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How to Remove Tough Stains from Ceramic and Porcelain Tile


A common complaint associated with tile flooring is staining due to kitchen mishaps. These stains can sometimes penetrate the porous finish and become quite difficult to remove. Usually, bleach and other oxidants are used in these cases to remove these deep and tough stains. But in the case of deeply saturated stains and hard water marks, bleach doesn’t always work. Consider these options as well:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Steam Cleaning (for flooring)

An alternative method for removing difficult stains from tile is the use of diluted muriatic acid. Muriatic acid has been regularly used by professionals for decades to treat and remove various types of tough stains from tile and stone surfaces. When used in domestic locations, it is necessary to ventilate the area and to be very careful with this acidic agent. Heavy gloves, eye protection, and mask must be used. Dilute the acid to at least 1 part acid to 5 parts water, pouring the acid into the water and not the other way around. Apply the mixture and scrub the area with a toothbrush or a soft bristle brush. Once the stain is removed, quickly wash the area and discard the remaining mixture in a safe and proper manner.

Replacing the Grout

If a persistent stain appears in your grout, you can try removing it by following the same steps mentioned above. However, for grout stains that can’t be removed with a regular procedure, removal of grout from that particular area may be necessary. This can be done quickly and effectively by using a small grout remover, which can be bought from most home improvement stores.

When the stained grout has been removed, there will be a space that needs to be filled. You can take a grout sample to one of your local stores and try to get the closest match. Once you have the material, pour the dry mixture in the cavity you have created. If the color matches to your liking, vacuum the dry mixture out. Make a small batch of grout by following the directions provided on the box. Use a gloved finger to firmly apply the grout to the damaged area. Wipe the area with a clean and damp sponge.

Do you have any stain removal tips?

(6) Comments

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Sara,

      Thank you for your inquiry! You should be able to use Clorox to clean your tile and chrome in the shower. I highly suggest doing a spot test in an inconspicuous area first to see if there are any reactions just in case.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  1. Hi I’ve been battling my kitchen floor. It’s like marble so I’m guessing it’s porcelain tiles. It’s suppose to be a off white but it’s really stained bc of my dogs running in and out from outside. I’ve tried normal techniques as mopping it very well and I’ve tried to clean it with bleach on my hands and knees. What I do first is sweep then make my solution of bleach and water and get on my hands and knees and scrub and I’ve yet to be able to get these stains out. They are noticeable bc some parts are whiter then others. Also one of my dogs has accidents in the house bc he’s old so what could be a good thing to use for urine stains? I hate my kitchen looking like this!!!! Any advice would be great. Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Luann,

      Thank you for getting in touch with BuildDirect!

      It sounds like there could be a few different things going on with your flooring. I had a few questions for you as well so if you could give me a call at 1-877-631-2845 ext 1151 that would be great! I’m sure we can find something to help remove the stains from your flooring.

      Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer!

  2. I have beige tile on my bathroom floors, the grout is a brown, but has white streaks that is very hard to clean………………………..is there anything I can use to solve this problem?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your question! Try this method out…

      First, give your tiles a good sweep and mop with your favorite cleaner, then in a small bowl, mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to form a thick paste. No exact measurement of parts needed — find a thickness and consistency you prefer to work with.

      Next, use a toothbrush (electric preferably) for firmly scrubbing over the grout. If the stain is being stubborn, let the paste sit for five minutes before scrubbing again. Once the stain has lifted, use a damp cloth to wipe off the remaining paste on your tile.

      Finish by cleaning your tiles as usual with a spray cleaner or mop.

      Good luck!

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