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How to Remove 8 Common Stains from Porcelain Tile

mop-white-tile

Porcelain tiles are fired at a very high temperature to enable a hard wearing and stain resistant finish. But, accidents do happen. While lighter fluid can be used to remove many types of stubborn stains from porcelain tile, here are some of the most common types of stains and how to clean them:

  1. Coffee: Dip a damp cloth in a mixture of water and baking soda and then scrub over the stain.
  2. Fruit Juice/Tea: Wash the area with a solution of 1 tablespoon trisodium phosphate and 1 quart (2 pints) hot water. Rinse with water and then wash with a solution of 3 tablespoons laundry bleach in 1 quart of warm water.
  3. Grease: Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the affected area with a strong solution of household detergent or a solution made of trisodium phosphate and very hot water.
  4. Hard Water Scum: A solution of non-precipitating water softener or baking soda in warm water can remove soap scum and soil.
  5. Mildew: Mix 1 cup laundry bleach with 1 quart (2 pints) water and apply with a sponge. If the mildew remains, use a commercial mildew remover that contains sodium hypochlorite and sodium carbonate. Wear gloves and keep the room well-ventilated.
  6. Oil: Mix a thick paste of household scouring powder and water. Apply the paste to the stain and allow it to stand overnight. Clean it later and dry as well
  7. Paint: Remove fresh oil-based paint with a cloth dipped in turpentine or paint thinner. For fresh water-based paint, use a cloth dampened with warm water and a mild household detergent like dishwashing liquid. Scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush.
  8. Shoe Markings: Scuff marks by shoe heels and rubber burns by sneakers can be cleaned by mopping the floors with a cloth dipped in neutral floor cleaner diluted at one ounce per gallon of water.

PRECAUTIONS and SAFETY MEASURES:

  • Test scouring powders on a small area or a sample tile before starting the entire project.
  • Use only the recommended dilution of detergent. Higher concentrations of detergent in the cleaning solution may make it difficult to rinse.
  • Allow the detergent solution to stand on the affected area to act on the soil load. Usually 5-10 minutes is sufficient.
  • Scrub with a nylon pad or a bristle brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean, clear water to remove the dirty detergent solution and stain. Clear the rinse water with a dry mop. If a dirty detergent solution is not removed and is allowed to dry on the surface, a coating will form which is very difficult to remove.
What methods do you usually use to clean your porcelain tile?
 
 
 

(52) Comments

  1. Hello,

    We have what looks like to be chlorine spills on porcelain tile at a Job site. I have tried many things and nothing seems to be working. is there anything we can do for bleach stains ? we assume bleach as there was a waterfall installed and the drips go from that to a sink. Only other thing could be a strong acid and it is a white stain. Please help ! We would like to avoid replacing the tiles

  2. i have just finished fitting porcelain gloss tiles to my wall and they have got this smeared film all over the tiles looks bit like smeared finger prints all over them, is there anything that will get this off? as i have tried soapy warm water and clean towel with bit of window cleaner and nothing seems to removed this smeary residue film, any suggestions please.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Neeka,

      It sounds like you may have some grout haze on the surface of the tile. You can try a grout release product to lift the dried grout. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Please help I used a magic eraser on my gloss porcelain tiles to remove a stain now it has been stripped of its gloss and very noticeable how can I fix this problem.

    • I’m very sorry for you kay but I think you might have solved my problem I want to tone down the shine on my porcelain tiles! I might try that on a tile that’s not out in the open sorry I couldn’t solve your problem if I hear of anything ill let you know

  4. MAISIBA MOSOTI ERICK - Reply

    at my work place am the supervisor,previously some soda and some strong liquids poured on my ceramic tiles and in the morning the tiles had stains and from a distance you can see like drops of water or other liquid sprinkled on the tiles and ended up forming spots. i have tried stain remover [multipupose] but nothing changes instead it makes the tiles to look more worse than before .please advice

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Maisiba,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I would suggest TileLab’s sulfamic acid cleaner. If this does not work you will have to replace the tiles because they have absorbed the stains. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. We moved to new house last year .i had upgraded tiles in the whole house .i chose mostly white except one bathroom and laundry floor shiny black .i found it hard to clean grout as it seem darker than the walls .i used baking soda and vinegar didn’t work .so I start using domestics still don’t work .lately find black stain seems like in or under the tile .i couldnt get it off .any advise

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Layla,

      Depending on the type of tile you may have stains soaked into the material. You may need to use an acid cleaner to bring up all the stains and then make sure that the tile you installed already has been sealed. If not, you will need to seal the tile to avoid stains and make sure to maintain the sealant over time. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. Hello,

    I am unsure if our tiles are ceramic or porcelain, but when we purchased them we were told there was a dirt ring/stain around each tile from sitting in the boxes for so long. Was told stain would come off easily with Vim cleaner and a scrub sponge. We have tried everything and nothing is getting the stain off! Our tiles look like they are dirty all the time.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Janice,

      Sorry to hear about your tiles! I would suggest using TileLab’s Sulfamic acid cleaner. If this doesn’t work they you may need to look into getting different tiles. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  7. Any ideas for a dark discoloration on dark gray tile in the laundry room around a drain? I think it may be laundry detergent (All) that caused the stain, but I am not sure. It could be something that came up from the sewer and stained the tile from below. Nothing but water has been down the drain, with the exception of possible laundry detergent or bleach in the water (like if possibly the washing machine leaked).

