Many businesses see the value of decorating their floors with beautiful ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles, which create a more pleasant and attractive atmosphere. Tiles are also essential to many commercial properties where they cover stockrooms, hallway walking spaces and restrooms with a safe, low-maintenance surface. Read on for an easy and complete guide for your commercial tile cleaning needs.
Unfortunately, after years of high-traffic use most commercial tiling will inevitably begin to lose its original shine and luster. Grime,which consists largely of dirt and oil deposits, will become deeply stained into the tiles in some areas and the grout lines will be highly affected. In order to deal with this issue, commercial tile cleaning solutions, equipment, and methods have been developed that can help you keep your commercial tile and grout looking like new. Depending on each businesses situation and the nature of the job to be done, you will have to decide whether it is more cost-effective to hire a professional tile cleaning company or to tackle the job on its own. Either way, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind when it comes commercial tile cleaning.
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Some Tips for Cleaning Commercial Tile
Preparing for Commercial Tile Cleaning
You will need to identify and gather the necessary tools in order to clean commercial tile. Basics cleaning supplies like a simple broom, mop, and bucket will be needed, but specialized commercial tile cleaning solutions and equipment is also required. The precise types of tile-cleaning solutions will vary based on the level and nature of the grime and in particular, the type of tile material. A restaurant, for example, will need a solution particularly well suited to fight grease. It is important to take care when using acidic products that effectively clean porcelain and ceramic as they can damage stone. Deeply stained tile and grout will need a product that comes with a more potent formula. Ask your product supplier or the commercial carpet and tile cleaning service you hire as they will know what floor cleaning product is best for your needs.
While equipment types vary greatly for commercial tile cleaning, the two basic options for commercial floors are steam extraction machines and cylindrical brush cleaners. Steam extraction cleaners sometimes include a jet spray of pressurized water, which cannot be set at too-high a level or tile and grout could be damaged. Cylindrical brush cleaners, on the other hand, typically offer counter-rotating brushes that can be set at various pressures. Some cylindrical brush cleaners may have a vacuum system built in that you use to dry the floor during use or a drying pad must be inserted and the floor dried in a separate step.
Once you have selected your equipment and floor cleaning solution, the next step is to prepare the floor surface. Begin by sweeping away all loose dirt and dust. Remembering to be careful to remove it from cracks and grout lines where it tends to get trapped. Follow up with a light mopping as it can also help to remove any dust that may still be clinging to the tiles and grout. Finally, you may wish to use a scraper to chisel out major deposits of hardened dirt, chewing gum, and other detritus before you being the main work of tile cleaning.
Cleaning the Tiles and Grout
Most cleaners will need to be diluted in water so make sure to read all instructions and follow them accordingly. Most dilution ratios are eight ounces of cleaner to four gallons of water. Using a mop, spread a thin layer of cleaning solution over the floor surface. It is important to allow the cleaner to sit for a few minutes and soak into the dirt build-up before proceeding any further with the cleaning process.
At this point, prepare the tile cleaning machine for action, plug it in, and divide your commercial tile surface into one six-by-six foot section of flooring at a time. If you go over the floor too quickly you will just leave grime behind and leave extra work for later. Move the machine steadily and slowly, but be willing to hover and move it back and forth over particularly really dirty, grimy area and also pay special attention to the grout lines so they get clean too. Most commercial tile-cleaning machines clean grout as well, but always keep an eye on the grout as the machine moves along to ensure the results are what you are looking for.
If grout continues to look dingy, or if alternate grout cleaning methods are desired, there are a number of viable options, including:
- A solution of three-quarters cup of bleach to one gallon water can be used to remove extreme grease and dirt stains. Always remember to wear goggles to protect the eyes. An ordinary toothbrush will work for a scrub brush. Be sure to test a hidden area to make sure the grout won’t change colour.
- Wearing goggles and gloves, mix one-third cup of ammonia, a half-cup of baking soda, and a quarter-cup of white vinegar with seven cups of water. Add the solution to a spray bottle and just spray and scrub the really dirty or grimy parts.
- A small, handheld electric spin scrubber is perfect to remove stubborn grime. Be careful, however, not to scrub too hard since this could damage the grout or tile.
- Believe it or not but whitening toothpastes will also whiten grout lines quite well. With toothbrush and toothpaste being used, it may seem like you are “brushing the floor’s teeth,” but the results are remarkable for the cleaner and effort. Read this article for more details: How to whiten tile floor
Sealing the Grout
It is easy to apply a tile sealer but a grout sealer is an absolute must. It is imperative to purchase a sealer designed for the particular type of tile-material your are using as the sealant will inevitably touch the edges of the tiles. It is simple enough to apply the grout sealant and can be done with a small paint brush or toothbrush. To make things easier and avoid bending down or getting down on hands and knees, attaching the brush to the end of a broomstick is a good solution.
Ensure the grout and tile are fully clean and dry first and then work section by section, giving the sealant about five minutes to dry before using a sponge mop on the tiles and clean water. Move the sponge mop across the tiles diagonally to remove any sealant that is touching the tiles while ensuring grout remains in the grout lines. Finally, allow the floor the required time to cure.
With a good sealant, water will bead on the grout instead of linger and soak in. Grout usually gets grimy by absorbing dirty water whenever the floor is mopped, so taking the time to seal it is worth it in the long run to keep your commercial tiles looking like new.
Cleaning commercial tile flooring is similar to cleaning any tile flooring, but the standards at commercial enterprises are normally higher. This is especially so when the tile is visible to a business’s clients. Proper preparation of the floor surface and optimal choices on cleaning solutions and power cleaning equipment are essential. The cleaning process itself is relatively simple, if tedious, but fully cleansing the grout lines can be a challenge. By sealing the grout lines after the cleaning is complete, the results can be preserved for years to by stopping the grout’s naturally absorbent nature