How To Clean And Remove Stains On Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tile Cleaning Tips

By Troy Cantini

The very nature of porcelain tiles can sometimes make them extremely difficult to clean. Porcelain tiles are often porous and can have a hazy film on them that is impossible to remove. A grout haze can easily form on porcelain and factory imperfections in the porcelain can make the task of cleaning porcelain tiles a difficult task. Scuff marks and other imperfections in porcelain tiles can usually not simply be cleaned away.

cleaning porcelain tiles

Many times porcelain tiles may look dirty when in fact they just have a dirty looking finish. The dirty looking finish on porcelain tiles can also be the result of a grout haze left on the tiles or this can actually be the finish of the porcelain tiles. The grout haze can usually be cleaned with an acidic tile cleaning solution but many other imperfections in the shine or look of the tiles can not be effectively cleaned up and removed.

It is best to first start cleaning porcelain tiles with a good alkaline tile and grout cleaning solution.  Do not use any types of household cleaners or other types of products on the porcelain tiles. Porous porcelain tiles will absorb household cleaning solutions so it is best to use a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning tile and grout. Many types of household cleaners will leave a sticky cleaning residue on the tile that can be difficult to remove and over time can attract dirt and accumulate on the tiles.

Mix the alkaline cleaning solution with hot water and apply the cleaning solution to the tiles with a scrubbing sponge or mop. on the tiles.  Let the cleaning solution dwell on the porcelain tiles for 20 minutes. While the cleaning solution is dwelling on the porcelain tiles you can scrub the porcelain tiles and especially the grout with a scrub pad or a scrub brush. If you have a delicate finish on your porcelain tiles then you should use a soft scrub pad so that you do not scratch the delicate finish.

aggresive scour pad for cleaning porcelain tiles

After you have scrubbed the porcelain tiles and the grout clean then you should thoroughly rinse the tiles.  A mop and a bucket of clean water works well on porcelain tile floors. You can also use a wet vac to extract the dirty cleaning solution from porcelain tile countertops and other small areas of porcelain tiles.

If you still see stains on the tiles or in the grout you can use an acidic cleaning solution to further clean the tiles and grout.  Many times the grout will be extremely difficult to clean on the porcelain tiles. Also many times the tile installer has left a grout haze on the porous porcelain tiles. In both of these cases it is best to use an acidic cleaning solution combined with an aggressive scrub pad to clean up these hard to remove stains. Pour the acidic cleaner on the tiles and grout and scrub them with the aggressive scrub pads till all the stains have been removed. Then rinse the acidic cleaner off the porcelain tiles.

steam cleaning porcelain tiles

Many times homeowners will see that there tiles still have defects in the polished look of the porcelain tiles.  Polishing porcelain tiles is not the same as polishing stone tiles such as marble, granite or travertine. It is usually impossible to polish porcelain tiles due the the extremely hard nature of them. Attempting to polish porcelain tiles will often times scratch the tiles and make them look worse then before you started.

It is always a good idea to seal your porous porcelain tiles as well as the grout with a quality tile, grout and stone sealer.  Many types of porcelain tiles are somewhat porous and the sealer will help to keep dirt and contaminates out of the porous porcelain tiles. The sealer will also help to to keep the porous grout from getting dirty and stained.

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