When most people are faced with old and dirty yet not necessarily damaged tiles the first thing they think of is replacing these tiles with new ones. The reason being that everyone imagines that cleaning them would be impossible. However, replacing the tiles of your entire home can be a huge undertaking both physically and financially. You’d probably have better luck and save money if you used the right tile cleaning technique and only replaced those tiles which were damaged.
Below we look at a few tips which should help you clean old tiles more efficiently.
Tip no. 1: vacuum the entire floor
Most people overlook vacuuming tiled floors when they are very dirty because they assume that simply washing it with water will get rid of all the dirt. However, washing your tiles with water can end up getting the dirt which is on the surface to go deeper into the grout. This can make cleaning even more challenging. This is why people who decide to wash their dirty tile floors often end up with black streaks across their tiles. The best solution before you do anything else is to vacuum your floor multiple times until all possible dirt has been removed.
Tip no. 2: Use vinegar mixed with detergent
Once your floor has been properly vacuumed you can determine if there are stains, streaks or other issues which is making your floor look dirty. The best homemade tile cleaning solution is to mix one part vinegar with one part of detergent. Apply this to all the stains and black marks you may see on the tiles. Then use a soft bristle brush to rub the solution into the stains in order to knock them loose.
You may need to do this multiple times prior to all the stains finally disappearing. However, you’ll still be left with puddles of blackness around but don’t wash it away just yet.
Tip no. 3: wash the floor with vinegar and water
Take a bucket of water and add a cup of white vinegar to it then wash your floor with this. This should help to get rid of the streaking and knock off any loose dirt which may have gotten lodged back again. You may have to wash one floor multiple times before it starts shining. Vinegar will also help to disinfect your floor too.
Tip no. 4: Dealing with bad looking grout
Once the floor tiles are clean you’ll notice that some sections of your grout look dirty too. You may be tempted to use the same tile cleaning technique on the grout too but this is not a good idea. What works for tiles does not always work for the grout. The best way to clean your grout is to get a toothbrush and buy hydrogen peroxide from the store.
Apply just enough peroxide on the stained grout, too much and it can harm your tiles. Use a dropper if necessary to get it right. Then leave it on for around 30 minutes prior to brushing it with your toothbrush for around a minute prior to wiping up the chemicals with a rag. This should help make your grout appear white.
Tip no. 5: Never use a steel wire brush for tile cleaning
Even if you are dealing with the toughest of stains a steel wire brush is not the solution. As a matter of fact these can damage your tiles to a great extent. Wire brushes will end up scratching the tiles which later lead to cracking. Always Fresh Carpet Cleaning recommends that people use a soft bristle brush or a nylon brush. If you do not have any one of these then an old toothbrush will do.
Cleaning old and often dirty tiles can be difficult. Most people think that the solution to cleaning tiles is to use lots of harsh chemicals or a heavy duty cleaning machine when in fact these will end up doing more damage. You can always polish old tiles so that they shine and look good but that is only once they are clean. Replacing tiles should also only be reserved for those that are broken or chipped.
License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source
Manu Alias has been in the cleaning business for more than a decade. He specializes in carpet cleaning and tile cleaning. His operations in Sydney are considered one of the most reputed and professional in the country. So, when he’s not cleaning old and often expensive carpets or trying to figure out a new way to clean tiles he is writing about them on his blog. Always Fresh Carpet Cleaning in Facebook