Ceramic tiles are present in every apartment today. It is used in rooms where high humidity often reigns, temperature drops are observed, and splashes of dirt and grease take place. Tiles take a powerful blow, but even such stubborn material can become coated with a coating that is not always easy to remove. Specialists of the TOPKLIN SERVICE company, whose main specialization is office cleaninghelped us to select the most effective ways to clean ceramic tiles. The company employs real professionals who know well how to clean this or that type of surface even from the most difficult dirt, and do it as soon as possible, so as not to disrupt the workflow in the office.
# 1. Special products for tiles
The industry has long developed a lot of special compounds that help wash off plaque, greasy stains, all kinds of dirt and even traces of mold from the tiles. Under the trademarks “Silit”, “Santik”, “Domestos”, “Komet”, “Sif”, “Mister Muskul” and others, funds are produced that allow the tiles to return to their original appearance in a matter of minutes.
Before buying, it is important to carefully read the rules of use and the type of tile that can be cleaned with such products. It is better to take creamy or gel-like formulations – products with abrasive particles can leave a lot of small scratches on the tile, in which dirt will accumulate perfectly in the future. It is also worth considering the class of chemical resistance of the tile: tiles of class A and AA are most resistant to various kinds of aggressive agents and will easily survive almost any impact, which cannot be said about tiles with an indicator of resistance C.
It is advisable to take a product that does not contain chalk. If the joints between the tiles are treated with epoxy grout, then acid-containing products are also prohibited. When a whitish coating appears on the tile, it is better to take a product containing chlorine. The processing method will be detailed on the packaging – it must be carefully followed.
# 2. Dishwashing liquid or soap
Light dirt can be washed off with a commercially available dish detergent. It is enough to dissolve a small amount in warm water to form a foam. The resulting solution is applied with a sponge to the contaminated tile, left for 10-20 minutes, and then thoroughly washed off with plain water.
Instead of detergent, you can take regular soap (it is not recommended to use household soap). To speed up the dissolving process, you can rub the bar soap into warm water. Further, the washing process is the same as when using dishwashing detergent.
No. 3. Glass cleaner
If a special detergent for washing tiles is not always at hand, then a composition for washing glasses and mirrors is probably in the arsenal of every housewife. Almost every such product contains ammonia, which will help remove small dirt from the tile and return it to its previous shine. The method of cleaning is no different from washing windows: it is necessary to spray the composition, and then carefully treat the surface with a soft cloth.
No. 4. Lemon acid
Modern detergents are, of course, effective, but they also have disadvantages. Household chemicals, firstly, can cause allergies. Secondly, it requires a very careful relationship with it, since sometimes the concentration of aggressive chemicals in them can damage the skin of the hands and even the respiratory tract. Thirdly, some products cannot be completely washed off even with a large amount of water. Therefore, it is not surprising that today many are abandoning store products and switching to using folk remedies.
The most popular and easiest way to remove grease, limescale and deposits from ceramic tiles is to use lemon juice. Problem areas should be rubbed thoroughly with lemon and left for a few minutes. Lemon juice can be squeezed out, diluted a little with water and sprayed with the resulting concentrate using a spray bottle. After a few minutes, the juice is washed off with water. The bonus of this method is that the room will be filled with a pleasant and, most importantly, natural aroma.
Citric acid powder is an alternative. The bag is dissolved in a glass of warm water and the resulting liquid is used for processing.
No. 5. Soda and vinegar
The baking soda and vinegar react to soften the build-up of dirt and plaque. To wash the ceramic tiles, it is necessary to apply a soda slurry slightly moistened with water on problem areas. Then a solution of table vinegar is sprayed, it is most convenient to do this with a spray bottle. Let the components react for 3-5 minutes, then the gruel must be washed off.
By itself, baking soda can also have a good effect on grease contamination. In general, this substance is considered a universal cleaning agent, it can also be used to remove, for example, coffee and tea stains that have stuck in dishes. The washing method is the simplest: wet a sponge, soak it in soda powder and begin to gently process the surface of the tile, dipping the sponge in soda powder again and again as necessary. The plaque and dirt should be cleaned thoroughly, but do not apply excessive pressure to avoid scratching the tiles. The method is effective even with serious contamination.
No. 7. Vinegar
Acetic acid, like citric acid, is capable of breaking down fat deposits, plaque, and other contaminants. It is better to use ordinary table vinegar with an acetic acid concentration of no more than 6%. If you have only vinegar essence with a concentration of 80%, then it is better to dilute it with water in a ratio of 1:11.
It is better to apply the vinegar solution to the tiles with a spray bottle. If there is serious dirt on the surface, it is better to leave the product on for 20-30 minutes so that it breaks down the plaque. The vinegar-coated surface can be additionally cleaned with a soft, neutral-colored brush. After the performed manipulations, it remains only to rinse the surface with warm water and wipe it with a soft microfiber cloth.
A big plus of the method is the harmful effects of vinegar on mold, but when working with acid, it will be necessary to protect your hands and respiratory organs well. The method is not suitable for those who are sensitive to odors. Frequent cleaning of the tiles with vinegar can lead to the destruction of the tile joints, so it is better to alternate this method with others.
