Keep your floors, countertops, and backsplash in top shape with our easy techniques for removing stains from tile.
Tiles make a great material for high-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms due to its high durability. While they are often used for backsplashes, flooring, and showers, tiles are generally very easy to maintain with regular cleaning. However, when spills and other accidents happen, the stains can quickly set into the tiles and become difficult to remove. This is especially true in tiled showers, where stubborn stains from hard water and rust can build up over time and may end up requiring a deeper cleaning. Use these tips on how to remove stains from tiles to keep your floor or backsplash spotless.
Tile Stain Removal Tips for Ceramic, Porcelain, Slate, and More
Tiles can be made from a range of different materials, including ceramic, porcelain, marble, slate, and other varieties of natural stone. Each of these materials has its own guidelines for cleaning and care that are important to consider when cleaning the tile stains. If you’re unsure about the best stain removal method, check with the manufacturer for specific recommendations.
Glazed ceramics and porcelain tiles is usually very durable and will stand up well to most tile stain removal techniques. However, you’ll have to be more cautious when it comes to stains on natural stone, such as limestone, travertine, or marble tiles, as they should be treated with extra care. Traditional cleaners often contain harsh chemicals that can damage the surface, either through color loss, or surface corrosion. Hence, it’s important to use non-abrasive cleaners that are made specifically for natural stone.
These are the don’ts when it comes to cleaning natural stones :
- Avoid acidic cleaners or contains acidic ingredients such as lemon or vinegar.
- Do not use stiff-bristled brushes to scrub the surfaces.
How to Remove Stains from Tiles
Although tile might look and feel impervious to harm, it can still be easily damaged without the proper care. Test your stain-removal technique on a tile that is in a less obvious spot in the house or office before cleaning the entire floor. A nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner or a tub-tile-sink cleaning product will usually remove most tile stains. To clean stubborn stains on tile, try the following techniques.
Blood: Gently dab the stain with a soft cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach. [Remember to wear gloves]
Coffee, tea, or juice: Wash the stain with a mild detergent and hot water, then blot with hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach.
Gum, wax, or tar: Place ice cubes in a resealable plastic bag and lay the bag over the material you want to remove from the tile. This will cause the material to solidify, remove as much of it as possible with a crafts stick. Remove any remaining residue with nonflammable paint thinner.
Grease or fat-based stains: Wash the stain with club soda and water or with a non-abrasive floor cleaner.
Ink or dye: Soak a clean cloth with diluted bleach and lay it over the stain. Let the cloth stay in place until the stain disappears. Rinse well.
Iodine: Scrub the iodine stain with diluted ammonia and rinse well.
Nail polish: Dissolve the nail polish stain with nail polish remover. If the stain remains, dab it with hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Tile
In tiled areas inside showers and around faucets, taps, or sinks, hard water stains can build up the more it’s used, creating an oily residue on the surface. To protect the tile’s finish, do not use abrasive cleaners as these can scratch or scuff the surface. Instead, use vinegar to dissolve the mineral buildup so you can wipe it away easily. (Note: This method should only be used on acid-safe tile surfaces, such as glazed ceramic or glass and not on natural stone tiles.)
Next, Soak a cloth or sponge with vinegar and wipe to wet the surface. After allowing the vinegar to soak on the tile for a few minutes, wipe the area to wet it again. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda onto the tile (it should fizz slightly as it reacts with the vinegar), this causes a mildly corrosive reaction that softens the residue, then gently scrub the surface with a sponge dampened with water. Rinse the area with water to wash away the vinegar and baking soda, and dry the tile immediately with a soft cloth to prevent more water spots from forming.
To remove hard water stains on natural stone tile, use a cleaner specifically made for natural stone surfaces, such as Magic Marble & Granite Complete Order.
How to Remove Rust Stains from Tile
Common in tile showers or on tile floors, rust stains form when metal surfaces come in contact with moisture for long periods of time. To get rid of these rust stains, you can use a combination of simple household ingredients. Mix equal parts lemon juice and borax and apply the paste to the rust stain, gently rubbing it in. Let the paste sit and dry, then rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth. If the stain persists, you can simply repeat the process until the rust is gone.