Next: My Porcelain Tiles are Stained
My tiles are always dirty. I just can't seem to keep them clean for more than one day.
Tiles, whether ceramic or porcelain, are a great product and they are very easy to clean and maintain. Normally tiles require very little time and effort to keep clean: you should only need a bit of water and vinegar once a week.
On the other hand, some tiles will seem like they're impossible to keep clean: they're always either dirty, or they become dirty really quickly after cleaning. This is one of the more common complaints we hear, but in reality it's not a problem with the actual tiles, and is very easily fixed.
What can cause the problem?
There are two things that can make it difficult to keep your tiles clean:
• When your tiles are laid and grouted, there will be some grout left on the surface of the tiles that you (or your tiler) must buff off. If not, a grout haze remains on the tiles. This film of grout - which is almost invisible by itself - grabs dirt and traps it on the surface of the tile. The dirt can be washed away, but as soon as the tile is dry the cycle begins again. Learn more about cleaning your tiles after laying in our How To Tile DIY Guide.
• The other cause, ironically, is detergent. If detergent (or anything containing soap) is used to wash a floor, it needs to be rinsed thoroughly. A film of detergent (sometimes called 'soap scum') can dry on the tiles and trap dirt. Continuing to wash with detergent can even make the problem worse: the layer of soap scum can build up to the point where the tiles actually appear to be going white.
The easiest way to test for detergent build-up like this is to pour a couple of tablespoons of water on a small area of the floor and scrub with a green Jiffy pad. If you can get suds to appear, the floor is soapy.
So what can I do now?
Both problems have the same simple solution. All you have to do is clean the floor properly with Heavy Duty Tile and Grout Cleaner, which will remove the dirt and any detergent build-up. It is vital to follow the directions and rinse thoroughly after use: otherwise you are just leaving the same problem there again.
If a fine grout haze is still present after cleaning and rinsing thoroughly, we recommend using Phosphoric Acid Cleaner with Poultice to remove it. As with any specialised chemical cleaner, follow the directions closely.
Keeping your tiles clean is really easy, and actually requires very little work. Take a look at Routine Cleaning page in our How To Tile DIY Guide.