Tiles have been used within bathrooms since ancient times, and for good reason. Not only are these hard-wearing ceramics naturally built to last, but they come in a wide array of shapes and colours. However, even the most durable brands can become dirty over time if not properly maintained. This will detract from the appeal of your bathroom and even lead to costly replacement projects. Let’s therefore take a quick look at some expert cleaning tips that are not often employed by the average homeowner.
An Ounce of Prevention
One of the most common issues with bathroom tiles involves the accumulation of a substance known as limescale. Limescale results from dissolved minerals within water such as calcium, sodium and magnesium. The good news is that scrubbing affected areas with common household vinegar will help to remove such stains.
In order to prevent future issues, make it a point to purchase reliable water test kits such as those offered by IVARIO. If high concentrations of these minerals are detected, the use of a water softener is generally recommended.
Check for Damaged Sealant
Have you noticed foul odours within your bathroom? One cause of this slightly embarrassing situation involves damaged silicone seals around the periphery of floor and wall tiles. Suspect areas may also include where the tiles meet furniture such as tubs, toilets and vanities. Unfortunately, compromised seals can allow water to begin eating away at the grout contained between the tiles themselves. It is better to remove any existing silicone and replace it with a new layer. Be sure to fill in all gaps and if possible, choose a formulation that matches the colour scheme of your bathroom.
Grout is a cement-like material that is used to hold individual tiles in place. As grout is porous in nature, it has the tendency to collect dirt and mould. This can dramatically impact the appearance of your bathroom and it is better to adopt a proactive approach. Most experts recommend cleaning grout at least once every month. Commercial steamers, dish detergent and even whitening toothpaste with baking soda will all provide noticeable results in no time at all.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
While chemical tile cleaners may appear to represent the most efficient solution at first glance, these can often damage delicate ceramics and even cause their colours to fade. Some also present very real health risks for those with children or pets. Once again, it is better to adopt natural alternatives. For example, a mixture of water and concentrated lemon juice is mildly acidic; allowing you to scrub away stains, mould and limescale without a great deal of effort.
If cared for on a regular basis, there is no reason why your bathroom tiles should not least for years or even decades. Thankfully, most at-home cleaning projects will not require the use of a professional when following the steps outlined above. Proper maintenance is also a much more practical approach when compared to being forced to undergo a costly bathroom renovation.