For anyone with ceramic tiles, cleaning and removing stains from them can seem like one of the trickier household chores. Ceramic tiles look lovely in the kitchen or bathroom, but they’re a little more delicate than other surface materials, so they need to be cleaned carefully. To keep stains and general wear and tear under control, and your tiles looking their best – follow our ceramic tile cleaning tips and maintenance advice.
Some sites will recommend vinegar or similar substances for cleaning ceramic tiles. However, these acid-based agents can dull the sheen that these tiles are known for. To avoid this, use neutral or alkaline agents, such one from Cif, which is powerful at cleaning ceramic but gentle on your tiles.
Glazed Ceramic Tile Cleaning Tips
Ceramic tiles come in two types: glazed and unglazed. The first has been fired so that a layer of glass forms on top, making it smooth, durable, and all but stain-proof. However, regular, light cleaning is still essential to avoid a build up of grime. This holds especially true for floors, where grit can wear down the shine, and in the shower, where long-left soap scum can prove near impossible to remove.
First, gently brush or wipe the tiles to remove any grit that may scratch the finish.
Mix up a mild solution of a Cif floor cleaner and water.
Mop the floor with the solution, working out any stubborn areas with a soft cloth if necessary. A cloth or rag mop is preferable to sponge.
Scrub the grouting with a small brush. The grouting will collect most of the dirt, so it’s easy to damage it with lots of scrubbing if the brush is too hard. An old toothbrush is ideal!
Change the solution for plain warm water and rinse with the mop.
If desired, buff with a clean rag to make the tiles shine!
To clean tile walls, follow the same steps but with a cloth or non-metallic scouring pad instead of a mop.
Unglazed Ceramic Tile Cleaning Tips
With no protective layer of glass, unglazed tiles are more difficult to clean. First, their porous surface traps grime much better than their glazed counterparts, and they aren’t nearly as resistant to stains. Second, the vulnerability of the naked clay limits the strength and type of cleaner that can be used, which can make ceramic tile stain removal tricky. The answer is to use Cif – just follow the instructions on the label.
Additionally, if you find yourself spending a lot of time on ceramic cleaning, consider having your tiles sealed. This will increase the durability and stain-resistance of the tiles, although it won’t remove the need for regular cleaning altogether. Tiles should also be resealed periodically, around once or twice a year.
How to Clean Ceramic Tile: Grout
Grout holds your ceramic tiles together but unfortunately holds moisture, stains, and dirt extremely well too. Even if you clean your tiles well, your initially pristine, white grouting can quickly become grey and dingy.
If it isn’t already, the first thing to do is get your grout sealed. (Tile-layers will often seal tile and grout at once.) Make sure to avoid a silicone seal that extends over the tile surface itself – this can ruin the glossy finish and will often wear off in patches.
If your grout is already dirty, all is not lost – grout staining products are available from most home maintenance stores, and these can help to restore some of the original colour.