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Saltillo Tile floors are beautiful and long lasting. They add a unique sense of style to every home, while providing a durable surface that withstands all sorts of wear and tear. Check out the following tips to clean your Saltillo Tile floors.

Saltillo Tile Floors: Sealed or Unsealed?

How-to-Clean-Saltillo-Tile-FloorsBefore you begin cleaning your Saltillo Tile floors, it’s important to know whether they are sealed or unsealed. It’s easy to figure out. Look closely at the tiles and the grout lines between them. If they appear glossy, they are likely sealed. To make sure, sprinkle a few droplets of water on the tiles. If the water beads up quickly, the tiles are sealed.

Cleaning Sealed Tile

When your tiles are sealed, you’re really cleaning the seal coat rather than the tiles themselves. If you’re looking for a quick clean weekly, this is just fine. Every year or so, however, it’s well worth removing the sealer and cleaning the exposed tiles.

In the meantime, however, purchase an alkaline product to clean with. Most all-purpose household cleaners are alkaline products. Check the label to be sure.

If cleaning sealed Saltillo Tile floors, dilute the product with lots of water. Use a soft brush or cleaning pad to gently scrub the tile. Have a mop and bucket of clean water handy for rinsing. Hiring a professional cleaning service that is trained to clean Saltillo Tile floors can be an alternative option for you if you are unsure or just don’t have the time.

Cleaning Unsealed Tile

Mix equal parts alkaline cleaner and hot water, and pour directly onto the tiles—working on one small area at a time. Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the tiles for 10 to 15 minutes before you begin scrubbing.  Scrub with a floor brush or scrubbing pad. Rinse each section with a mop rinsed in hot water. If excess water collects on your floor, a shop vac may be used to suck it up. Wipe the floor down with a dry cloth or wait until it dries on its own.

Cleaning unsealed Saltillo Tile floors

For stubborn stains, pour straight alkaline cleaner directly on the stain and scrub aggressively. Rinse thoroughly and repeat as needed. Again, a professional cleaning service is trained in cleaning these types of floors.

Removing the Tile Sealant

If the sealant has become extra dirty or discolored, it may be time to remove it from your Saltillo tile. You have one of two types of sealant on your floor, and it’s important to know which one you have—water based or polyurethane based. Polyurethane based sealants require paint stripper. Wear a respirator and gloves for this job, and follow the directions on the container of paint stripper.

Water based sealant is more easily removed. Purchase some water based floor stripper. Once applied to the tile, it will start to soften the sealant after 15 minutes or so. Using a heavy duty scrubbing pad to clean away the loosened sealant. Once again you’ll need that mop and bucket of clean water to rinse away the loosened sealant.  Allow the tiles to dry thoroughly before resealing them with a product recommended by a tile company. By following these steps your Saltillo Tile floors will sustain years of wear and tear, helping your rooms stay clean and bright.

If this seems like too much for you to do by yourself or you are unsure, you can always hire a service to remove the sealant and reseal it.