How to Clean Tiles After Builders

Lenard Nagy
Feb 4, 2024

Are you wondering how to clean tiles after builders have left your home or office? Do you want to restore the shine and beauty of your tiles without damaging them? If so, you are not alone. Many people face the challenge of cleaning tiles after construction, as they often get covered with dust, debris, grime, and stains.

Cleaning tiles after builders is not as simple as wiping them with a cloth. You need to follow the right techniques and precautions to ensure effective and safe tile cleaning. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps of how to clean tiles after builders, whether you have ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tiles. We will also share some tips and tricks to make your tile cleaning easier and faster.

By the end of this blog post, you will have a very in-depth understanding of how to clean tiles after builders. You will be able to enjoy the beauty and functionality of your tiles for years to come. So, let’s get started!

Why You Need to Clean Tiles After Builders

You may be wondering why you need to clean tiles after builders, especially if they look clean to the naked eye. The truth is, tiles can accumulate a lot of dirt and contaminants during the construction process, which can affect their appearance and performance. Here are some of the reasons why you need to clean tiles after builders:

To remove dust and debris

Dust and debris are inevitable by-products of any construction project. They can settle on the tile surface and in the grout lines, making them look dull and dirty. Dust and debris can also scratch and damage the tile surface, reducing its shine and durability.

To remove grout haze

Grout haze is a thin film of grout residue that forms on the tile surface after installation. It can make the tiles look cloudy and uneven, and interfere with the bonding of sealers and coatings. Grout haze can be hard to remove if left for too long, so it is important to clean it as soon as possible after the grout has cured.

To remove stains and spills

Stains and spills can occur during the construction process, such as paint, glue, oil, or cement. These can be very difficult to remove if they dry on the tile surface, and can cause permanent discoloration and damage. Therefore, it is essential to clean any stains and spills as soon as you notice them, using the appropriate cleaning products and methods.

To prepare the tiles for sealing

Sealing the tiles after installation is a crucial step to protect them from moisture, stains, and dirt. However, before you apply any sealer or coating, you need to make sure that the tiles are clean and free of any residue, dust, or grease. Otherwise, the sealer may not adhere properly, or may trap dirt and contaminants under the surface, compromising the tile’s appearance and performance.

As you can see, cleaning tiles after builders is not only a matter of aesthetics, but also of functionality and longevity. By cleaning the tiles properly after construction, you can enhance their beauty and ensure their durability.

How to Clean Tiles After Builders: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know why you need to clean tiles after builders, let’s see how to do it. The following steps will help you clean any type of tile, whether it is ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone. 

However, keep in mind that different tiles may have different characteristics and sensitivities, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations when cleaning them. 

Also, always test any cleaning product or method on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire tile surface, to check for any adverse reactions.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Before you start the cleaning process, it is essential to prepare the area to ensure effective and efficient tile cleaning. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Remove any large debris: Begin by removing any large debris, such as chunks of drywall, nails, or wood scraps, from the tile surface. Use a broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to carefully sweep the area.
  • Protect nearby surfaces: If there are adjacent surfaces or fixtures that you want to protect from cleaning solutions, cover them with plastic sheeting or towels. This will prevent any accidental damage during the cleaning process.
  • Gather cleaning supplies: Assemble all the necessary cleaning supplies, such as mild detergent or tile cleaner, a bucket, soft-bristle brushes, microfiber cloths, and a mop. Ensure you have enough ventilation in the cleaning area by opening windows or using fans if necessary.
  • Test cleaning products: Before using any cleaning solution on your tiles, it is advisable to test it in an inconspicuous area to check for any adverse reactions. Some tiles may be sensitive to certain chemicals, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Step 2: Clean the Tile Surface

Once you have prepared the area, you can proceed to clean the tile surface. Here are some tips and techniques to follow:

