suitable for your tile type; or mild detergent (ceramic tiles only)
- A cleaning pad, cloth, or brush
- Tooth brush
- Baking soda
How to clean ceramic & porcelain tiles
We love ceramic tiles because they’re stylish, customisable, and most importantly, easy to clean. After all, you want to spend time enjoying your gorgeous new room, not getting up close and personal with your tiles.
So what does it take to keep your tiles looking fresh? Very little effort, we think.
To clean ceramic tiles, you’ll use a tile cleaner or even a mild detergent along with a rag or abrasive brush, depending on how much work the tiles need. Some people prefer to make their own tile cleaner from lemon, vinegar, or baking soda, but there’s also a long list of cleaners available at the shops for cleaning stained floor tiles, if you prefer.
If you have standard white or coloured tiles, you can take your pick among the products out there; there is no such thing as the “best ceramic tile cleaner”. But do beware if you have textured or patterned tiles. Too harsh a cleaner or brush can cause irreversible damage to the pattern.
Cleaning is as simple as removing the debris (use a hoover on the floor) and then following the instructions on your tile cleaner.
Textured floors require a slightly different approach. While texture adds depth to your room, it also hides dirt. You should always sweep or hoover your floors before trying to mop, or you’ll spread debris around the place.
If your textured floors are ceramic, then you can use a baking soda paste followed by a mix of vinegar and hot water and a good scrub brush. You’ll want to get up close and personal with textured floors to spot the difference between colourations in the stone and tracked dirt. If you’re staring at the floor wondering how to clean grout between floor tiles, you’ll find the same approach works.
Make life easier with everyday shower cleaning
A newly tiled bathroom is a sight to behold, but to keep that bright, newly refinished look, you’re going to need to commit. Yes, you’re now in a long-term relationship with your tiles, but won’t it be worth it to have friends ooh-and-aah over how gorgeous your bathroom is?
Everyday maintenance is the trick to making your home look like the home inspiration photos you see on Instagram. You don’t need a deep clean every day: simply spray your shower tiles down with a daily cleaner and wipe it away, ideally with a squeegee.
Showers typically bear the brunt of the build-up of grime, but if you’ve a house full of young GAA players always just in from practice, you may find you need to repeat the process in other high traffic areas, like on the kitchen splashback tiles.
We know — you didn’t need another thing to add to your list. But wiping away grime daily prevents you from dedicating an hour to it on Sunday!
Tip: Do your daily cleaning directly after running the shower. The heat opens up the ceramic bathroom tile pores, which allows you to get a deeper clean. Same rule applies to those deep cleans on the weekends!
Ask the experts
At Halo Tiles, we know tiles inside and out. We’re not only experts at sourcing hard-to-find tiles, we also know how to keep them looking like the day you installed them, giving you that ‘ahh’ moment even years after your bathroom is finally complete.
We thought we’d share some of the most common questions we get from you to help you tackle every homeowner’s biggest headache: grout.
Q: My grout isn’t fit to look at — can I use a scouring pad?
A: Grout can be tough to clean when left too long, which is why we recommend daily tile sprays and squeegeeing, particularly in the shower. Don’t use a scouring pad in an attempt to speed up the work. The scouring pad runs the risk of scratching your tiles, which can damage the surface and leave your tiles looking ancient in just a few years.
If the grout around your ceramic tiles is very stained, use abrasives like white vinegar or baking soda and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Don’t use abrasives near stone tiles, especially marble.
Q: How do I protect my grout from grime?
A: The best way to prevent stains on your tiles and grout is to seal them. Sealing them stops stains from seeping in and becoming lodged in the material. You can tell if your tiles are sealed by pouring a few drops of water on the tiles: if the water sits on the surface, then you are sealed. If not, call your installer.
Q: How do I get scuff marks off porcelain tiles?
One of the most popular questions we get is how to get scuff marks off porcelain tiles. If the tile floor cleaner doesn’t do the trick, use a bit of baking soda and a damp sponge to buff the scuff away.
Are your tiles scratched? Never fear. A good clean and a DIY floor tile scratch remover (usually brass polish but vinegar) or tile repair kit can help your floor look brand new.
Do you have more questions about cleaning new tile floors or whether to repair or replace old tiles? Get in touch today for an expert, local opinion, and browse our collection of tiles for every space.