Keeping tile floors and surfaces clean is a key to maintaining a hygienic home. However, when you mishandle the cleaning process it can leave behind unsightly build-up and damage your grout.
For example, using vinegar (even when diluted) can cause discoloration in grout and break down or etch stone tiles. This can cause permanent damage to your tile and grout surface.
1. Not Sweeping Before Cleaning
Tiled surfaces are durable and easy to clean and maintain but they can be damaged when cleaning mistakes are made. Using the wrong cleaning products, not properly rinsing or drying tile surfaces, and using harsh scrubbers can damage the tiles and grout. Performing regular maintenance and sealing the grout can help your tiling last longer and stay shiny and beautiful.
It’s important to sweep or vacuum regularly to prevent dirt from scratching or damaging your tiles. You should also keep door mats by every entrance to trap dirt before it enters your home. Additionally, you can ask family members to remove shoes before entering your home so that the dirt doesn’t have a chance to transfer to the tiles.
It’s also important to use enough water when mopping. Too little water can cause the soap residue to dry on the tiles and grout leaving a film behind that’s difficult to remove and may attract more dirt and grime. Never use steel wool or rough scrubbing powders on your tiles and choose a soft cleaning cloth or mop to avoid damaging the surface. Bleach and ammonia-based cleaners will also discolor the grout lines over time.
2. Not Drying After Cleaning
The grout in tile surfaces can get dirty and unattractive if not cleaned on a regular basis. It can also host bacteria that emit disagreeable smells or make you sick. This is why it is important to keep up with cleaning and maintenance in tiled areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.
Some janitorial products contain harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia that can damage grout over time. These products should be used sparingly and by only trained professionals. They should be rinsed and wiped down immediately after use to prevent discoloration.
Allowing spills to rest on tile floors for a prolonged period of time is another common mistake that can cause stains. Although most tile is stain-resistant, it’s still essential to clean up any spill as soon as possible.
The last mistake to avoid is forgetting to seal the tile after cleaning. This will protect the tiles from stains and keep them looking new for longer. Placing door mats at entrances is also a good idea to keep dirt from tracking in and damaging the floor.
3. Not Using Protective Covers
Tile flooring is a popular choice for many homes, and it can add an attractive, modern look to any space. However, it’s important to properly clean and maintain your tiles so they last longer and look their best. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when cleaning their tile surfaces, resulting in damage that could have been avoided.
One common mistake is using improper cleaners for the type of tile surface you have. For instance, bleach and ammonia-based cleaners can discolor grout lines over time. Instead, you should use a mild all-purpose cleaner or the manufacturer’s suggested product for your tile.
Another mistake is using abrasive materials when cleaning tile surfaces. For example, steel wool pads and metal scouring pads can scratch or damage delicate tile surfaces. Instead, you should use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub your tile surfaces.
4. Using Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Cleaners
Many homeowners will lay floor tiles in their homes as part of a remodeling project or to improve the look of the home. However, some mistakes may be made while cleaning these tiles that can ruin their appearance.
Tile is a very durable material, but it does require regular maintenance to stay looking good and functional. A common mistake is to use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on tiles. These can scratch the surface or strip off its protective coating. Instead, a mild cleaner and non-abrasive scrubbing pad should be used.
Abrasive scrubbing pads can also cause grout lines to crack or break, and they can discolor the tile. In addition, bleach or ammonia-based cleansers can discolor grout lines over time. Instead, a natural and easy-to-find cleaner like white vinegar or washing soda can work just as well. This can be diluted with water for best results.
5. Using Steel Wool or Metal Scouring Pads
Dirty tiles and grout can detract from your home’s appearance and harbor bacteria and germs. Properly cleaning tile surfaces, however, helps them look good and keep you and your family healthy.
Many people make several common tile cleaning mistakes that can damage and discolor your tiles. Keeping these mistakes in mind can help you avoid them.
Using metal scouring pads and steel wool on your tiles can scratch and damage them. Instead, use a soft scrubbing pad to remove tough stains. These scrubbing pads come in different colors and textures so you can find one that best suits the type of stain you want to clean.
Sweeping tile floors and vacuuming natural stone or ceramic tile will help to prevent dirt build-up. It’s also a good idea to put door mats outside each of your doors to catch the majority of dirt before it enters your home. Finally, always use a vacuum with a beater bar turned off on solid surface flooring like tile. This will prevent scratches and dulling of the finish on the floor.