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ARCHIE ADAMSEditor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide
Porcelain floors look stylish in most interiors, but the best part is — they require relatively little maintenance. Of course, homeowners should remember regular tile cleaning to preserve the original look of their floors, but tidying up is something no one can avoid. In comparison to natural wood floors that require regular care and careful cleaning, porcelain tile is a trouble-free solution in terms of daily care.
Still, even high-quality porcelain tile has some cleaning restrictions. This is especially so for unglazed (aka unpolished) tile, which is more porous and less stain-resistant than its glazed (aka polished) counterpart. So, we start our guide on how to clean porcelain tile with a more challenging, unpolished version.
Step By Step Guide On Cleaning Unpolished Porcelain Tile
Because of its porous nature, this type of porcelain requires a bit more attention than a glazed, polished one. The actual cleaning is not more difficult, but unpolished tiles do require regular monitoring for spills and stains. The sooner you get rid of them, the longer your floors will serve. And, of course, the trick is knowing how to clean porcelain without affecting its inner pores. These simple steps will make your floors sparkle:
- Carefully vacuum clean the floor to remove all dust.
- Use a mop to remove smaller dust particles or any dried-up dirt. Carefully sweep in the corners.
- Mix a homemade vinegar floor cleaner. It’s safe to add 1/4 cup of vinegar to a gallon (max two) of water. Note that this solution will help only if your floor is not heavily stained.
- If you don’t feel like cleaning porcelain tiles with vinegar (or have some heavy, old stains), use any readymade porcelain tile cleaner.
- When dealing with heavy stains, allow your porcelain cleaner to soak for a couple of minutes (but don’t let it dry).
- Use a soft brush to scrub any heavy stains.
- Mop the floor again; then, dry it with a soft cloth. Never let water sit on your unpolished tile floors.
Cleaning Polished Porcelain Tile: Top Tips
Glazed porcelain floor tile is factory-sealed, so it’s way more resistant to dust, dirt, and stains. Besides, most of the above cleaning logic applies: vacuum, mop, use a cleaner (and let it soak if necessary), and mop again. Still, some details on how to clean glazed porcelain tile differ, so make a note of them:
- When cleaning with vinegar, use a stronger solution — equal parts of water and vinegar. It’s absolutely safe even with high gloss porcelain tile that often looks more ‘tender’ than it really is.
- On polished floors, cleaning solutions may soak for ten minutes instead of five. You still should not let them dry, though.
- There is no need to carefully wipe clean glazed tiles because you will not see the streaks anyway. Just make sure you don’t leave entire pools of water on the floor.
What Not To Do When Cleaning Any Porcelain Types
Previous sections explicitly explain how to clean porcelain tile floors. But there are still a couple of things you should NEVER do:
- Don’t use any hard brushes, especially metal ones. They can leave deep scratches even on sealed porcelain and penetrate its pores.
- Don’t use heavy abrasive cleaners. Just like metal brushes, they can damage porcelain sealing and affect original coloring.
- Don’t use detergents and wax cleaners. If you don’t have any cleaner or vinegar, use cosmetic soap instead.
- Never use bleaches (even on white porcelain floor tile) or cleaning liquids with dye on unpolished floors.
Keeping Porcelain Tiles Clean and Carefully Maintained
Aside from cleaning and stain removal, porcelain tiles do require some maintenance. It’s not too much, and the main tips are straightforward:
Clean porcelain regularly — vacuuming and mopping at least two times a week is a good homemaking routine.
- Get rid of any stains when you see them. First, it’s easier. Next, you make sure these stains don’t penetrate deep enough to damage your tile coloring.
- Don’t let water sit on your tiles — wipe away all spills and spatter. This tip is especially important for porcelain tile kitchen floors in your cooking area. Floor parts next to the stove are most vulnerable because of oil spatter. Removing it right after cooking is way easier than bothering with heavy stain cleaning when the oil dries.
- With unpolished floors, sealing porcelain tiles once a year is a must. You do not need to call a handyman or browse through the entire blog section on homemakerguide.com for that. Tile sealers are available in hardware stores and online shops. Make sure you pick the right one, though. Even the best marble sealer, no matter how good or pricey it may be, will not work. Why? Porcelain is a man-made material, and marble is a natural one. So, always go with sealers designed for particular products.
Final Questions Most Homemakers Ask
Does porcelain tile need to be sealed after it’s installed? That depends on the tile. Unpolished floors require annual sealing, but glazed tiles are already protected enough from stains and damage. Provided you treat them with caution, of course.
- Do you need to seal porcelain tile before installation? Yes. Any surface sealer will be enough on the remodeling stage.
- How to clean porcelain tile after grouting? If you forgot about sealing, use a grout haze remover; it will help get rid of the mess quickly.
- Do you need any protection while working with factory-made cleaners? Preferably. At the very least, use rubber gloves and ventilate the area. Eye protection is an option if you’re sensitive to certain chemicals, but not a must for most people.
This is pretty much everything you should know about cleaning porcelain tile without any damage to the material, your money, time, and nerves. Usually, being attentive and keeping a regular cleaning schedule covers it. Unless, of course, you know other tricks that keep your floors spotless. If you do, how about sharing them with us? We, at HomeMakerGuide, are always glad to hear from you!