Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Don’t Clean Your Porcelain Tile Until You’ve Learned These Recommended Cleaning Methods!

how to clean porcelain tiles custom graphic

One of the first things you will notice about porcelain tiles is their lustrous shine. Even better, if you do a little more research on the material, you will come to find that porcelain is very durable and much more resistant to moisture and staining as compared to ceramic and other types of tiles. 

Available in various colours and finishes, porcelain tile is an extremely popular choice of flooring among homeowners due to its beauty and durability. Of course, like any other type of tile, porcelain will start to look dull and drabby over time if you do not clean it the right way, or simply neglect routine cleaning altogether. The good news, though, is that it doesn’t take much to clean porcelain tiles and bring back their shine; all you need to know are a few simple steps that will make your porcelain floor look brand new again!

First things first, it’s important to understand the type of cleaning your porcelain floor requires to ensure that you get the desired results. More importantly, the use of improper cleaning products, tools, or techniques can actually damage the material. 

So, with that in mind let’s get started!

Determine the Type of Finish 

photo comparison of both polished and unpolished porcelain tile floors

Depending on one’s personal preference, you can find porcelain tiles that are either polished/unpolished or glazed/unglazed. The catch here is that a cleaning method that is recommended for one type of finish may not be suitable for another; therefore, you must first determine the type of porcelain floor tile you have before attempting a cleaning method or applying any cleaning products to the surface.

When you have done that, you can then clean your porcelain tiles using one of the cleaning guides shared below.

How to Clean Polished or Glazed Porcelain Tile

barefoot woman using red mop to clean porcelain tiled floor

Although porcelain is not a very porous material to begin with, when polished or glazed, the tile is further protected which, in turn, makes it easier to clean and less susceptible to wear from using certain types of cleaning products. 

Follow the steps below to clean glazed or polished porcelain tile:

  • Remove surface debris with a broom or vacuum cleaner. For the latter, make sure to use an appropriate attachment to prevent any metal elements from scratching the tile. An electrostatic broom or microfibre dust mop is helpful in picking up fine dust and debris from porcelain tiles.
  • In half a bucket of hot water, mix in ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar; dampen a clean mop in the solution and wipe the tiles horizontally. The benefit of using white vinegar is that the ingredient helps to remove stains and grime from porcelain tile without dulling its shine. You can also use a commercial flooring cleaning product by diluting it in warm water to make a mild cleaning solution.
  • After mopping with vinegar or your chosen cleaning solution, the tile should be rinsed with plain water. This can be done with a clean damp mop or lint-free cloth.
  • To prevent water spots, dry the floor immediately after it is rinsed using a soft towel.

TIP: To make your porcelain tile sparkle and shine, buff the material with a cheesecloth after it has dried.

How to Clean Unpolished or Unglazed Porcelain Tile

woman wearing blue apron and yellow rubber gloves scrubbing a gray porcelain floor

When porcelain is left unfinished, the material is prone to stains that penetrate the slightly porous surface. This makes it a little trickier to clean because it is not advisable to saturate unpolished or unglazed porcelain tile. Moreover, harsh chemicals can be damaging since the material is raw and therefore, more delicate.

In order to safely clean unpolished or unglazed porcelain tiles, follow the steps below:

  • Sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove surface dirt. We find that vacuuming is more effective in cleaning unfinished porcelain, especially when it comes to removing debris trapped in the grout lines.
  • Damp mop the floor with warm water or make a mild cleaning solution of water and any pH-neutral dish soap. Avoid saturating the floor when mopping porcelain tiles.
  • To treat stubborn stains that have penetrated the material, spot clean them with a soft, damp cleaning brush. Plain water or the cleaning solution mentioned above can be used for this.
  • If you have applied any cleaning product to the surface, rinse the floor with a clean damp mop or cloth.
  • Lastly, dry your cleaned, unfinished porcelain tile with a dry towel or soft cloth.

Things to Keep in Mind When Cleaning Porcelain Tile

assorted coloured cleaning bottles lined up on a white background

It’s always tempting to stray from a recommended cleaning guide for one’s own convenience. Whether you choose to use products that you already have at hand, or a harsh cleaning tool to tackle stubborn stains; we are here to tell you that it is critically important to stick to the cleaning methods above if you want to yield the best and safest results.

With that in mind, here are a few additional tips to consider when cleaning porcelain tile:

  • Avoid coloured cleaning products
  • For regular cleaning, use plain water or mild cleaning solutions only
  • Avoid cleaning products that contain acidic properties, bleach, or ammonia
  • Always remove surface debris thoroughly before you mop or spot clean stains
  • Rinse and dry the floor after applying a cleaning agent; dry after using plain water
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaning tools on porcelain tile

As long as you follow our steps to clean porcelain tile (both polished or unpolished), you can rest assured that the end result will leave you satisfied! Bear in mind that regular cleaning is also a must if you want your porcelain tiles to retain their original, lustrous shine. We recommend bi-weekly or weekly cleaning for best results. If your tiles are looking beyond their best years, you can schedule a professional tile cleaning service through MaidForYou today.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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