How to Clean Badly Stained Tile Floors

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Tile floors come in a variety of materials, and this determines the chemicals needed to clean them. The most common tile is ceramic and unglazed ceramic. When cleaning stone such as granite, marble and slate, avoid using acidic cleaners that may tarnish the surface. Purchase a cleaner that is suited for the material of tile you have. Baking soda, vinegar, crystallized citric acid, and hydrogen peroxide are effective for removing stains.

Things You'll Need

  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Liquid or Dry Floor Cleaner
  • Hard Sponge/Magic Eraser
  • Buffer/Scrubbing brush
  • Breathing Mask
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

Apply an appropriate amount of cleaner based on acidity, tile material, and size of stain. Some stain cleaners are dry and others liquid.

Scrub once the cleaner has had time to set, 15 minutes should be enough time. Use an abrasive sponge and scrub in a clockwise motion, for best results. You may need to repeat the scrubbing several times for deeper stains, or move to a cleaner with a stronger acidity.

Use a magic eraser, it picks up most stains with ease, but you can also use a scrub brush, or buffer. There are also rust cleaners that are specific to rust stains.

Rinse the area with water once you’ve lifted the stain, change your water and dry area to avoid more stains. Do not allow water or other materials to evaporate; clean them up quickly for best results. Hard water stains are a common problem and can be prevented by consistent and frequent cleanings. Haste is always suggested when cleaning up a spill that may cause a stain. The longer it sets the harder it will be to clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear safety equipment like breathing mask, goggles, and rubber gloves.
  • Never mix any cleaner, and if you do use several make sure to ventilate the area and clean with water before moving to a different cleaner.
  • Always read the complete warnings section of cleaning products and follow instructions as they may vary between products.

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