Remove Stains from Ceramic Tiles

It’s a shame when ceramic tiles end up getting stained; they’re supposed to be durable and attractive, after all. Keeping them in pristine shape takes work, and stains just make maintenance all that more difficult. If you’re worried about whether it’s possible to remove stains from ceramic tiles, you’ll be happy to know that there are some tools and products available to help you remove just about any kind of stain – even the tough ones.

remove stains from ceramic tiles

If you’re not careful, you could end up harming the ceramic tiles in an attempt to remove a stain. Scrubbing isn’t enough to remove stubborn stains, and it could actually cause scratches on the ceramic if you do it too roughly.

How to Remove Stains from Ceramic Tiles (Glazed)

If you’re not sure whether the ceramic surface is glazed or unglazed, let water sit on the surface (in an inconspicuous spot) for about five minutes and then wipe it off. If the tiles darken, they are likely unglazed.

  1. The first thing you need to do is mix soap and water together. Do not use anything considered corrosive, such as bleach. (Vinegar might be okay, just as long as you don’t leave it on the floor for too long).
  2. Apply an appropriate amount of the soap and water mix onto the stain with a sponge.
  3. Gently scrub the area in a clockwise motion for several minutes. For deeper stains, you might have to repeat the process multiple times.
  4. Dry the stained spot with a fabric towel.
  5. Buff the tile with a scrub brush, buffer, or magic eraser. Any of these can pick up most types of stains.

Note: Do NOT allow the water or any other cleaning material to evaporate; it’s best to clean them up quickly.

How to Remove Stains from Ceramic Tiles (Unglazed)

Unglazed tiles require a different approach:

  1. Get some sulfamic acid from flooring specialists and mix it with water. Start with the smallest, weakest amount of acid possible. Mix it with a good amount of COLD water. Follow the instructions on the label. The usual proportion is one pound of acid crystals to five gallons of water.
  2. Soak the stained tiles with the mixture. If you are cleaning a tile wall, start low and work your way up.
  3. Keep the stained areas wet using a damp sponge as you go. Mask the problem area off from the rest. When dealing with difficult stains or grout, scrub with a stiff brush and follow with a continuous scrubbing and rinsing with cold, clean water. Keep the gloves on.
  4. When the stains start to go away, rinse the tiles with fresh cold water and dry off with clean paper towels.

Keep a lot of water and sponges on hand when cleaning stains with sulfamic acid. Wetting is extremely important in acid cleaning. 

Baking Soda Method

If you don’t like the idea of cleaning with acid, you could try this method. It’s especially useful for dealing with grout stains. Reducing grout dirt on tile floors is essential for preventing stains. Grout is very porous and absorbs all types of stains.

  1. Mix a paste of water and baking soda.
  2. Apply it to the stained tile.
  3. Leave it on for several hours – overnight is recommended.
  4. Scrub the dried paste off with a nylon brush. No NOT use a metal brush, as it will cause scratching.
  5. Let the problem area air dry, and then put a silicone-based sealer to resist future grime and staining.

Mold and Mildew Stains

Mold is a common problem found on ceramic tiles in bathrooms. To take care of this problem, you’ll need to grab some safety equipment (goggles and gloves) and make sure that the bathroom is well-ventilated.

  1. Mix two cups of Oxi-Clean (or something similar) with one gallon of warm water. Do NOT use bleach.
  2. Pour the mixture on the mildew-stained tiles.
  3. Scrub the stain with a nylon brush for at least five minutes.
  4. Leave the mixture on the moldy area for one hour, and then scrub for another five minutes.
  5. Rinse the tiles thoroughly and dry.

Ceramic Tiles – Cleaning and Maintenance

You must clean up any drink or food spillages as soon as they occur to avoid them setting. Wipe the tiles off with an antimicrobial cloth afterwards.

Check at least once a day to make sure there is no soap scum or hard water deposits on bathroom ceramic tile. If there is, use a multipurpose spray cleaner to remove it.

Keep dust and dirt off of ceramic tile by sweeping and vacuuming with a soft bristled attachment. Make it a habit to sweep/vacuum at least twice a week. To keep tiles looking great, try to keep them dry. After cleaning stains with water and any type of liquid, be sure to thoroughly dry them.

DO NOT use any of the following on ceramic tile: scouring pads, sandpaper, steel wool, or any other abrasive product.