Tile floors are pretty much a dust magnet and if there’s one thing you can count on in Tucson, it’s dust. Even though nine times out of ten you can’t see it in the air, it’s there.
Saltillo Tile Floors Need More Care
Everyone loves having Saltillo tile floors, but, those floors present unique cleaning challenges of their own. Saltillo tile is highly porous and will soak in liquid easily. There is no glaze on the top surface so it is not like ceramic tile. Saltillo tile is hard to install because it will absorb water from the mortar, grout, and grease pencils tile installers use. You will also find that it stains and scuffs easily if not properly sealed and maintained. You will need to be sure to use a quality sealant.
Sweep Then Mop
Sweep twice, vacuum once. Like the old adage, “Measure twice, cut once”, the same idea applies to routine cleaning of the floor. Go over the floor once very well with a broom, then again lightly with the broom. Then vacuum. Why? To get up the small pebbles that are tracked in.
This is especially important for Saltillo Tile floors. Arizona yards are covered in gravel to keep the weeds down. This gets tracked in. And so do goat head thorns. You don’t want those sucked up into the vacuum, because they can damage the internal vanes. Then you get to buy a new vacuum. After sweeping, then run a vacuum over the floor. Why? To get up the dust that is in the seams/joints between the tiles that the broom won’t get up. A housecleaning service should, of course, clean the Saltillo Tile floors properly without question. Be sure to inquire if they have the knowledge. Which is why many people prefer to call upon a local professional housecleaning service.
Sweep regularly. Housecleaning, as far as tile floors go, should be somewhat like cooking a meal. Have a schedule to do it regularly. It becomes a lot easier when a cleaning service does the “heavy lifting” of good Saltillo Tile floor cleaning so you can keep the regular sweep a very quick “once over” that you can now use a dust mop for instead of the broom. This is quick and only takes a couple minutes. Do this about every three days. When a cleaning service takes care of your Saltillo Tile floor, then it’s only a case of dust mopping since they’re doing the “heavy lifting” of your housecleaning.
Mop in segments. Mop the tile floor one room at a time so the floors have time to dry. If you walk on them while wet, you will have footprints on them from dust clinging to the soles of your shoes. Use a cleaner that is proper for tile floors.
For Saltillo Tile floors: once you have the floor properly sealed the best method for routine cleaning is to use a neutral cleaner to damp mop the floor and be sure to never flood the sealed Saltillo Tile floor with liquid, including water.
When you need to really clean the Saltillo Tile floor you would use a white vinegar and warm water solution to mop. A half cup of the vinegar for each gallon of warm water that you use. This solution will not strip the floor of sealant. Keep a second bucket of plain warm water to rinse the mop between each pass on the floor. This way you ensure that you don’t put too much dirt into the vinegar and water solution before the next pass. Once you are finished with this mopping empty the buckets and rinse the mop thoroughly to remove dirt. Fill one bucket with plain warm water and mop the entire floor as before. This helps to clean any remnants of dirt. Be sure to wring out as much water as possible before you mop to prevent excessive water on the floor. If you have environmental concerns, vinegar is one of the best environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies.
Polish and Inspect
Reapply the polish. If areas begin to show wear over time, maintaining the sealant/polish will greatly extend the life of the sealant and minimize repair needs.
After you mop, Saltillo Tile floors need to be sealed. Use a sponge mop to apply the saltillo tile sealer over the entire floor. Begin at one end, proceed across and downwards to ensure you don’t miss any sections of the floor. Allow the sealer to dry after applying it evenly. You can use a damp cloth to clear any sealer spills.
Inspect for cracks. Tile floors can be cracked easier than you think. Moving furniture, or unskilled vacuuming can cause cracks. This is especially so in homes with older tile floors. Cracks can be repaired in some cases. In other cases, the cracked tile must be replaced. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to have a cleaning service do the housecleaning for your older tile floors. They are trained in it and have the right tools for the job.
With a housecleaning service, taking care of the tile is a snap. You will be able to take care of the tile yourself in between visits. But a tile floor represents an investment within the home and tile isn’t cheap. Isn’t it wise to take care of that investment professionally? When you have Saltillo Tile floors it is truly a wise investment.