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How to clean outdoor porcelain tiles
How to clean outdoor porcelain tiles

Jun 15, 2021

The method of cleaning outdoor porcelain tiles will depend on the type of tile, the colour of the tile and probably the texture. The reason for cleaning the tiles will also be quite different!

Cleaning issues associated with newly laid tiles often relate to mistakes and residues from brush in compounds and resin slurry applied grouts.

The reason for cleaning slightly older tiles will probably be related to dirt captured in textured anti-slip finishes and possibly organic growth formed during the winter. Leaf staining, green algae’s, bird mess and muddy footprints all require cleaning.

Firstly, we will explain the different types of porcelain and then recommend cleaning solutions.

An overview of the different types of porcelain used on outdoor porcelain patios

Glazed porcelain or fully vitrified porcelain. This is the largest group of porcelains found on outdoor porcelain tiled floors. It is highly likely that your porcelain tile falls into this category/type of tile. This type of tile will be totally non-porous, it might have a sheen but can also be in a matt finish. Matt finish tiles often have an anti-slip texture – at present they are often grey, charcoal or an anthracite!

Unglazed or semi-vitrified or micro semi-porous porcelains. This is a smaller group of porcelains which are uncommon. This type of tile will almost certainly be in a matt finish – they will be porous to some degree.

How to deep clean older outdoor porcelain flooring tiles

Outdoor porcelains suffer from organic contamination and can require a more maintenance than an interior floor. Contamination could be general dirt, grime, green algae, slimes, moss & leaf staining. Pressure washing can be highly effective, but dirt and algae can build up quickly on textured matt finish tiles.

We recommend cleaning exterior porcelain patios Floorseal Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner which will remove organic contaminations. During the process you will remove general dirt and grime. This product is the best product for general ongoing cleaning of all types of porcelain patio tiles.

Apply the product neat as per instructions. Leave to dwell for up to approximately 15 minutes, do not allow the product to dry out in this time. On hot days you can add water to the product to prevent premature drying, then rinse off with a hose pipe. Less dwell time can work, but we recommend a dwell time of at least 15 minutes. Obviously, you can also extend this time if you wish. Always rinse well after use and do not allow the product to travel into ponds or encounter aquatic life. Test before use.

How to clean newly laid outdoor porcelain tiles

There are different issues when cleaning newly laid porcelain tiles. This is usually revolving around residues from resin-based brush in compounds and resin-based slurry applied grouts. The product may have dried on the surface before it could be removed. Application in hot weather is often the cause of grouting problems or just lack of care i.e., too much speed!

So, which products will be effective when cleaning freshly installed outdoor porcelain?

Floorseal Cement & Grout Haze Remover This specialist cleaner will remove cement-based grout hazes. It will not remove resin or epoxy resin-based products, but it will remove cement-based grouts. This may even be a cement or render left on the surface of the tiles from another part of the build process.

Again, please note this product will not remove resin-based grouts which are often used for grouting external porcelains, but it worth being aware of this product. Cement-based grouts are usually used on interior floors, exterior grouts are usually resin-based. This product can be applied anywhere from neat to diluted 1:5 with clean water. Test before use.

outdoor patio with porcelain floor tiling

Floorseal Jointing Compound Residue Remover This product is for the removal of light hazing of jointing compounds, resin-based grout, and general polymers from sealers. It is a residue remover only and should be tested before use. You will need to let the gel dwell on the surface for 20 minutes, do not let the product dry out during this time. Add more product to prevent drying or add a little water. This product will remove light residue if the grout is in a thicker coating, you will find it extremely difficult to remove. Please be aware you really need a good quantity of the gel to soften resin-based grout or brush in compound. Hot pressure washing after the resin has been soften can be effective.

Floorseal Sealer Residue Remover This product is for just general pre-cleaning before the application of one of our sealers. It can also be used for the removal of some types of sealer for stone. Sealer Residue Remover can be diluted up to 1:10 or used neat, rinse heavily after use. We would recommend cleaning with this product if you are going to seal your Patio with Floorseal Porcelain Tile Sealer for Patios.

*Please note: Sealer Residue Remover is not for the removal of obvious hazes from resin, or cement-based grout. It will not remove obvious brush in compounds residues. If you can see a contamination of resin or brush in compound, you would need to use Floorseal Jointing Compound Residue Remover.

External porcelain paving tiles around a swimming pool

So, what is the best outdoor cleaner for porcelain tiled floors?

As discussed, it really depends on what you need from your outdoor porcelain cleaning product!

  1. Floorseal Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner for general ongoing maintenance cleaning, primarily for removing dirt and organic contaminations.
  2. Floorseal Sealer Residue Remover for general pre-cleaning newly laid porcelains before sealing with Floorseal porcelain Tile Sealer for Patios.
  3. Floorseal Jointing Compound Residue Remover for the removal of light hazing of resin-based grouts and resin based jointing compounds.
  4. Floorseal Cement & Grout Haze Remover for the removal of cement-based grout hazes, cement staining or other cement based residues.

Please click here to see all our products for cleaning and sealing porcelain tiled floors.

We have also written a separate article regarding sealing porcelain tiles, to view the article please click here.

The information contained within this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us info@floorseal.co.uk our web address is www.floorseal.co.uk

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