Stoneware cleaning products
The following are some guidelines that will help you to achieve an outstanding result.
The way materials are cleaned during and after installation is crucial for the creation of floor and wall coverings of impeccable appearance that are also easy to care for; a number of specific rules must be followed.
Cleaning during installation (by the professional who lays the material)
After the tiles have been laid on the screed, the joints or gaps of about 2 mm between one slab and the next, necessary to give the floor the necessary elasticity and stability over time, have to be filled with a suitable grouting material, usually in a matching shade.This is a very important operation which the installer must carry out with great care, since if surplus grouting material is allowed to set and is not thoroughly removed before it dries completely, the floor covering will tend to become dirty more easily and routine cleaning will be more difficult. Therefore, the joints should be filled over an area of 4-5 square metres at a time, removing the excess grout from the surface (with a sponge and clean water) as soon as it starts to dry. Since in this phase the grouting material is still quite damp, the excess must be removed with light, repetitive movements in a diagonal direction, taking care not to “dig out” the joints but to remove all residues from the slabs, especially if, like wood-look slabs, they have a “natural” surface, which is not completely smooth.
This operation is fundamental for all tiles, but it is even more essential for those with more structured surfaces, and for outdoor tiles, with rough, anti-slip surfaces.If this simple cleaning process, using just water, is not carried out at the right time, small particles of the grouting material (which, obviously, is a form of adhesive) can stick permanently to the slab, leaving unsightly smears even after final cleaning.
Acid cleaning after installation is fundamental for removing construction residues (glue, paint and dust). This cleaning operation must be carried out once the cement-based joint filling material has set, which takes at least 24-48 hours for quick-drying, rapid-setting products, and in all cases as recommended by the grout producers. It is known as acid cleaning because an acid cleaner (there are plenty of excellent products on the market) is used, diluted in water.
The procedure is as follows, and should be carried out by the professionals who have installed the material: 1 Sweep the floor thoroughly to remove construction dust
2 Dilute the acid cleaner in water as instructed on the pack (for natural floor coverings the solution may be more acid, while for polished or honed floor or wall coverings a weaker solution is better)
3 Apply the cleaning product with an ordinary mop
4 Leave to act for a few minutes
5 Rub the zones with the toughest deposits hard with an abrasive sponge
6 Wipe up the residues with rags and rinse with plenty of clean water.
With epoxy grouts, specific cleaners should be used, complying strictly with the producers’ instructions for preparation and application. Usually an acid based product is recommended, diluted in water as appropriate for the surface for treatment. (Your retailer will give you full details).
Cleaning ceramic and stoneware tiles is extremely quick and easy. Floor and wall coverings can be cleaned with warm water and an ordinary neutral cleaner or just an alcohol and water solution.