Tile Cleaning made easy
Slique are in the business of restoring stone and tile surfaces, and we are very good at it! Once restored, it’s very important for us to teach people how to correctly maintain their surfaces. Incorrect tile cleaning methods can cause problems – sometimes recreating the damage, or making the tiles dirty or hard to clean.
These are the key “rules” that should always be followed, regardless of stone or tile type as they will give you the best results.
Tile Cleaning “Don’ts”
1. Don’t water blast
Kiwis love their water blaster, which can be a very effective method of cleaning external areas. However there are a few very good reasons why you should NOT use this on your stone or tiles.
Firstly sealer manufacturers will often not warranty their product if you have water blasted, as waterblasting can severely damage the effectiveness and life of the sealer.
Secondly water blasting can also physically damage softer stones, and we have been to many homes where visible lines can be seen in the stone from the process.
2. Don’t use too much water
When you clean with too much water the dirt and grime from the surface of the tile goes into the water.
When you have finished cleaning the floor is wet, and the water carries the dirt / grime into the low points (generally the grout and tiles texture). The water then evaporates away, meaning you have effectively spread the dirt around your floor and contaminated the hardest to clean areas. Sponge and string mops are the two worst exponents of this.
3. Don’t use tile cleaning products without understanding them
Cleaning products are often poorly labelled, and may not be suitable for tile cleaning. Readily-available cleaners can contain substances that can be very damaging to certain types of stone and tile.
It’s important to read the WHOLE label of the product as often the front of the bottle can be misleading.
4. Don’t drag items
While some tiles are near indestructible, plenty of others are much softer than you would think, and can scratch. Ensure whenever you are moving items over tiles to lift rather than drag.
5. Don’t keep staining items directly on the stone
Oil containers on bench tops, shampoo bottles in showers (especially damaging on acid sensitive stones), metal objects outside can all cause serious damage that could be avoided by not storing directly on the stone.
This sort of damage is impossible to recover using home tile cleaning methods, and would require an expert such as Slique, so take care with what you put on your surface and you’ll avoid the issue.
Tile Cleaning “Dos”
1. Do use microfibre – it’s the best tile cleaning method available
Microfibre is a synthetic fibre that is extremely fine, much finer than human hair or even silk.
It is designed to have a texture that collects dirt and grime very effectively, as well as being able to hold large amounts of water. This makes it an excellent tile cleaning technology that can be used without chemicals.
However most importantly it’s effective with very little water, which means the dirt will go onto the fibre, and not soak into and discolour your grout. Microfibre is safe on all types of stone and tile and is the best way to clean tiles and grout.
2. Do think about surrounding surfaces when cleaning
Often the worst damage is not caused by using cleaning products directly on the stone, but from cleaning surrounding surfaces which runs down or across stone to create damage. You can see examples of this on our Common Problems page “Used the wrong cleaning product“
3. Do use specialist tile cleaning products
Whenever possible use products made specifically cleaning for stone and tile surfaces, and ideally choose a brand that manufactures tile cleaning products specifically for stone and tile surfaces. Wide-use or general purpose cleaners are often NOT appropriate for cleaning tiles.
Slique sell a range of specialist tile cleaning and maintenance products at www.tilecleaning.co.nz
4. Do protect your surface wherever possible
It is much easier to protect your stone and tile surfaces, rather than fix them after damage has occurred. Make sure surfaces are properly sealed and cleaned correctly, and mould inhibitors are used on external areas. Read more about Slique’s invisible sealers, wet-look sealers, and coatings and polishes.
5. Do remove spills promptly
Even if your surface is sealed, if spills are left to sit they can stain, and acidic spills can instantly start to etch acid sensitive stone.
If you have a spill, dab it up (do not wipe), and then flush with clean water. This will give the best results and neutralise any residues.