Basic Tile Care
When cleaning unglazed wall and floor tiles, use a damp sponge or cloth with a solution of water and a brand of soapless detergent, do not use an all-purpose cleaner. Please do not use ammonia, as it will discolor grout. When cleaning any glazed wall tiles use a sponge or cloth and dampen it with a non-oil-based household cleaner. Vacuum glazed floor tiles regularly to remove dirt and other gritty particles, then damp mop or sponge with an all-purpose, non-oil-based cleaner.
If you are using soft water, use a non-oil-based, all-purpose cleaner. Let stand for five minutes then lightly scrub with a sponge, and rinse thoroughly.
With soap scum, mildew stains, and hard-water deposits: remove from ceramic tile using cleaning products that are commonly available at your local home improvement store.
Caring for Grout
After the tiles are cleaned and dried briefly after installation, grout joints should be treated with a silicone sealer. It is recommended that you apply a sealer at least once every six months for maximum stain protection.
This is for areas of high traffic or areas that have been highly neglected. Heavy duty cleaning requires making a paste of scouring powder. Apply to the area needed and let stand for a few minutes. Scour with a brush and then rinse and wipe dry. For larger areas you may want to enable the use of a scrubbing machine, though for most floors a small non-abrasive brush or sponge would be suitable.
For more detailed information about how any specific cleaning solution or sealant should be used, in terms of safety, appearance, and/or maintenance, consult the manufacturer of the cleaner, sealant or wax for usage and instructions. Most cleansing products and sealants can be purchased at your local home improvement center or local flooring store.
Do's and Don'ts of Tile Care
DO NOT: Use steel wool pads, scouring pads, or any item containing harsh aids like metal.
DO NOT: Clean using ammonia. Ammonia will discolor the grout.
DO NOT: Use cleansers that contain any bleach and/or acid for cleaning and maintenance.
DO NOT: Use any oil-based detergents, wax cleaners, or sealants in the maintenance of your tiles.
DO NOT: Use agents that contain dye/color on stone or unglazed ceramic tile.
DO: Seal on all grouted joints.
DO: Test scouring powders on a small area or a sample tile first (would not be recommended for natural stone).
DO: Have any damaged or broken tiles removed and replaced only by a qualified contractor.