The question “How do you prepare tile for cleaning?” may seem like a silly question but it’s really not! And you will be surprised to know how many people want to know if their furniture has to be moved!
Clearing the Area
Effective tile cleaning starts with a clear space. Begin by removing smaller items, such as rugs, mats, and decorative items, from the tiled area. For larger furniture, consider either moving them to another room or covering them with protective sheets if moving them is impossible. This not only facilitates easier access to the entire floor but also protects your belongings from any cleaning solutions or water.
Dealing with Dust and Debris
The next step is to tackle dust and debris. Use a broom that has soft bristles to gently sweep the floor, paying special attention to corners and edges where dust often accumulates. Alternatively, a vacuum cleaner that has an attachment with a soft brush can be more effective, especially for textured tiles that trap more dirt. This step is important as it prevents dirt from turning into a muddy residue during the wet cleaning process.
Addressing Stains and Spots
Inspect your tiles for any specific problem areas like stains or spills. Pre-treating these spots can significantly enhance the cleaning process. Depending on the type of stain, you may use a particular tile cleaner, baking soda paste, or a mild detergent solution. Apply the cleaner directly onto the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft brush. This pre-treatment ensures that these tough spots get adequately addressed during the main cleaning.
Choosing the Right Cleaning Agents
It’s important to select a cleaning agent that is compatible with your type of tile. For ceramic or porcelain tiles, most general-purpose cleaners are suitable. However, use cleaners specifically designed for stone to prevent damage for natural stone tiles like marble or granite. Always avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that can scratch the tile surface.
Preparing the Cleaning Solution
If you’re using a commercial tile cleaner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution ratios. For a homemade solution, a mild detergent and warm water mixture works well for most tile types. Avoid using too much soap to prevent leaving a residue. An equal mixture of water & white vinegar can be effective for a more natural approach, except on natural stone tiles.
Checking Grout Condition
Examine the condition of the grout between the tiles. Dirty or discoloured grout can detract from the overall appearance of the floor. If the grout looks dingy, apply a grout cleaner or a baking soda paste and scrub gently with a grout brush. This step not only cleans the grout but also helps to lift any ingrained dirt from the tile surface.
When using chemical cleaners, safety is paramount. Wear gloves to protect your hands & ensure the room is well-ventilated. If you have pets or children, keep them away from the area until the cleaning process is complete and the floor is dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it okay to use vinegar to clean my tiles?
Answer: Vinegar may be effective for certain types of tiles, but avoid it on marble or other natural stone tiles as it can cause etching. We don’t recommend using vinegar at all!
- How often should I deep clean my tiles?
Answer: It depends on foot traffic & usage, but they do generally recommend a deep clean every few months.
- Should I seal my tiles before cleaning?
Answer: Sealing is not a prerequisite for cleaning, but regularly sealing grout lines can protect them from stains and make future cleaning easier.
- What’s the best way to dry tiles after cleaning?
Answer: Use a clean, dry mop or cloth to absorb excess water and prevent water spots.
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Written by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing and Admin Coordinator at Art of Clean.
For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please do not hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901551 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio, and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning, and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Our Dry-Cleaning service is provided by Farthings Cambridge