The best ways to clean external porcelain
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, such as brush-in compounds, cement-based grout, slurry primers, resin-based grouts slurry & general builders mess.
The reason for cleaning slightly older tiles will probably be related to grime captured in textured anti-slip finishes & organic growth which forms during the winter. Issues like leaf staining, green algae, bird mess, lichen, slimes & muddy footprints all require cleaning.
Firstly, we will explain the different types of porcelain and then recommend cleaning solutions. There are a few paragraphs at the end of the article as a conclusion. This will explain again what each product is used for.
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 surfaces. It is highly likely that your porcelain tile falls into this category/type of tile. This type of tile will be *non-porous, it might have a slight sheen but usually has a matt finish. Matt finish tiles will have an anti-slip texture.
At present popular colours are grey, charcoal or an anthracite. But lighter coloured grey, cream and white tiles can all be found on modern porcelain patios.
*This type of tile still has micro-pores in their surface which can be an issue. Particularly when leaves have been sitting on its surface for some time.
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 can be quite porous.
How to deep clean outdoor porcelain tiles after the winter
Outdoor porcelains suffer from organic contamination and usually require more maintenance than an interior porcelain tiled floor. Contamination could be general dirt, grime, green algae, slimes, lichen, moss & leaf staining. Pressure washing is usually effective, but dirt, algae & leaf staining can build up quickly on a textured matt finish tile.
So, which tile would you recommend for cleaning my porcelain tiles in the spring?
We recommend cleaning exterior porcelain patios with Floorseal Porcelain Patio Spring Clean which is specifically for removing organic contaminations. During the process, you will also remove general dirt and grime. This cleaning solution is the best product for ongoing cleaning of all types of porcelain patio tiles. Particularly after the winter when your patio has a heavy build-up of organic growth & general grime.
Apply the product diluted at 1:3 (please adjust to suit the conditions on-site). For speed and ease, we recommend a pump sprayer. You can also use a watering can and agitate with a stiff brush. Leave to dwell for approximately 15 minutes, do not allow the product to dry out during this time. On hot days you can add more water to the surface to prevent premature drying. After use, always rinse the product away with clean water.
We recommend a dwell time of at least 15 minutes. Leaf staining may require the product to be applied neat. Leaf staining may also require an extended dwell time of many hours. Leaf staining can sink deeply into the micro-pores of any type of porcelain. This kind of staining can be worst type of staining to remove.
Always rinse well after use, do not allow the product to travel into ponds or encounter aquatic life. Test in an inconspicuous place before use.
How to clean newly laid outdoor porcelain tiles
There are often additional issues when cleaning newly laid porcelain tiles. This can revolve around the removal of residues, such as cement, grout, slurry primers, concrete & general dirt. You may see resin-based brush in compound staining or resin-based grout staining. Resin-based products can dry & set hard on the tile rapidly. Application in hot weather is often the cause of grouting problems or just lack of care i.e. rushing!
So, which products will be effective when cleaning freshly installed outdoor porcelain?
Floorseal Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner is a great product for general cleaning just after your tiles have been installed.
Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner’s primary function is to remove; Cement-based grout staining, cement-based slurry primers, concretes, mortar, mud, grime & general builders mess. This product will still remove general organic contaminations but its main function is to clean newly laid tiles.
Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner is also effective on efflorescence salting and leachate staining. Both of these issues tend to manifest themselves as white salt/bleed issues from the joints. Leachate staining can be other colours as well.
This product will remove general dirt & grime and particularly ferrous rich mud. It can also be effective on bleed marks from pots and plants left on your patio. These often contain compost which leaches out onto the patio as plants are watered. If this sort of staining does not respond to general cleaning we recommend trying this product.
Apply Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner diluted at 1:3 with clean water. This product can be applied at stronger concentrations, including applying the product neat. A dwell time of 5 minutes will be required, which can be extended. Rinse off after use with clean water.
Can be applied via Pump-up sprayer, watering can or from the container.
Test in an inconspicuous area first – do not apply to acid sensitive surfaces.
Floorseal Jointing Compound Residue Remover This product is for removing the resin-based haze left by jointing compounds, resin-based grouts, and general polymers from top-coat sealers. You will need to let the gel dwell on the surface for AT LEAST 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 to medium residues. If the grout is in a thicker coating, you will find it extremely difficult to remove it.
Please be aware you really need a reasonable quantity of the gel to soften & remove resin-based grout or brush in compounds. Hot pressure washing (after the resin has been initially softened by the gel) can shorten the time taken to remove resin-based compounds or grout.
It can be beneficial to treat resin-based staining with Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner first. Rinse away and allow the surface to dry, then apply Jointing Compound Residue Remover with a long dwell time. 20 minutes is the minimum, but the longer the better – do not allow the product to dry out during this time. Add more product and a little water.
So, what is the best outdoor cleaner for porcelain tile floors?
As discussed, it really depends on what you need from your outdoor porcelain cleaning solution. New patios have different issues to older patios. See below:-
- Floorseal Porcelain Patio Spring Clean perfect for cleaning up porcelain patio tiles after the winter. This cleaning solution targets organic issues and general grime which builds up over the winter. Removes, slime, algae, lichen, bird droppings, moss & leaf staining. Great for existing patio’s which require ongoing maintenance.
- Floorseal Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner for newly laid tiles (and certain issues on older tiles). Removes staining & residues from cement, cement-based grout, concrete, cement-based slurry primers, leachate staining, efflorescence, ferrous rich mud, bleed marks from pots/planters (containing compost) & general builders mess.
- Floorseal Jointing Compound Residue Remover for the removal of light/medium hazing of resin-based grouts and resin-based jointing compounds. Lots of dwell time is required and you may need to treat the area with Outdoor Porcelain Tile Cleaner first.
- Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone for the removal of general rust spots left by patio furniture etc.
Please Click Here to view our products & accessories for cleaning and sealing porcelain. This includes all of our handy ‘how to’ guides for cleaning and sealing interior or exterior porcelain.
The information contained within this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us email@example.com our web address is www.floorseal.co.uk
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