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How to Clean Bathroom Tile Safely

Those catchy TV commercials that show how to clean bathroom tile always seem to make it look like a snap. What they don't tell you, however, is that using highly acidic cleaners can actually damage your beautiful tile. It's important to remember that not all tiles are created equal, and how you clean them depends largely on the material they're made from and whether or not they're sealed. Ceramic tile, for instance, is much more resilient than a natural stone tile, and the same cleaning products shouldn't necessarily be used for both. When you know how to clean bathroom tile the right way, your tile will look newer and brighter for longer, which will protect your investment and your peace of mind.

Make Porcelain Gleam

Porcelain tile is extremely versatile, and thanks to the latest imaging technology, it can be made to look like marble, stone, and other luxurious materials. That's why it's a popular choice for high-end bathroom designs. Continental Slate ColorBody porcelain tiles, for example, are designed to resemble natural slate, and indeed bare a striking resemblance. The tile comes in colors like Egyptian Beige and English Grey, which are two gorgeous nature-inspired tones.

You can clean porcelain with a vinegar-based cleaner or a vinegar and water solution. Just scrub the tile with a soft bristle brush or cloth, and then rinse them with hot water and dry them with a clean towel. Don't let water sit on the tiles, or you'll end up with water spots. And if you have a particularly tough stain, allow your diluted vinegar solution to sit on the stain for about 10 minutes before wiping it away.

Clean up Stone Tiles

Stone tiles, such as granite or marble, bring the beauty of nature into any bathroom. When you know how to clean natural stone tile properly, it will continue to look gorgeous for years to come. Many homeowners love the natural style of Stone Radiance tiles, which come in mosaic blends of several color combinations. This line of tile is perfect for vanity backsplashes or small shower alcoves that need a touch of color. Other stone tiles, such as those in the Marble Collection, look stunning on bathroom floors and walls.

Natural stone tiles should be swept often to remove dirt and small debris that can cause scratches to the surface of the stone. This is particularly important for stone tiles with a polished finished, which tend to show wear and tear more than their honed or tumbled counterparts. Don't use vinegar, bleach, or any acidic products to clean natural stone tile. There are specialized stone cleaners without harsh ingredients that are safe to use. Just remember to apply stone cleaner with a damp cloth or soft sponge, and never use an abrasive pad or steel wool.

Keep Ceramic Sparkling

Ceramic tile, such as the Stratford Place line, is a popular choice among homeowners because it comes in all sorts of colors and patterns that are guaranteed to create a timeless bathroom design. Glazed ceramic tiles can be wiped down with a damp sponge, and for extra cleaning power, you can use an all-purpose cleaner that isn't oil-based. Never clean ceramic tiles with ammonia because it may cause the grout to become discolored. If you're washing glazed ceramic tiles, you can use a soapless detergent for safe cleaning. And for heavy stains, mix scouring powder and water to make a thick paste, and then apply it with a non-metal brush or pad. After it sits on the grime for a few minutes, scrub it off.

Let Your Glass Gleam

Glass mosaic tile, such as the Glass Horizons line, comes in a variety of colors and adds dimension to any bathroom. Since mosaic tiles are usually small and feature a lot of grout lines, you want to keep the grout looking clean and bright. A soap-based detergent and warm water, mixed together, can be sprayed directly onto mosaic tile and wiped with a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaning tools, like steel wool pads, which can scratch the glass tile.

You can treat tough stains and mildew with a bleach and water solution. Use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub problem areas. Remember to wear gloves when working with bleach, and open up windows and doors for ventilation.

Achieve a Modern Metallic Shine

Metallic tiles can add shine to your bathroom and create a cool, modern look. For example, Ion Metals tile comes in a variety of finishes, including oil-rubbed bronze and antique nickel. Metallic tiles, except those made of copper or stainless steel, can be cleaned with a mild mixture of soap and water. Remember to use a soft sponge or cloth to clean the tiles, and then dry them immediately after cleaning to avoid streaks.

Tile comes in many options, ranging from bold colors to warm earth tones and soft pastels. Keeping your tile clean means making sure it constantly looks its best, but there isn't one cleaning method that can be used on all tile. By using these tips and tricks, you can make sure that your tile always looks its very best.

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