Tile and stone care and cleaning

Ceramic and porcelain tile are easy to keep clean and looking new. Start by removing the loose dirt with a soft bristle broom or vacuum cleaner. Avoid using a vacuum with an agitator brush that might dull the finish of the tile. Vacuum cleaner attachments work well on tile flooring to remove dirt and debris without harming the surface of the tile. While tile is very durable, it is not indestructible. Use care when moving heavy furniture to avoid leaving scratches or marks on the tile surface.

For routine cleaning, a damp mop with a solution of white distilled vinegar and water will produce a streak free shine without discoloring the grout. One cup of vinegar to a gallon of water is all that is needed for regular cleaning. For more stubborn grout stains, use the vinegar full strength and let set for a few minutes before scrubbing. The acidity of the vinegar kills most mold and bacteria while being environmentally friendly and cost effective.

Avoid using cleansers that contain ammonia. Ammonia can discolor grout and weaken the silicone and rubber that is used to attach glass door enclosures. Many shower and bath tile installations have silicone based caulk on the wall seams that can be harmed by ammonia based cleaners. A simple solution of white distilled vinegar and water will give a streak free shine to glass and tile surfaces without harming the silicone sealants or discoloring the grout.

Travertine and granite flooring can be cleaned easily but special care should be used to avoid scratching or dulling the surface. Start by using a dust mop to remove the loose dirt and debris. Avoid using a vacuum that could scuff the surface or leave unsightly marks. Damp mop with a solution of mild soap and water. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Avoid using vinegar or ammonia based cleansers that could discolor the stone or grout. Special cleansers are available for more stubborn stains on natural flooring. Consult your local tile supplier for the proper product to use with your particular stone flooring. With routine cleaning and regular sealing, your natural stone flooring.