How to Clean Glazed and Unglazed Porcelain Floor Tile
Porcelain is an extremely durable flooring material that doesn’t require much care or maintenance to keep it looking sleek and new through decades of use. A type of ceramic that is baked particularly hard, these tiles are often paired with a glazed glass protective coating that makes them impervious to staining, water damage, and most scratching physical impact. However, there are ways to give extra care to certain aspects of the installation in order to achieve optimal effects.
How Often to Clean Porcelain Tiles
Sweep, vacuum, or mop your porcelain floors regularly. Depending on foot traffic, this might be daily or every few days. You can do a deeper cleaning as needed to sanitize the floor or remove dirt that has worked its way into the microscopic pores of the tiles.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Broom or vacuum
- Mop bucket
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Acrylic stone sealer (for unglazed tiles)
Unglazed Porcelain Floor Tiles
In its raw manufactured state, porcelain is a strong but somewhat porous material that can be subject to staining discolorations over time. These materials need to be treated with a certain level of delicacy, be monitored for spills, and receive a sealing treatment annually.
Damp Mop and Dry the Tile
Use plain warm water to damp mop or mix 1 gallon of warm water with a few drops of relatively mild ph-balanced dish soap. Do not saturate these floors as they will be more prone to water penetration than other materials. Dry the tiles with a clean towel or sponge after mopping.
Apply Sealing Treatment
An acrylic stone sealer can be applied to a well-cleaned, dry unglazed floor to keep the surface pores impervious. Yearly, add about 1 cup of sealer to 3 gallons of rinse water after a good cleaning.
Clean Grout Lines
The grout lines are often the most vulnerable points in the installation. They will need to be sealed even if the tiles don’t. You can clean them with equal parts water and baking soda, using a small brush. If necessary, it is possible to completely remove and replace grout lines for a brand new look
Glazed Porcelain Tiles
In most cases, porcelain flooring will be treated with a melted glass glaze, which is poured over the surface of each tile to create a thin protective layer that is completely impervious to water penetration and most stains. These applications are much easier to care for, requiring less maintenance and no annual sealing treatments.
Sweep or Vacuum the Floor
Regularly sweep or vacuum your floors to remove grit that can damage the glaze.
Mop With a Tile-Safe Product
Most mopping or cleaning procedures, including both natural and chemical, can be used to effectively refresh glazed ceramic floors. However, you still have to check and follow any instructions listed on the packaging of the product.
Use a Vinegar Solution on Any Stains
A solution of vinegar diluted 1-to-1 with water or a diluted commercial ceramic tile cleaner can be used to clean stains.
Clean Messes Promptly
Wipe up stains as soon as possible, and flush away any residue. While these tiles are resistant, they can still slightly shade if messes are allowed to linger for long periods of time.
How to Deep Clean Porcelain Floor Tiles
In general, you will be able to just use warm water and a mop to clean porcelain tiles. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to make use of deeper cleaning to sanitize the surface and remove stubborn grime.
Mix Vinegar-Water Cleaning Solution
Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. If desired, you can add essential oils for scent.
Mop the Floor Thoroughly
Use the vinegar and water mixture to mop the floor well.
Rinse With Plain Water
Rinse the floor by mopping well with plain water.
Sprinkle With Baking Soda
Sprinkle baking soda on the floor.
Mop Again With Vinegar Solution
Mop the floor with the vinegar and water solution.
Flush to Remove Residue
Flush the floor thoroughly with plain water thoroughly to remove any residue.
Go Section by Section
Work in small sections so that you can clean, rinse, and allow each portion of the floor to dry thoroughly.
How do you clean porcelain tiles without streaks?
Cleaning with a vinegar-water solution can help to promote a streak-free finish on porcelain tile. It’s also important to thoroughly rinse and dry the floor.
Why are my porcelain tiles dull?
Anything that can remove the finish and wear at the surface of a porcelain tile can make it appear dull. That includes abrasive dirt particles, as well as harsh cleaners.
What can damage porcelain tile?
Letting stains sit and dry on porcelain tile can make them difficult to remove. Highly corrosive products, such as bleach or ammonia, also can damage the tile.