Ceramic tiles look lovely in the kitchen or bathroom, but when it comes to cleaning, they’re a little more delicate than other surface materials. 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.
Don’t forget – Always read the instructions on a cleaning product before use, and test on a hidden part of the surface first.
Cleaning Glazed Ceramic Tiles
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 build up of grime. This holds especially 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. Vacuum cleaners are usually to be avoided since most attachments can scratch.
- Mix up a mild solution of non-acidic detergent and water. (Cif is a good example.)
- 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 nylon brush. The grouting will collect most of the dirt, so it’s easy to damage it with lots of scrubbing if the brush is 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 get those tiles shining!
To clean tile walls, follow the same steps but with a cloth or non-metallic scouring pad instead of a mop.
Cleaning Unglazed Ceramic Tiles
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. The answer is to use a strong but neutral-pH cleaner.