Tiles and grouts are an essential part of your home. They are not only durable but they also look good. However, as time passes by, tiles and grout lose their original shine and luster. They become dingy and worn out because of the daily wear and tear. Cloudy, dirty, and dingy tiles and grout require a lot of manual labour to clean, and, it just gets worse and worse as time goes on. Tile are supposed to last from 35 to 50 years, sometimes even more! Here are some things that you can avoid to keep your tiles lasting longer.

Using Harsh Acids

Tiles generally have glazes and finishes on top of them to make them shiny and resistant to dirt. However, using harsh acids or chemicals can melt off or scratch the glaze, creating small slots for dirt to stick to. It’ll also make it hard to clean because regular brush bristles cannot penetrate into these micro scratches. Worst thing is, you might just actually melt and permanently damage the ceramic or natural stone tile that you have. If there are any spots that cannot be removed using tile cleaners, consider hiring a professional to do the work. They use industrial cleaners and tools that are made to penetrate down to the pores of the tile, without ruining its finish or glaze.

Using Abrasive cleaners and brushes

Using abrasive cleaners and brushes are definitely a no no! Using steel wools, or heavily beaded cleaners meant for cement will ruin your tiles forever. It will leave invisible scratches on the surface of your tiles and grout, leaving them dull and dingy looking. It will also make it easier for dirt to adhere to your tiles, and harder to clean. There are products specifically made to remove specific types of dirt, such as soap scums, lime scales, moulds, and hard water. Instead of trying to scrub off your tiles, use the appropriate cleaner for the dirt for ease of cleaning.

Not sweeping before mopping

Have you noticed that your tiles are darker while it’s wet? That’s because most tile cleaners, including store-bought and at-home (such as vinegar) not only kills bacteria and disinfects as it cleans, it also opens up the pores of the tiles. That is why it is very important to sweep and vacuum before mopping. Dust, soil, and other types of dirt can easily mix with water, making it dirty. When you’re cleaning with dirty water, it’ll most likely seep into the tiles, and especially grout, because they are extremely porous, like a sponge, making it look dull and grungy even when you have just cleaned it. Make sure that you remove any dirt, dust, and residue first before mopping, and always change your mopping water to make sure it’s clean. With this said, try not to over wet your tiles, as it will end up discolouring them and dulling their shine.

Over cleaning the tiles

Regularly cleaning your tiles is a great thing! It’ll help protect them and extend their life, shine, and luster. However, there is such a thing as over cleaning. Over cleaning happens when there is nothing to clean, yet you still use cleaners and scrubs on your tiled surfaces. This can result to the thinning of the glaze and finishes of your tiles and grout. Without dirt to clean, your cleaners end up stripping away the top layer of your tiles. Leaving them susceptible not only to dirt, but also to breaking.

Not applying sealants

Lastly, make sure to apply sealants and finishes to your tiles and grout. There are several types of sealants and finishes that you can apply. Some, you can apply every time you finish cleaning your tiles, and others, needs to be professionally done. Over-the-counter finishes and sealants that often come in spray bottles only retouch the already existing sealants, sealing up the scratches that might be on the tiles. However, remember to get a professional to re-seal your tiles and grout at least every 4-6 months. Grout sealants are especially tricky to apply, and generally needs an experienced pair of hands. Also, remember not to apply oil-based sealants on tiles! It’s just an accident waiting to happen.