  • Use a mild detergent or tile cleaner: Prepare a bucket of warm water and add a mild detergent or tile cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer. Dip a mop into the solution, wring it out well, and then mop the tiles in a back-and-forth motion. Remember to regularly rinse and squeeze the mop to avoid spreading dirt around.
  • Scrub the tile surface: For stubborn dirt or stains, you may need to scrub the tile surface with a soft-bristle brush or a blue abrasive pad. Apply some pressure and work in circular motions, paying special attention to the grout lines. Do not use steel wool, scouring pads, or abrasive cleaners, as they can scratch and damage the tile surface.
  • Rinse the tile surface: After you have cleaned the tile surface, rinse it thoroughly with clean water, using a mop or a cloth. Make sure to remove any traces of detergent or cleaner, as they can leave streaks or residues on the tile surface. Dry the tile surface with a clean, dry cloth or a squeegee, to prevent water spots or marks.

Step 3: Remove Grout Haze

If your tiles have a grout haze on them, you will need to remove it to restore their clarity and shine. Grout haze can be removed using different methods, depending on the type of grout and tile you have. Here are some options to consider:

  • Use a grout haze remover: A grout haze remover is a commercial product designed to dissolve and remove grout residue from the tile surface. You can find different types of grout haze removers, such as acidicalkaline, or enzymatic, depending on the type of grout and tile you have. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions when using a grout haze remover, and wear gloves and eye protection. Apply the grout haze remover to the tile surface with a sponge or a cloth, and let it sit for the recommended time. Then, scrub the tile surface with a soft-bristle brush or a blue abrasive pad, and rinse with clean water. Repeat the process if necessary, until the grout haze is completely removed.
  • Use vinegar and water: Vinegar and water is a natural and inexpensive way to remove grout haze from ceramic or porcelain tiles. However, do not use vinegar on natural stone tiles, as it can etch and damage them. To use vinegar and water, mix one part of white vinegar with four parts of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the tile surface, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe the tile surface with a microfiber cloth, and rinse with clean water. Repeat the process if necessary, until the grout haze is completely removed.
  • Use baking soda and water: Baking soda and water is another natural and inexpensive way to remove grout haze from ceramic or porcelain tiles. However, do not use baking soda on natural stone tiles, as it can scratch and damage them. To use baking soda and water, mix one part of baking soda with four parts of warm water in a bucket. Dip a sponge or a cloth into the solution, and rub it onto the tile surface. Then, rinse the tile surface with clean water, and dry with a clean cloth. Repeat the process if necessary, until the grout haze is completely removed.

Step 4: Seal the Tiles

The final step of cleaning tiles after builders is to seal them. Sealing the tiles is a crucial step to protect them from moisture, stains, and dirt. Sealing the tiles also enhances their appearance and makes them easier to maintain. However, before you seal the tiles, make sure that they are completely clean and dry, and that the grout has cured for at least 48 hours. Here are some tips and techniques to follow:

  • Choose the right sealer: There are different types of sealers available for different types of tiles, such as penetrating sealerstopical sealers, or enhancer sealersPenetrating sealers are the most common and effective, as they penetrate into the tile and grout, forming a protective barrier against moisture and stains. Topical sealers form a coating on the tile surface, creating a glossy or matte finish. Enhancer sealers enhance the colour and texture of the tile, giving it a wet or polished look. Always choose the sealer that is suitable for your tile type and desired effect, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
  • Apply the sealer: To apply the sealer, you will need a sponge, a brush, a roller, or a sprayer, depending on the type and size of the tile. Apply the sealer evenly and generously over the tile surface, making sure to cover the grout lines as well. Avoid applying too much sealer, as it can cause streaks or bubbles. Work in small sections, and wipe off any excess sealer with a clean cloth before it dries.
  • Let the sealer dry: After applying the sealer, let it dry for the recommended time, usually between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the type and brand of the sealer. Do not walk on or touch the tiles during this time, as it can affect the sealer’s performance. Some sealers may require a second or third coat, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions and repeat the process if necessary.
  • Buff the tile surface: Once the sealer has dried completely, buff the tile surface with a clean, dry cloth or a microfiber mop, to remove any haze or residue, and to enhance the shine and finish of the tiles.

