April 8, 2017 - Tilespect

Tile Cleaning And Sealing Guide

Tile Cleaning Tips – just for starters

Tile Cleaning, or just Living With Tiles

So you’ve bought a tile. It looks durable, it feels durable. If they are new tiles probably look clean, impervious and durable. You love your tiles because the surface looks hygienic and easy to clean, the design and colour is just great and they are so much better than those scummy old tiles you remember from some other time.

But have you considered what you new floor and wall will look like in 15 years, or even just 2 years.

Tiles, like anything else in life, always look their best when new. As they age then the properties of those components and how each interacts with the cleaning and use environments begin to come through. Sometimes small idiosyncrasies of the job become more obvious with wear, or small imperfections lose their importance as time goes by.


First lets look at the components that make up your tiling job just understand the areas that impact on your satisfaction with the tiles at any stage in the life of the installation.

The tiles:

Your tiles are made up of several components; Lets list these;

–          Surface

–          Base, body or biscuit

–          The back of the tile

–          The Edge

–          Form factor

–          Grout and joints

–          Sub-strate

–          Laying surface and its preparation

–          The materials and unseen work put in by the tiler.

Lets briefly familiarize ourselves with these.

The surface – that’s the part you see. The surface of the tile is the focus of most of the design work by the manufacturer. It has intrinsic properties of pattern, colour application, surface texture, hardness, slip resistance (friction), porosity, cleanability, thermal expansion and structure (or relief). Materials of the surface are unglazed ceramic, glazed or porcelain and for niche products, glass.

Tile Cleaning Tips – just for starters

Tile Cleaning and sealing considerations

acid types

Glazed tiles as well as porcelain – Regular cleaning

  • – Use a normal floor cleaner – slightly acidic – citrus cleaner is ideal because it also remove scum build up on the grout lines, or joints.
  • Note: Polished Porcelain – make sure it has been properly sealed.
  • Discoloured or stained tiles: – Soft cloth, water, also use a white (must be white) nylon scouring pad if called for.
  • Deeper stains – initial actions; Draw it out: Use CIF or JIF (Brand names) pour on and leave to dry – do not rub in – it will scratch. Once it is powder dry wipe off and repeat.
  • Difficult stains and marks removal; For porcelain remove the sealer with solvent or sealer remover (chemical removal – non abrasive) then clean with white scouring pad. The re-seal with a high quality sealer. Glazed tiles respond well to acids with the exception of hydrofluoric (HFl) acid. Avoid HFl - leave it to the experts - trust me on this one because if the proper retardants are not applied in the right way, it can actually eat through the surface of tiles and the glaze. HCl - hydrochhloric, or muric acid -  is a better choice in the first instance, and more easily sourced as well.

Tile quick Inspection Guide tile cleaning and sealing /