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How to Clean Mexican Tile Floors

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Has your Mexican tile flooring got soiled again, and you can’t find the right way to clean it? Don’t worry! This guide summarizes detailed information on how to clean Mexican tile floors depending on its type of grime.

How to Clean Mexican Tile Floors

Saltillo, also known as Mexican tile, is a clay-based tile widely used for interior and exterior flooring. These highly durable tiles are not only cost-effective but also versatile.

Colorful mosaic tiles flooring with different shapes

However, one limitation of these tiles is that they get dirty quickly and require extra attention. The maintenance or cleaning of Mexican Tile involve: Cleaning, Sealing and protection. Both of the steps are necessary and should be followed properly.

There are 3 cases on how to clean Mexican tile floors and these are the following:

  • To Clean the Stripping Grouting
  • To Remove Grime
  • To Remove Stains

Case #1: To Clean the Stripping Grouting

  1. Mask off and cover any baseboards or neighboring areas to prevent overspray and splashing on surfaces that aren’t being treated.
  2. Dust mop or sweep away surficial dust particles.
  3. Combine a heavy-duty Coat with normal water in equal parts to obtain a smooth and soft coating.
  4. For an even coat, use a chemically inert paintbrush, deck brush, or roller.
  5. Let the stripping mix you made in step 3 sit for a time period of 20 minutes to 2 hours, or even longer if possible. To be on the safe side, don’t recoat the Heavy Duty coat before 24 hours have passed by.
  6. Take a firm bristled scrubbing brush or a hard-bristled broom or a floor machine with a brush at 175 pm.
  7. Rinse thoroughly with clear water and remove any residual cleaning solution with a mop, sponge, or wet vacuum.
  8. A portable or truck-mounted extraction machine and a hard surface extraction wand may be employed to ensure that all dirt, soil, and leftover cleaner have been removed. Wash it off again using a wet vacuum.

Case #2: To Remove Grime

To remove grease or oil grime from Mexican tile, use the following methods:

  1. Mask off and cover any baseboards or neighboring areas to prevent overspray and splashing on surfaces that aren’t being treated. Removes excess dirt and debris with a broom or a dust mop.
  2. Remove any waxes or coatings that have been applied to the surface.
  3. Mix a heavy-duty alkaline cleaner and degreaser with warm or hot water in equal proportions.
  4. Take a firm bristled scrubbing brush or a hard-bristled broom, or a floor machine with a brush at 175 rpm of 134-140 lbs.
  5. Use a chemical-resistant low-pressure sprayer, sponge, or mop to apply the above mixture in step 3 and wipe it on the floor.
  6. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and remove any remaining cleaning solution with a mop, sponge, or wet vacuum. Use a hard surface extraction wand and portable or truck-mounted extraction equipment for double-cleansing.
  7. Wash away or wet vacuum the flooring for the last time to remove any traces of cleaning mix residue, dirt, or dust particles off the Mexican tiles.
  8. Allow the area to dry before using Oil Stain Remover to remove deep or tenacious oil stains that were not thoroughly cleaned by the heavy-duty cleanser.
Blue floor tiles with mandala patterns

Case #3: To Remove Stains

To obliterate efflorescence, grout haze, salts, mineral deposits, and all other calcium-based stains from Mexican tiles (acidic cleaning), do as follows:

1. Perform a test over a small patch, as certain materials are vulnerable to acid and may etch if acidic cleansers are used.

2. Mask off and shield any baseboards or nearby areas to prevent overspray and spillage on surfaces that aren’t being treated.

3. Dust mop or sweep away excess dirt particles.

4. Remove all wax, acrylic, urethane, and other topical coatings from the tiles.

5. Make a Restore solution with warm or hot water to protect the tiles from future damages.

6. Take a chemically inert sprayer at low pressure, sponges, wipes, rags, or a usual mop and gently coat the restoration mix on the flooring.

7. Take a firm bristled scrubbing brush or a hard-bristled broom, or a floor machine with a brush at 175 rpm of 134-140 lbs. to get rid of the leftover cleaner residue or dirt that mopping didn’t obliterate in the previous step.

8. Wash thoroughly with clean water and remove any residual solution with a mop, sponge, or wet vacuum. You can also use a hard surface extraction wand or a truck-mounted extraction machine for the final sweeping and dusting.

9. Wash away or wet vacuum the flooring for the last time to remove any traces of cleaning mix residue, dirt, or dust particles off the Mexican tiles.

10. Dry-wipe the floor thoroughly.

Mexican Tile Sealing & Protection

Sealing is essential to reduce the discoloration of the natural stone flooring. If you don’t treat the natural stone surface for a long time, it may become even more challenging to remove stains entirely in the future.