No. 8. Ammonia
Ammonia fights off plaque, dirt and mold well. For 4 liters of water, add 125 ml of alcohol. Further, the cleaning method is the same as with vinegar. Ammonia cleans very well from various types of dirt, but it is not recommended to use it regularly – it is necessary to alternate such treatment with a more gentle one.
No. 9. Hydrogen peroxide solution
This tool is called universal and very effective. It will help to cope with any kind of pollution, and all components can be found in almost any home. Pasta is prepared from ½ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tsp. liquid soap. All components are thoroughly mixed. If the contamination is small, the paste can be applied to a sponge and wiped the desired area, then rinse the surface with water. If the contamination is strong, then the paste can be left for 10 minutes: under the influence of the components of the mixture, the dirt will begin to dissolve and it will eventually be much easier to rinse it off.
No. 10. Chlorine powder
Bleach is able to cope with the most serious dirt, it is an effective disinfectant, which allows you to simultaneously solve the problem of mold and mildew, therefore this method is often used in wet rooms. Chlorine powder is diluted in water, the solution is poured into a spray bottle and sprayed onto the contaminated surface for 10-15 minutes, then the tiles are wiped with a sponge to remove dirt, and then with a well-damp cloth.
It is necessary to work with such an aggressive agent with gloves, even better – use a mask to protect the respiratory system. It is often not recommended to use bleach, otherwise you can not only dissolve the plaque, but also damage the tile surface and discolor the grout. Some housewives use ready-made liquid like “Whiteness” instead of chlorine powder.
№11. Steam cleaner
If the apartment has a steam cleaner, it can also be used to tidy up the ceramic tiles. Hot steam, escaping under high pressure, is capable of heating and dissolving impurities. In this way, you can remove grease stains, plaque, deal with mold, neutralize spores and microbes. After processing, the tile surface must be cleaned with a damp sponge, and then wiped dry with a soft cloth.
No. 12. Melamine sponge
Melamine sponge allows you to do without special cleaning agents, or rather it is a detergent. Such sponges are made from melamine foam, which is able to penetrate any hard surface and remove all kinds of dirt, streaks and plaque. To carry out cleaning, you only need to wet the sponge with plain water, you need to make a minimum of effort. The melamine sponge can be used on a wide range of surfaces, incl. tile.
No. 13. Cleaning of tile joints
Often the most problematic place is precisely the tile seams. The most effective among all the cleaning agents listed above will be special gels sold in household appliances stores. From folk remedies, vinegar, a solution of ammonia or ethyl alcohol, and a steam cleaner work best.
If the seams are so contaminated that not one of the ways is able to clean them, then you will have to take drastic measures – completely change the grout:
- the old grout is removed with a painting knife (several cuts are made with it, and the layer of the old grout begins to fall out), an electric brush (an expensive tool) or a screwdriver with a brush attachment (small turns are used);
- fungus and mold are carefully cleaned out;
- treatment with a special impregnation that will kill the remaining mold spores and prevent further development of the fungus;
- when the antiseptic is completely dry, you can proceed to applying a new layer of grout.
It should be noted that if the tile is more than 15 years old, then it is necessary to take out the old grout very carefully, since it can be the last binder that allows the tile to adhere to the surface of the wall or floor.
No. 14. Cleaning tiles after renovation
During the repair work, specific compositions may fall on the tiles, and it is far from always possible to cope with the universal means described above, therefore, cleaning the tiles after repairs should be highlighted in a separate item.
Cleaning from adhesive solution. The best option is to wash it while it is still fresh. This requires a damp cloth and a rubber spatula. If the glue has already dried, then it will be difficult to manage with water alone – you will have to make a weak solution of ammonia or vinegar, and thoroughly moisten the traces of glue with it. Polymer glue is cleaned with an acetone solution, but the main thing here is not to overdo it, so as not to damage the tile. When the glue is softened, it is scraped off with a stiff sponge, sandpaper or spatula, being extremely careful. The easiest way to remove glue residues is to use special solvents, but it is necessary to thoroughly analyze their composition for the presence of substances hazardous to the tile.
Cleaning from primer. It is also best to try to wash off the traces of the primer as soon as possible. If the solution hardens, you will have to resort to a special solvent-based wash for help, or use acetone.
Cleaning from grout. It is much easier to control the process of getting the grout on the tiles, so you can immediately remove the residues with a damp cloth. It will be more difficult to remove drops of epoxy grout from the tile after it dries – you cannot do without a special solvent.
Cleaning of silicone sealant. Thick layers of sealant residue can be removed mechanically by simply cutting off the unwanted portion with a knife. If we are talking about surfaces sensitive to mechanical stress (for example, an acrylic bath), it is better to use a chemical cleaning method. For example, a car wash will do.
Tiles will retain their original appearance for a long time if they are treated with glass and mirror detergent every week. It will be much easier to clean a glossy surface, so pay more attention to the care of embossed and porous tiles.