Have you run into any issues cleaning porcelain? Many cleaning professionals report the popular material looking splotchy or discolored after it dries, even when using commercial-grade cleaning supplies. What causes these problem areas or what steps can you take to avoid them on your next job site?
Porcelain, frequently used in industrial environments for tiles, flooring, walls, plumbing and equipment, is traditionally made from two materials: kaolin, a white chalky-looking layered silicate material, and petuntse, a ceramic material made from low-iron rocks. Ground into fine powders, mixed together and then heated, these combine to create a durable and versatile material that can come in many different forms — unpolished/unglazed, polished/glazed and textured. Yet, even porcelain that is smooth to the touch can be porous, creating unique challenges when it comes to cleaning.
Dirt, bacteria and even cleaning products can get trapped in the porous texture, creating a dull or dingy appearance and leaving splotchy patterns behind. Everyday wear and tear and environmental factors like lights and heat sources may also increase the likelihood of challenges. To help you keep things splotch-free, here are four pro tips for tackling the tricky job of cleaning porcelain.
Sweep Up & Vacuum
First things first. This step may seem simple, but it’s important to start by removing the top layer of dirt, dust and grime from the surface.
Opt For Lower PH Solutions
Many professional cleaners report success with using lower PH cleaning solutions when cleaning porcelain. This can help protect porcelain from damage; however, if the surface is already scratched, stained or splotchy, this may not be enough to repair the damage depending on the severity of it.
Soft-bristled brushes are recommended for porcelain. Brushes with hard bristles, typically designed for scrubbing and deep cleaning, can be too harsh for the material and scratch the surface. Most importantly, steer clear of any metal bristles or steel wool when cleaning porcelain. Not only will these scratch the tile, they can also cause rust stains if flecks of the metal get stuck in the material.
Bring the Heat
Powerful, high-heat extractors and floor scrubbers are excellent for repairing stained porcelain. Used with professional cleaning solutions, these pieces of commercial-grade cleaning equipment are an important tool in your cleaning arsenal. They work by using high pressure and heat to deep clean surfaces. Many of them also come with specialized attachments designed specifically for hard surfaces.
Though it presents a unique set of challenges, don’t let dirty porcelain get you down. At Atex, we have everything you need to keep it clean. Take a look around our online catalog and reach out to us to see how we can keep supplying the pros on your team.