There are lots of household tasks to complete in any given cleaning schedule, but some cleaning tasks carry more of an impact than others. Cleaning your outdoor tiles will not only give your outdoor space a new lease on life, but it can also be a pre-emptive measure against other damage. If you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your outdoor tiles looking clean, here is how you can do so safely and effectively.
Firstly, understand the tile materials
Not all tiles are made equal, so you want to understand what your tiles are made of before you apply any kind of cleaning solution. Tiles can be made from stone, concrete, terracotta, ceramic or porcelain. Naturally, these elements have different mineral compounds and these variations are vastly different in their durability. A strong chemical will be ideal for concrete but something more gentle will be better suited to outdoor porcelain tiles, like white vinegar and water. This gentle concoction is easy to make and maintains your outdoor porcelain tiles.
Consider the colour
The colour of your tiles may also influence how you clean your tiles. Unique tiles with painted colours and patterns will need a spot test so you are not stripping any of the colour or detail. Most quality tiles are treated and so they will not easily be stripped of their shine and colour, but there are some that are handcrafted and will be vulnerable to harsh chemicals. Generally speaking, outdoor floor tiles will be in a colour that can stand up to the elements – usually a variation of grey. If you have chosen a bolder or lighter tile colour, you should choose your cleaning solution carefully.
Grout is another consideration, especially as white seems to be the grout colour of choice for many outdoor patio tiles. Tilemall stocks a range of Mapei grout cleaners and special brushes that can be used to clean the grout once the solution has had time to work its magic. If you are still in the consideration phase of your outdoor space, choose darker grout colours for your outdoor area to reduce your cleaning time!
Maintenance cleaning and deep cleaning
We would all like to get to those deep cleans more often than we do, but sometimes only a maintenance clean is necessary. A maintenance clean may only need a mop and an all-purpose cleaner, whereas a deeper clean can require a gurney and something more targeted. Leave your tiles plenty of time to dry before you place your outdoor furniture and other outdoor items back on the tiles. The last thing you want is wet timber furniture with a treatment to mark your tiled floors.
A firm-bristled broom is perfect for agitating marks and bringing up the stains and grime that seem part of your tiles at this point. These brooms, water and a cleaning solution can be very effective indeed. Another great maintenance tip is to clean up messes as soon as they occur and to regularly swap and mop the area. You do not want the sun to beat down on the marks and mess and cake in that damage. Marks like red wine and other deep colours should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Avoid harsh cleaning products
Many have ruled our environmental cleaning products as they believe them to be ineffective, but these natural ingredients can do the trip nicely. Harsh chemicals can change the colour and texture of your outdoor floor tiles over time, and they can even damage the other things in your outdoor space. If your outdoor tiles have hardware attached to it – whether it is supporting a gate, fence, door or architrave – then the chemicals might deteriorate these joins. This means that your tiles might not wear the damage immediately, but all the materials that connect with the tiles will be discoloured and erode.
If you are unsure of what constitutes harsh cleaning products from a natural one, Tilemall recommends the range of Mapei tile cleaners and advises customers to use this to clean outdoor patio tiles. Always be sure to spot test whichever cleaning product you choose.
We hope that these tips will help you in cleaning your outdoor floor tiles and bringing them back to the standard they were when first laid. Like any cleaning practice, there needs to be consistency so that you can see the greatest results. Manage a robust deep cleaning and maintenance cleaning schedule so you can do this work on autopilot. Remember to trial the Mapei tile cleaner collection if you feel your cleaning solutions and approach are not moving the needle.