How to Clean Onyx Tile

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Onyx tile requires cleaning as part of a regular maintenance cycle.
Onyx tile requires cleaning as part of a regular maintenance cycle. (Image: blue tile background image by Galina Barskaya from Fotolia.com)

Onyx tile is a soft, calcareous stone tile. Composed primarily of calcium carbonate, cleaning onyx tiles with an acidic-based cleanser can damage them. Because of this, cleansers and methods used for other tile types are unsuitable for cleaning onyx tiles. Using a pH-neutral cleanser, along with frequent cleaning, can keep your tile looking fresh and extends the life of the tiled surface by years.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Dust mop
  • pH-neutral cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Rope mop

Clean the surface of the onyx tiles using a clean, lint-free dry cloth or dust mop. Wipe any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the tiles, working in a single direction.

Dilute a pH-neutral cleanser in a bucket of warm water, combining the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a cleanser made specifically for use with calcareous stone tiles. Use a damp sponge or rope mop to go over the surface of the onyx tiles, cleaning the tiles briskly, but not allowing the water to puddle. Use a light pressure on the tiles, as firm pressure applied to ingrained dirt may scratch the onyx.

Rinse the surface of the cleaned tiles with clean water to remove any residue from the pH-neutral cleanser. Wipe away the cleanser in a single direction to avoid displacing cleanser over areas already rinsed off.

Dry the surface of the tiles with a cloth to prevent streaks from developing due to air-drying. Pat the tiles dry with the cloth rather than pushing the cloth during the drying process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent staining of onyx tiles by blotting up all spills immediately.
  • Protect floor-tiled surfaces by using a non-slip mat or area rug at the entrances to high-traffic areas.

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