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:
- Coffee: Dip a damp cloth in a mixture of water and baking soda and then scrub over the stain.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hard Water Scum: A solution of non-precipitating water softener or baking soda in warm water can remove soap scum and soil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 trying to remove stains from porcelain.
- 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.