Cleaning and Maintenance of Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
There are three simple steps to the care and maintenance of your tiles:
- Before mopping, always sweep or vacuum tiles to remove dust and dirt.
- Always use a clean mop and add warm / hot water to the bucket. Most importantly, change the dirty water for clean water every 20m² – 30m² of mopping, otherwise you are just mopping your floors with dirty water!
- Never add supermarket detergents to your water. These can leave a soapy residue on your tiles and can be the main cause of dirt sticking to the surface of things, like foot print marks appearing.
- Try to wipe up each spill straight away to eliminate additional cleaning.
- Have a starting point and a finish point to avoid walking over drying tiles.
- A small amount of methylated spirits can be diluted with hot water for a home solution
See our Caring For Your Floors – Tiles brochure to help you maintain and care for your Surfaces by Hynes tiles.
SPECIFIC STAIN REMOVAL
Generally, the longer a stain has been left on a tile, the more difficult it will be to remove. Where possible, consult your merchant about the type of stain you are trying to remove, as there are specialist products for cleaning the stains.
- Do not use acid based products to clean glazed or polished tiles as this may affect or damage the surface, unless recommended by a specialist.
- Do not use abrasive applicators, such as scouring sponges, on products that have a reflective, polished or textured surface as this can cause damage to the finish of the tile.
- Avoid soapy based products as they will leave unwanted residue.
- Avoid a build-up of soaps, shampoos and other residues as they can leave visible marks and grime.
Many grouts on the market have mould inhibitors which can help reduce mould growth. Mould can still occur if the conditions are severe or if a grout without mould inhibitor has been used. Mould can be removed using specialised grout cleaners. Gels are particularly effective, as they can be left on the grout on badly affected areas, before washing off. Heavy-duty cleaners can help remove soap scum and other dirt build-up in extreme circumstances.
Mould or discolouration is basically the result of a build-up of soaps, shampoos and other residues left to dry. If this occurs, a heavy-duty cleaner may be necessary.
Freshly installed tiles may be covered overall or in patches with grout haze. There are a number of commercial products available for this problem from your merchant.
Efflorescence is a white discolouration caused by minerals in the cement that are soluble in water, being dissolved and transported to the surface as the water evaporates. It is most noticeable on dark materials but can occur on any cement based system.
This is not normally a problem, as only insignificant amounts of white discolouration make it to the surface of the grout during normal curing. However, because it is water soluble, under certain conditions the migration of the discolouration to the surface can be increased. Therefore, if the system takes longer to cure or if there is more water present during curing, there is more time available for it to be carried to the surface.
Sometimes minor efflorescence can be removed by using normal cleaning methods, while more difficult stains can be treated with specific products from your merchant. Ensure the grout has had sufficient time to cure or you may make it worse by increasing the water on the surface.
Cleaning and Maintenance Standards
Should you have any further or more specific questions, the Australian Standards are available to all members of the public for reference.
The relevant document being Standards AS3958.1-2007. Appendix C – Cleaning & Maintenance.
This page is to be used as a guide only. It does not purport to be the solution to cleaning and maintenance requirements. It is the responsibility of the consumer to seek professional advice from a tile specialist as required.