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Bryan,

      Thank you for your inquiry! You can try a paste made of baking soda and vinegar. Leave it on the area for about 10 minutes, then take the rough side of a sponge to try to rub the stain off. If this doesn’t work you can try a chemical stain remover like TileLab’s Sulfamic Acid cleaner. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  8. Please please please, any help would be amazing.

    I contracted someone to clean my home and when we came back there was a discolored stain (Whiter then the rest of the tile*) on the floor. Looks like drops that dropped along as someone walked and then streaked when they tried to clean it. I asked the cleaning group what products were used and they showed me the products. The only thing we’ve concluded is that a product containing bleach was used in the upstairs bathroom and that a sponge that was wet with the product may have dripped along the floor as they left the bathroom area and went outside to put it in their vehicle. So we now have a trail of basically lighter than usual (not white, just whiter color of tile – very noticeable!) drops, circles, and streaks leading from the bathroom to the doorway through the whole entire home.

    I have looked online and have found nothing so remove bleach? type stains. The tile is a Simpolo porcelain tile, The following is what we found on their website that seems to match the tile somewhat (but isnt the same tile, the design is a bit different):

    Collection:Soluble Salt
    Series:Sparkle
    Material:Vitrified
    Finish:Glossy
    Application:Floor
    Concept:Bedroom, Living Room
    Size Available:600 x 600 MM

    Unfortunately it does not look like this same tile is still being made and I cant find it anywhere… is there any way at all to clean this bleach like stain up? or is this something that is unsalvageable? The tile is 600×600 and is very high gloss. Its porcelain and I am unsure if it is treated with anything, although I do not believe so. Any help at all is greatly appreciated, thank you!!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi David,

      Unfortunately bleach is very hard to clean up because it may have soaked into the tile and caused discoloration rather than left a stain. You can try using TileLab Sulfamic Acid cleaner on the area. If i this doesn’t work you will need to replace the tile. Sorry about that! Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  9. Hi there,
    I have these new bright shiny white porcelain tiles in a bathroom and I cant seem to remove those old urine stains. Im afraid to use anything strong in fear or damaging the shiny coating. These are old dried stains…any ideas?
    Thanks
    Richard

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I highly suggest trying the TileLab Sulfamic Acid cleaner to remove the stains. This will be strong enough to remove them without damaging the tile. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  10. I need to clean white ceramic tile that has been damage by the sun. It turned yellowish. Do you have any recommendation?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hey Jesus. Thanks so much for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t a product that prevents or reverses the damage caused by sun exposure that we know of. The reason for this is because it’s not just a stain on the surface that can be cleaned off, it’s actually altered the colour of the tile. The only real option you have is to replace them, unfortunately. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  11. I have black porcelain tile that got stained (discolored) when a guest vomited on the floor and didn’t clean it up right away. What product should I use to remove it? Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Leah. Thanks so much for reaching out to us! It’s hard to say exactly without knowing what type of tile it is. Do you know if the tile is unglazed? If it’s glazed, then the stain should just be surface level and you can use a product like Tilelab’s grout haze remover, which is heavy duty tile cleaner. If the tile is unglazed, then it could have soaked into the tile and stained from within, which is pretty much impossible to remove. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Okay, thanks for confirming! In that case, a heavy duty cleaner such as Tilelab’s grout haze remover will be your best option. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      • I decided to try a natural tub and tile cleaner because that’s what I had at home. When I tried to spot clean the tile it too left a discolored area after I let the cleaner sit on the tile for a few minutes. I then decide to spray down all of the tile and wipe it all down so that all of the tiles were evenly wet. I let it sit for a minute. Then I washed it all down with a wet rag (water) and then it sit for a couple of minutes wet and then wiped it dry. The tile is all clean and evenly colored once again.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      HI Leah. Thank you for the update! I’m happy to hear that worked for you and your tile is all evenly coloured again :). Please let us know if you have any other questions that come up. Thanks!

  12. My son decided to walk over my white polished porcelain kitchen tiles with metal football studs on, twisting his feet as he walked. I am really struggling to lift the marks out. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Marie. Thanks so much for reaching out to us! It sounds like these are probably more scratches or scuff marks, which are a bit different than a stain and more difficult to remove, if it all possible. There wouldn’t be a specific product that we would recommend, but I would try going to Home Depot or Lowes to see if they have any products that specialize in this type of damage. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • Dear Marie,
      This might sound crazy, try Q20 or any similar lubricant. leave on for five minutes and scrub with a white scouring pad.
      Hold thumbs!
      Regards,
      Pio

  13. Hi,

    I have porcelain tiles in my bathroom. I applied the grout sealant on the tiles. As soon as finished the sealant the tiles become darker and it creates stain marks on the tiles.

