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The Studio Blog

  • Studio Tile & Design

How do I clean my tile?

One day, someone will invent a tile that cleans itself. Until then, these are the things you should be doing to keep your porcelain & ceramic tiles looking as good as new.

How to Clean Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Porcelain & ceramic tile are known for being some of (if not the) most durable, low-maintenance, & easy-to-clean materials available for showers, flooring, & backsplashes. Unfortunately, "low maintenance" does not mean "no maintenance." You will still get dirt, soap scum, & occasional spills. However, they can be easily cleaned by following these simple steps.

  1. Clear the area of loose dirt using a broom, dust mop, or vacuum. You should be doing this frequently between cleaning, too, but it is especially important to do this right before adding any water or cleaner. Otherwise, any dirt that may be on the surface of your tile will go straight to your grout lines, where it is more likely to stick & become a stain.

  2. Wash the area with warm, soapy water. Our go-to for this step is Dawn, because it is gentle, inexpensive, & effective. Using a clean, nonabrasive brush, sponge, or mop, gently loosen any dirt, soap scum, or residue that may be clinging to the surface of the tiles or grout lines.

  3. Rinse with clean water to remove any remaining dirt or residue. If you clean regularly, you can probably skip straight to step five.

  4. Use a cleaner that is specifically formulated to be safe on tile & grout to remove anything that the previous steps couldn't handle. There are plenty of safe & effective cleaners on the market. Choose the one that best suits your situation & simply follow the instructions on the bottle.

  5. Stay off the area until it is completely dry to prevent fresh dirt from sticking to the damp surface. Or better yet, use a squeegee to quickly dry the area.

Some circumstances may necessitate additional cleaning techniques or products. If you aren't satisfied after following these steps, please call us for a more specific recommendation.


Maintenance Guidelines

Now that your tile is fresh & clean, follow these maintenance guidelines to keep it that way for generations to come.

  • Keep the area clear of loose dirt & debris. In addition to being good practice, sweeping often prevents scratches, stains, & traffic wear patterns from developing over time.

  • Use a squeegee after showering to prevent mold, mildew, & buildup from accumulating.

  • Clean up spills immediately to minimize staining & discoloration. Even if your tile is impermeable, remember that your grout is very porous and therefore quite susceptible to staining.

  • Steer clear of cleaners that aren't specifically designed to be safe on tile & grout. Harmful chemicals, including bleach and ammonia, acidic or alkaline cleaners, and abrasive cleaners will strip your grout of sealer and degrade it over time.

  • Be careful with home remedies like vinegar & lemon juice, which are highly acidic. They may be safe for humans, but they can still damage your grout.

  • Don't use abrasive cleaners. These can chip away your grout & scratch your tile.

  • When in doubt, ask a professional. If you have stains, discoloration, or any other abnormalities that persist after cleaning, don't hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to help identify the underlying cause of the problem & offer a specific solution.

These tips are geared toward porcelain & ceramic tiles. For information about cleaning & maintaining marble & other types of natural stone, click here!

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