Ceramic tile is a popular decorating choice for so many homeowners because it is durable, easy to work with, offers unlimited design possibilities, and is quite easy to clean and maintain. In fact, ceramic and porcelain tile is easier to clean and requires much less maintenance than any of the varieties of natural stone such as granite, marble, or travertine. Following are some common cleaning tips and some do’s and don’ts for maintaining your tile like new for years to come.
Easy cleaning Do’s:
* You should clean your tile with a damp sponge (for a shower) or sponge mop (for a floor), using a small amount of soapless detergent in warm water.
* If you use a cleaner, make sure it's neutral - non-acidic and non-alkaline. Where dirt is more concentrated, use a cleaner made specifically for ceramic tile.
* Vacuum glazed floor tiles regularly to remove dirt and other gritty particles, then damp mop or sponge with an all-purpose, non oil-based cleaner.
Easy cleaning Don’t’s:
* You should not use soap on tile. It leaves a film which dulls the surface and promotes mildew.
* You should not use an acid or ammonia-based cleaner, because it could affect the color of the grout.
* You should not use steel wool pads or any abrasive on tile or stone. These materials can scratch or dull the surface. Any loose particles of steel left on the grout will cause rust stains.
While there are many ideas and theories on the best way to clean grout, many experts are of the opinion that the best way to maintain the long lasting color and properties of your grout is to use the specialty based cleaners made specifically for this purpose. Ceramic tile experts agree that the absolute best way to clean grout is to apply the specialty cleaner and then vacuum ("shop vac") up the dirty water or solution. This lifts the dirt off the joint and doesn’t spread any dirty water or solution over the grout if one were to simply wipe it up with a dry cloth. Follow by applying rinse water and vacuum that water up as well. This lifts off any remaining solution that still may be on the ceramic tile and/or grout.