    Is there anything that can I do to remove the stain mark? It is a brand new home.

    Please advise.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Sweta,

      Thank you for getting in touch! The sealant pay have absorbed into the tiles as well. You can try the TileLab Sulfamic acid cleaner to get the stains out of the tile. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  14. Hi, i used magic marker to draw on my homogenous tiles in living hall.. After using thinner to wipe it off, the marker stain still deep inside the tiles.. Could it be the ink has absorbed into the tiles? Anyway i can clean it off? I couldnt find TileLab Sulfamic Acid Cleaner in my area..

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi May,

      Sorry to hear about your tiles. You should be able to find another brand of sulfamic acid cleaner in your area, it doesn’t have to be the TileLab brand. Depending on the type of tile the ink could have been absorbed, if it is a natural stone or a through-body porcelain tile it might be absorbed. If the sulfamic acid cleaner doesn’t work your only option would be to take up the tile and replace it. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  15. I have drywall adhesive stuck on some of my porcelain floor tiles. Any suggestions for how to remove it? Thanks.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you for your inquiry! I would suggest using the TileLab Sulfamic Acid cleaner to remove the adhesive off the tile. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  16. Dear Sir,

    There is a Bitumen Paint marks on the Polished porcelain tiles. So please advise that how to remove the Bitumen Paint mark?

    What type of chemical I have to use for cleaning the Bitumen Paint mark?

    I will be waiting for your reply..

    Thanks

    S.Arunkumar.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hello,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I would suggest trying TileLab Sulfamic Acid Cleaner. This product is great at removing almost anything from tile. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  17. I need some desperate advice! I decided to use crayola washable marker on our floor to draw out where furniture would potentially go, in hind sight I can not believe i did thi, non the less I did and now the marker has seeped into the tile and is not coming off. I am not sure what type of tile it is but I would guess it is porcelain with some type of gloss as it gets extremely shiny. Thank you!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Sabina,

      Sorry to hear about your floor! I would suggest using the TileLab Sulfamic Acid Cleaner. This product can take almost anything off of tile. If this doesn’t work unfortunately you may need to replace the tile. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  18. Hi there, desperate for proven suggestions! The house we bought is seamlessly entirely tiled in the same white faux marble tile from the ’80’s. The problem is in the kitchen where use has worn out the tiles around the sink, and fridge to a disgusting dismal grey.I clean constantly, so they are “clean” but always look dirty, its an embarrassment for a clean freak like me. I find myself excusing my floors to my guests, its pathetic!! I have tried every DIY idea I could find. I tried sourcing planet earth to replace, but these particular tiles are no longer made. It would cost a mini fortune to replace all 2230 sq ft of tile. What can I deep clean or paint these kitchen tiles with until I win the lottery and cal replace all the floors?! Please help!! I’ll love you forever!!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hello Rita,

      Thank you for your comments. Have you considered updating on your kitchen so that you have a fresh new flooring at a minimal cost of replacement?

  19. I have noticed that my porcelain tile is looking spotted where water has splashed or pooled and not wiped up right away. The finish seems to be coming off in these places, because when I clean it, you can still see where the water had been. It doesn’t happen all the time, but becomes evident near the fridge and other workstations. I use “Mop and Glow” periodically when I wash the floor.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Leslie,

      It does sound a bit odd that it is absorbing water because porcelain tile should have a sealant incorporated into it. I would go to the supplier of the tile to ensure it had been sealed and that Mop and Glow is a suitable cleaning agent for the floor. If it is a through body porcelain tile it may have absorbed some of the chemicals from the cleaning products. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  20. In my newly bought flat all the tiles verified absorbed paint and oil stains deep into it. Could u kindly suggest any method of removing it.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Sasikala,

      I would suggest trying a grout release product. If you search TileLab you will find products that are great at getting deep stains out of tile. If you have a natural stone tile be sure to seal it after cleaning to prevent further stains. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  21. I accidentally sprayed white bug spray. It easily came off the ceramic tile, brick, metal and wood, but the grey porcelain tile is a bit more challenging. I tested baking soda in an area and that seems to have worked. Is baking soda ok? I don’t want anything abrasive. Any other suggestions?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jay,

      Thank you for your inquiry! Baking soda should be fine on the porcelain tile as it is a very durable product. That would be the best option if you want to stay away from chemical cleaners.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  22. Kindly help. How to remove stains caused while using grouting to vitrified tiles. I tried hard but no success.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Mehboob,

      Removing grout from your tile can be a tough task, but definitely doable! You need to be careful to not damage the tile surface when removing grout. Try using liberal amounts of water and a scouring pad, such as Scotch Brite (the green ones that are about a ¼” thick) or 3M’s Doodlebug pad. Be sure to stop intermittently and rinse and dry the tile to see your progress!

      Thanks for your question!

  23. Pingback: Important Characteristics Of Ceramic And Porcelain Tile

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