Tips and Tricks to Clean Tiles After Builders

Cleaning tiles after builders can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but it can be made easier and faster with some tips and tricks. Here are some of them:

Use the right tools and products

Using the right tools and products can make a big difference in the quality and efficiency of your tile cleaning. Always use soft-bristle brushes, microfiber cloths, and mops, as they are gentle and effective on the tile surface. 

Avoid using steel wool, scouring pads, or abrasive cleaners, as they can scratch and damage the tile surface. Also, use mild detergents or tile cleaners that are suitable for your tile type, and avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach, ammonia, or acid, as they can discolour or etch the tile surface.

Clean as soon as possible

The sooner you clean the tiles after builders, the easier and faster it will be. If you wait too long, the dirt and stains may become harder to remove, and the grout haze may become more stubborn. Therefore, it is advisable to clean the tiles as soon as the construction is finished, or within a few days at most.

Use warm water

Warm water is more effective than cold water in dissolving and removing dirt and grime from the tile surface. Warm water also helps to activate the cleaning agents and to rinse the tile surface more thoroughly. However, do not use boiling water, as it can damage the tile surface or the grout.

Use vinegar or baking soda for natural cleaning

If you prefer to use natural and eco-friendly cleaning solutions, you can use vinegar or baking soda to clean your tiles after builders. Vinegar and baking soda are both effective in removing grout haze, stains, and odours from the tile surface. 

However, do not use them on natural stone tiles, as they can harm them. Also, do not mix vinegar and baking soda together, as they will neutralise each other and lose their cleaning power.

Use a steam cleaner for deep cleaning

A steam cleaner is a great tool to use for deep cleaning your tiles after builders. A steam cleaner uses hot water vapour to loosen and lift dirt and grime from the tile surface and the grout lines, without using any chemicals or detergents. 

A steam cleaner can also sanitise and deodorise your tiles, killing germs and bacteria, and eliminating odours. However, do not use a steam cleaner on natural stone tiles, as it can cause them to crack or spall.

Conclusion

Cleaning tiles after builders is an important step to maintain the beauty and functionality of your tiles. By following the steps and tips we have shared in this blog post, you can clean your tiles effectively and safely, whether you have ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tiles. 

You can also hire a professional cleaning company, such as Perfect Clean, to do the job for you. We have the experience, equipment, and skills to clean your tiles to the highest standards, and to make them look as good as new. Contact us today, and get a free quote for your tile cleaning needs. You will be amazed by the results!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove dust and debris from tiles after construction?

Start with dry sweeping or vacuuming using a soft brush attachment. Then, use a microfiber mop for fine dust, and for more stubborn dirt, mop with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Pay special attention to grout lines, using a soft-bristle brush if needed.

How can I clean grout lines effectively?

Pre-treat grout lines with a grout cleaner or a DIY mixture of baking soda and water. Scrub using a grout brush or old toothbrush, rinse thoroughly, and for tough stains, use a vinegar and water solution. Consider sealing the grout after cleaning.

What should I use to clean tiles after construction?

It's recommended to use products specifically designed to remove grout for ceramic surfaces. Alternatively, use a mild detergent or tile cleaner with warm water and a soft cloth. For porcelain and ceramic tiles, a solution of vinegar and water is effective.

What is the best way to clean tiles after laying them?

Initially, use a dry sponge or mop 15 minutes after installation, followed by a wet sponge to remove excess grout.

How do I clean bathroom tiles after construction?

Vacuum to eliminate particles and dust, dampen the tiles with a cleaning solution, scrub with a non-abrasive pad, and use a grout brush for grout lines.

What is the best method to remove cement dust from a house after construction?

Use a vacuum cleaner or shop vac to remove loose dust and fine particles. Start with upholstery and curtains, then move to furniture and floors. Vacuum carpets multiple times for best results.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
About Author
Founder @ Perfect Clean

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.

Founder @ PerfectClean

The founder of Perfect Clean, is an experienced cleanliness expert, dedicated to providing top-notch house cleaning services in Dublin. He leads Perfect Clean with a relentless commitment to providing top-notch sanitation solutions for diverse client needs.