April 8, 2017 - Tilespect

Tile Cleaning and Remove Depilation Wax and Other Tips

Tile Cleaning – How to Remove Depilation Wax and Other Tips

Tile Cleaning Tips – just for starters

Hair removal wax; this can be removed with heat – used really hot water for you mop – let the wet mop sit on the wax for a few seconds, then removed. You can also pour on a little hot water at a time and remove with a paper towel. Avoid the use of scrapers.

Here is a quick video on how I like to remove depilation wax from tiles.


Generally porcelain responds well to citrus cleaners and normal floor cleaning – some specific issues;

Installation sealer – applied at the factory to prevent grout, adhesive and cement entering pores of polished porcelain tiles during installation tiling. Usually removed by tilers using special rotary floor polishing machines. Can also be removed by;

1)      Colourless Mineral Turpentine (paint solvent) – you MUST apply the full tile sealing process after  you use this method for cleaning as it also removes the deep sealer.

2)      Fine steel wool kitchen pads;I have found that fine steel scourers do not actually scratch porcelain tiles however you MUST test this out on a spare piece – I have used it on several occasions – while it is labour intensive I have found that it does work very well and should not leave a mark  however TEST IT FIRST ON A SPARE PIECE FOR TO MAKE SURE IT WILL NOT DAMAGE YOUR POLISHED PORCELAIN FLOOR. The reason it should not scratch is because steel wool is softer than porcelain which has the same hardness as quartz. DO NOT USE COARSE OR ALUMINIUM SCOURERS. Note that aluminium leaves a mark that can never be removed so do not use aluminium or alloy anything.  IT MUST BE FINE STEEL WOOL. If you don’t test it first on a spare tile and it does damage your floor I am not responsible, right?!? Also NEVER  use this method on a glazed tile, even glazed porcelain.

Note that porcelain was originally intended for commercial kitchens, restaurants, offices shopping malls and airport terminals. Certain industrial / medical chemicals can cause permanent penetrating stains on unglazed porcelain, such as iodine.

Example of rare, defective factory applied porcelain presealer

Example of rare, defective factory applied porcelain presealer

And there are others which are just plain tough to remove from any surface , such as an old (indurated)chewing gum splotch. Use a non – streaking scrapper and heat from hot water.

A tough one to remove is and alloy streak from an unprotected alloy chair leg for example. This is best removed using a light abrasive polish and a white scourer – results not guaranteed.

For glazed tiles the biggest issue is abrasion so no scourers, no steel – wool, no sand, no polishing creams of any kind.

White bristled floor bruses are fine to use. Also the citrus cleaner is great for general cleaning.

Certain chemicals can cause damage, one example is prolonged and repeated exposure to urea, and some industrial chemicals. In the main however the glazed surface is resistive to all with the exception of one type of acid. This is hydrofluoric acid (chemical formula HF). It will each through glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles.

It is only ever applied as an etch for increasing a tile’s slip resistance. This is usually applied by qualified tradespersons using this HF in combination with an inhibitor which limits the action of the chemical. Do even this about applying it – leave it to the experts– it voids all warranties from every manufacturer!

This is a bit of a ramble. Please feel free to send in your tips and captured learnings.

Tile quick Inspection Guide remove depilation wax /