How Do I Care For My Tiles?
Ceramic tiles date back to ancient times and for centuries have proven to be a practical material to adorn the inside and outside of all manner of structures.
Although not indestructible, ceramic tiles are relatively tough, hard wearing and not easily scratched or punctured.
As with all surfaces, regular cleaning is important to ensure contaminants do not build up. A once-a-week thorough clean is usually all that is needed to ensure your tiles are kept looking good. For spills, an immediate wipe up with a cloth is best.
Easy care tips for keeping your tiles and grout clean:
- Keep mats available at all entry points to minimise the amount of loose material that enters your home. This will also help to avoid abrasion from sand and dirt.
- Always sweep or vacuum on a regular basis.
- For a thorough clean: after vacuuming, wipe the surface of the tile with a damp chamois or towelling cloth style of mop (aka: flat head mop) using either water or a solution with water and white vinegar.
- It is very important not to use too much water as this can leave dirty water pooling in the joint lines which over time will discolour the grout.
No special cleaners or detergents are required for routine cleaning of tiles. Many floor disinfectants use soap or chemical based agents that – if not rinsed off properly – will leave a residue of soap scum on the surface of the tiles. Over time the residue will trap dirt and the colour of your tiles may change or become dull. This may be remedied with commercial tile cleaners specific for removing soap scum, wax, and grout haze. Try Davco Tile n Grout Cleaner or Aqua Seal Ezy Clean. For heavier staining try Aqua Seal Micro Scrub or Aqua Seal Extreme Clean.
What is Grout Haze?
Grout haze can be the reason for your tiles looking and feeling dirty.
Grout haze is quite possibly present when you notice tracking from footprints, dullness, or a powdery film on the surface of the tiles even after they have been washed with water and a mild cleaning product.
Grout haze occurs as a result of the grouting process. This happens as grout is squeezed into joints and naturally smeared across the surface of the tile. The excess grout is removed by the tiler in the cleanup. In limited situations due to temperature, humidity levels, tile surface and other factors, a microlayer of grout remains not visually evident at the time of clean up.
Grout haze can be removed and once done will never reappear.
Depending on the type of tile any of the following methods or a combination of methods may remove the grout haze:
- Buff Method: Removal by way of a rough dry towel over the entire area may be all that is needed followed by a normal wash.
- Wash Method: Spray a Grout Haze Remover over the entire area of tiles, leave for 5 – 10 mins and follow with a damp mop and then a dry towel. Try Davco Tile and Grout Cleaner of Aqua Seal Micro Scrub.
- The Individual Tile Method: Spray a Grout Haze remover over 1-2 tiles, leave for 5 – 10 mins and follow with a damp cloth and then a dry towel. Repeat until all tiles are clean.
The image shows tiles affected by grout haze. The lighter section near the door has been treated with tile and grout cleaner.
Please check all cleaners on a spare tile before any cleaning procedure.