Porcelain tiles give your home or business a classically luxurious look. These simple guidelines will show you how to clean porcelain tiles, keeping them looking their best for years to come.
Porcelain tiles come in three basic categories:
- Unpolished porcelain gives a natural look to floors and countertops. It can be used indoors or out, and is ideal for areas where a non-slip surface is needed.
- Polished porcelain comes in a wide variety of colors and designs, and is usually stained or painted, then glazed.
- Textured porcelain tiles have grooves or other patterns carved into them before they are fired. While these textures give the tiles visual interest, they can be challenging to clean.
How to Clean Porcelain Tiles
Each type of porcelain tile has unique characteristics and cleaning needs. However, you can follow the same basic procedures regardless of which type of porcelain tile you have.
First, remove loose dirt. Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove any loose dust or pet hair. If you have porcelain countertops, wipe them down with a dry cloth.
If you have textured porcelain tiles, vacuum twice – first in the direction of the texture, and then on a diagonal. This will help to ensure that you remove any debris lodged in the groves of the texture.
Next, mop the floor or wipe the countertops with a mild cleaning solution, depending on your specific tile type:
Cleaning Unpolished or Textured Porcelain Tiles
Saturate the floor or counter with the cleaning solution. Let it soak for up to ten minutes, then wipe with a clean, damp rag or a sponge mop. Rinse with clean, warm water to remove any residue.
Cleaning Polished Porcelain Tiles
Use 50% less detergent per gallon of warm water than you would on unpolished or textured porcelain tiles. Mop the floor or wipe the countertops, but do not allow the water to sit on the tiles. Rinse the tiles immediately with clean, warm water.
Finally, dry your porcelain tiles with a soft, dry cloth.
Depending on how much use your porcelain tiles get, you may need to clean them as often as once per day in heavy traffic areas or frequently used countertops. Lighter traffic areas may only need to be cleaned once or twice per week.
Keeping porcelain tiles looking new is not difficult, but there are a few cleaning supplies you should avoid:
- Do not use steel wool on porcelain tile. Slivers of metal can become embedded in the tile or the grout and rust.
- Do not use ammonia, as it can discolor porcelain.
- Do not use wax-based cleaners.
If you are uncertain about a cleaning product, test it first in an inconspicuous spot or contact a professional tile cleaning company.