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How to clean terracotta floor tile

Terracotta has been used for centuries as a medium for sculpture, pottery and building materials. The look of the finely sifted, red clay is unmistakable when fired and it adds an old world charm to indoor and outdoor flooring. Not only does terracotta look great, it is also durable and easy to clean. Regular mopping with a gentle soap and some warm water is all that is generally needed to keep your terracotta in tip-top condition.

Sweep the terracotta floor tiles with a broom, or use a vacuum with a brush attachment, to remove any loose dirt or debris on the tile's surface. Remove as much loose material as you can before you begin mopping.

Add 5 ml (1 tsp) of gentle soap to a bucket of hot water. Use a rag mop to clean large areas of terracotta tiles. Change the water, and add new soap in between if the water becomes too dirty.

Add five drops of soap to the spray bottle filled with water. Applying the cleaner to the terracotta floor tiles with a spray bottle works perfectly for smaller areas. Generously spray the tiles with the soapy mixture and wipe the terracotta floor tiles clean with a microfibre cloth.

Use a stiff scrubbing brush to clean heavily soiled areas. The terracotta can be sprayed with the soap and water mixture, scrubbed with a stiff brush and wiped clean with a microfibre cloth.

Mix a paste of baking soda and water in a small bowl for removal of heavy stains on terracotta floor tiles. The paste can applied with a scrubber sponge or stiff scrubbing brush. Rinse afterwards, and wipe with a microfibre cloth.

Tip

Use a soap made from plant oils instead of synthetics and other dangerous chemicals.

Warning

Terracotta floor tile that is in poor condition, and beyond the point of being rejuvenated by traditional cleaning, may need professional help. Terracotta restorers can strip the floor tiles of their sealants using heavy chemical strippers. This process will remove ground-in dirt and stains. The terracotta can then be restored to its original beauty with the addition of new sealants.

Things You'll Need

  • Gentle plant oil-based soap
  • Bucket
  • Rag mop
  • 950 ml (32 fl oz) spray bottle
  • Stiff scrubbing brush
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Baking soda
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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.