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Cleaning Polished and Unpolished Porcelain Tiles

Coming in a myriad of different colors, shapes, textures and finishes, porcelain tiles are a wonderful option to consider when tiling your home. Whether it’s a small back splash behind your sink, a full counter, or floor the simple earthiness or complex elegance of porcelain is ageless. However, over time dirt can cause abrasions in the tile and make it look dirty and scratched even when its newly cleaned, it can also change the texture of the tile and make it irritable to walk on or difficult to work with on a table. Because of this and the simple needs of keeping a home clean, there have been many different recommendations on just how to keep porcelain tiles clean. The three major types of porcelain tiles are polished, unpolished and textured tiles, which each need to be considered carefully before choosing a cleaning method.

Polished porcelain is by far the most common porcelain tile because of its shining and eye-catching surface, which is also one of its most difficult things to sustain for long periods of time. The shine is dazzling but may also seem to get dirty quickly and any kind of surface scratching may make is permanently seem so, which is why it is so important to pick a non-abrasive cleaner and cleansing tools like a sponge or soft bristled brush to clean it. It is also important to first vacuum or sweep the floor as swirling water with dirty particles in it can damage the surface as well. Rinsing and drying is important to protect against water spots and buffing to make sure that it shines just as brightly as before.

Unpolished and textured porcelain tiles do not require so much careful consideration since they do not shine quite like polished porcelain, but because of their more porous or textured surface, they do tend to be a little more difficult to clean thoroughly. After sweeping any loose debris off the floor, saturate it with diluted commercial cleaner or a mild homemade cleanser and let it soak for about five minutes to fully clean the many divots of the tile. Use a nylon-bristled brush to scrub the tile to loosen the dirt, quickly wiping it away with a rag afterwards. Rinse thoroughly and soak up the excess water afterwards to allow for complete drying. Also, unpolished porcelain is extremely vulnerable to staining and should be avoided in high traffic areas or wherever the high possibility of spilling may be; this makes it a typically avoided kind of tile with families who have pets or children.

Keep in mind that cleaners with harsh chemicals will need to be diluted to a mild version of themselves, otherwise they could damage the color, texture or finish of your tiles, and cause your grout to become weak, eventually leading to permanent damage. Waxes, sealants and oil-based cleaners also tend to discolor the tile with a thin film over it, possibly changing the color of your flooring and making the traction more slick, which may contribute to accidents from slipping on the floor, especially if wet.

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