However, the following ideas can help the stone to breathe while impregnating it. Allow the new setup to get hardened. Leave it for 72 hours before you apply the final coat of the sealer.

For Indoor Flooring

To achieve a natural look on Mexican Tiles, on indoor flooring, do as follows:

1. All dust, grime, and debris should be swept or vacuumed.

2. To avoid spilling and overspray onto areas that are not to be treated, mask off and cover any baseboards or surrounding areas.

3. Ensure that the area is clean and free of residue.

4. After one hour, remove the standing water and apply a Low-Cost Water-Based Fluorochemical Sealer or a Water-Based Fluorochemical Sealer available on the market to damp surfaces.

5. Using a low-pressure chemical-resistant sprayer, roller, or brush, apply an even coat of sealant.

6. Allow 20-30 minutes for the sealer to permeate the surface. Distribute the excess over the entire area during this period to ensure even penetration.

7. Wipe away any residual sealer before allowing it to harden on the surface.

8. For porous, absorbent surfaces, a second layer is required. Recoat the second layer 30-40 minutes after you apply the first coat, as stated above.

9. Wipe the whole area with a moistened towel to obliterate any leftover and extra sealer, if needed, at least 30 minutes after the last application.

10. After 24-72 hours, foot traffic may appear after 6-8 hours when the coat is wholly hardened. But, if the foot traffic starts appearing than the estimated time, we suggest you cover the floor with red rosin paper.

For Outdoor Flooring

To achieve a natural look on Mexican Tiles, on outdoor flooring, do as follows:

To have a natural-looking protector on Mexican tiles used for external flooring, use a Heavy Duty protector with good water repellency. These coats are incredibly resistant to chemicals (such as chlorine) and weather (such as UV light/sunlight, driving water/rain). They will make your Mexican flooring last longer than expected.

1. Vacuum or sweep all dust, grime, and debris.

2. Mask off and shield any baseboards or nearby areas to avoid overspray and splashing on surfaces that aren’t being treated.

3. Make sure the ground is spotless, dry, and free of residue.

4. Using a brush, paint rollers, or solvent-resistant low-pressure sprayer, apply an even layer of Heavy Duty Exterior Stone and Masonry Sealer.

5. Allow 15-30 minutes for the sealer to infiltrate the surface; if you are using some other sealer that is slightly denser than the Heavy Duty sealer, then it may take longer to permeate.

6. Distribute the surplus over the entire region during this time to ensure even penetration.

7. Wipe away any residual sealer before allowing it to cure on the surface.

8. For porous, absorbent surfaces, a second layer may require. If so, it should be coated one hour after the first coat as recommended above.

9. If the sealer was not entirely removed and a residue remains, wipe the complete flooring with a dampened sealer towel.

10. Remove residue with a clean, white absorbent towel after loosening it with a white, non-abrasive nylon brush or pad.

11. Wait at least 4-6 hours before walking on the surface. After 24-72 hours, the floor will be good to walk on.

Mosaic tiles flooring with cross patterns

On Mexican Tile, use a color-enhancing, impregnating (non-topical) protector to interior and external surfaces (high duty protection, water, and oil repellency):

1. Vacuum or sweep all dust, grime, and debris.

2. Mask off and shield any baseboards or nearby areas to avoid overspray and spilling on the area of the flooring not to be treated.

3. Wash away or wet vacuum the flooring to remove any traces of cleaning mix residue, dirt, or dust particles off the Mexican tiles.

4. Take a chemically inert sprayer at low pressure, sponges, wipes, rags, or a usual mop and gently coat the StoneTech Enhance ProTM on the flooring.

5. Allow 15-30 minutes for Enhancer ProTM to penetrate the surface; denser materials may require additional time.

6. Distribute the extras over the entire region during this time to ensure even penetration.

7. Wipe the surface till it becomes dry.

8. Don’t let enhancer pro dry too much on the surface!

9. If the enhancer is not removed from the surface, a film or residue may form that must be mechanically removed.

10. For permeable, water-absorbing surfaces or if you desire a darker looking floor, you should coat a second coat one hour after the first coat was applied as specified above.

11. After 24-72 hours, when the coat sets ultimately, foot traffic will start to appear within 6-8 hours.

12. Just in case foot traffic appears right before the prescribed time period, cover the Mexican tile flooring with red rosin paper.

Here is a detailed video on how to clean Mexican Tile floor.

Conclusion

As per a report, Mexico is one of the world’s top consumers of ceramic tiles. According to estimations, the country stands 9th on the list. The Residential sector dominates the tile-making industry over the commercial one because of the increase in demand for natural flooring among people.

So if you are also getting your flooring done in the upcoming days, don’t forget to follow this guide and pay extra attention to your lovely new flooring.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.