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Cleaning Ceramic Tile Walls


Regular cleaning can be done with detergent and
water, and rinsed; or commercial household cleaners or
bathroom cleaners used according to label directions.
Do not use scouring powders or other abrasives which can
scratch the finish.

Special cleaning may be needed for ceramic tile in
bathrooms if there is a buildup of: soap scum, a rough
white coating, or mildew.

Remove soap scum by sponging with a mixture of 1/2
cup packaged water softener, plus 2 tablespoons
rottenstone plus 1 cup hot water; or use a solution of
1-2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate in 1 gallon hot
water. Rinse.

Remove mildew by cleaning with a dilute solution of
chlorine bleach in water, following label directions on
bleach. Rinse. Or use a mildew-retardant household spray.

The rough white coating is a buildup of mineral from
hard water (like you get in a teakettle). Dissolve it
with a commercial tile cleaner and wipe off.

Occasionally a dark varnish-like stain may build up
in a tile shower that has not been cleaned regularly.
It is a build-up of body oils and soap scum and very
hard to remove. Cover the spot with full-strength liquid
laundry detergent and let stand for a couple of hours.
Then sponge with water. If it still doesn't all come off,
leave detergent on longer and scrub with a brush. Don't
use on porcelain enamel tubs or fiberglass or plastic
surfaces as it may damage them.

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension
Specialist, Emeritus, with references the Ceramic Tile
Institute.
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