Posted on October 28, 2010
Many years people used vinegar for cleaning ceramic tile. Vinegar has many uses for cooking and preserving foods due to its acidic nature. The main acid in vinegar is acetic acid. Household vinegar typically contains about 5% acetic acid but can contain as much as 18% for some vinegar used in pickling. Additionally vinegar may also contains many other ingredients including small amounts of tartaric as well as citric acids.
The main problem with using vinegar for cleaning ceramic tile is that the acids and other ingredients in vinegar make it difficult to fully rinse from the ceramic tile surface. The various ingredients in vinegar that make it a good cooking product also make it difficult to fully rinse from the tiled surface. Therefore with repeated uses of vinegar the tiled surface will develop a film that will yellow and also attract dirt and contaminates.
Cleaning ceramic tile with vinegar will also break down the cements in the grout. The acids in the vinegar over time will cause the grout to eventually break down, crack and simply wash away. Vinegar will not rinse clean out of the grout lines attracting dirt and contaminates causing the grout to discolor. It is best to use tile and grout cleaners specifically designed for cleaning tile and grout. If an acidic cleaner is needed it should be specifically designed for cleaning tile and grout and should be used sparingly.
You should always use a cleaning solution specifically designed for cleaning tile and grout. Mix the solution with hot tap water in the ratio given for your specific cleaning product. Apply the solution liberally and let it dwell for 15-20 minutes. Then scrub the surface with a gentle scrub pad until all the dirt and contaminates are emulsified from the tile surface. After you have emulsified the dirt with the cleaning solution be sure to rinse clean all the dirt, contaminates and excess cleaning solution. Additionally dry the ceramic tile surface clean with a towel or soft cloth to remove all the remaining excess dirt and cleaning solution residue to obtain a streak free clean.
By materials of Troy Roberts
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