The beauty, elegance, and durability of ceramic tile has made it a favorite flooring choice for centuries, but these are not the only reasons for its popularity. Tile is surprisingly easy to maintain, and by using simple household products, you can keep your ceramic tile floors looking like new for years. Here are great tips on how to do this:
Removing mildew, lime deposits, and soap scum.
Because bathroom surfaces — particularly showers — are exposed to water, soaps, and body oils, you need to clean the tile once a week to prevent a buildup of soap scum. CLR is a great solution for removing mildew from ceramic tiles. Use a sponge soaked in a homemade 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water to scrub and rinse away lime — and even rust — deposits. Check in with your contractor or tile retailer for any special instructions on cleaning your tile– or test a spare tile (or an inconspicuous spot) if you’re unsure about the tile’s origin. To test whether the white vinegar-water solution will etch tile, apply the solution to a small area with an eye dropper and let it sit overnight.
Cleaning tile floors.
Since ceramic tile is often used in “wet” areas of the home, it is likely it will be subject to different spills and spots. Simple washing or mopping with hot water and a mild household detergent should wipe away anything that finds its way to your ceramic floors. The hot water helps loosen any dirt that collects in the spill, and the detergent lifts any oily substance on the floor. If a “once-over” is not enough to remove all of the spill, try a second pass over the floor with a sponge or mop. If the spills remains stubborn, you can use a soft brush or synthetic scouring pad to loosen the spot, but do not use steel wool or a metal brush, as these may scratch the surface of the tiles.
After washing the ceramic tile floor, be sure to thoroughly rinse the floor with clean water. This will remove any detergent residue from setting and attracting more dirt to your floor. Occasionally, a tough stain will appear on a ceramic tile floor, especially floors with unglazed tiles, but these stains can also be easily removed. Prepare a paste of scouring powder and water, and firmly rub it onto the stain. Allow the paste to sit for at least 5 minutes, and then scrub it away with a soft brush or synthetic scouring pad. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone, and then thoroughly wash and rinse the floor
Cleaning tile counters and backsplashes
Because tile countertops and backsplashes in the kitchen are exposed to the greases produced by cooking, these can be toughest to clean. A 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water, followed by a scrubbing with baking soda and a rag or a scrub brush, should remove most of the buildup. For icky, sticky stains, use Goo Gone. Let it sit for a few minutes and the sticky spot should wipe away easily. If the tile surfaces aren’t exposed to water or grease, dusting the tiles weekly will do.
If you are thinking about upgrading your floors, bathroom, or kitchen with beautiful ceramic tile, contact us at Plumbtile and we can help in every way!