When it comes to cleaning and maintaining your Saltillo tile floors, you must keep in mind that they are a soft and porous. This tends to make it rather difficult to clean and maintain. Saltillo tiles are one of the natural stone floors that require having a topical sealer applied to them, which makes them even tougher to keep clean.
Before beginning to clean the Saltillo you must first test and see if there is a topical sealer. You can do this by pouring a small amount of water to the surface and if it beads, then there is more than likely a topical sealer. If you do have a topical sealer, then you will be cleaning the topical sealer. If you find that it is not getting cleaned the way you wish, you may have to strip off the topical sealer and then reapply.
The cleaning solution you will need to use to clean the Saltillo is an alkaline cleaner that you mix with some hot water. You will then need to pour it right onto the Saltillo tile flooring. Allow it to set for about 15 minutes or so, this lets the solution loosen up all the dirt and grime.
Do not allow the solution to dry on the Saltillo tiles, so be sure to constantly keep adding more of the solution. If your tiles have never been sealed, the solution will get soaked up quickly so keep up on adding more cleaning solution so that the tiles remain saturated for the full 15 minutes or more.
Next, using an aggressive scrub pad or even a scrub brush you can start scrubbing the Saltillo tiles. This will help breakdown the dirt and grime while the solution is soaking. It is safe to use the scrub brush and pad against the Saltillo tile without fear of scratching them.
Once you have loosened all of the dirt and grime, make sure to thoroughly rinse the tiles and grout to remove all of the cleaning solution. The best way to rinse is by using a bucket of hot water and mop.
If you find that there are still some stains in certain areas of the grout, it is time to break out an acidic cleaner. Simply pour this directly onto the tiles and grout and use that aggressive scrub pad or scrub brush to scrub the stain out.
If you find that your Saltillo tiles have a topical sealer, using the alkaline cleaner and allowing it to soak on the tiles can actually start to break the topical and damage the look of the sealer. This can be avoided by diluting the alkaline cleaner and using a soft, gently scrub pad. You do not wish to damage the topical, so using a soft scrub pad will prevent scratching.
This process will only slightly soften the topical sealer so that it allows the dirt and grime that is embedded in it to be removed without causing damages to the topical itself.
Once you have removed all the dirt and grime from the topical sealer, rinse it thoroughly with hot water until all traces of the cleanser is removed and allow it to dry. This will allow the sealer to re-harden and give that nice and clean look again.
If this process does not clean the dirt and grime from the topical sealer, the next step would to be strip the topical sealer and reapply a new one. Once you do this, it will make our Saltillo look nice and new again.
When in doubt contact a professional, contact us today to schedule your appointment to polish your natural stone flooring or if you have any questions.
Floor ReNew Houston
Natural Stone Restoration
4530 W. 34th Street Suite C
Houston, TX 77092