How to clean metal scratches off of porcelain tile

Written by irene a. blake
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Metal scratches on porcelain tile typically come in two forms: metal marks that look like scratches and true scratches that contain metal particles in beneath-the-surface scoring. These marks or scratches can occur in a variety of ways, such as when a metal object falls on or is dragged across tile and when water containing leached metals drips on the tile surface and stains in streaks. Although the amount of cleaning required to remove the scratches off the porcelain tile depends on the type of damage, most scratches clean off quickly with a bit of scrubbing.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Container
  • Baking soda
  • Non-abrasive scrubbing pad
  • Soft-bristled brush (optional)
  • Medium-bristled brush (optional)
  • Melamine resin foam eraser (optional)
  • Whitening non-gel toothpaste (optional)
  • Rust removal product (optional)
  • Porcelain repair kit (optional)

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  1. 1

    Add a few drops of water to baking soda in a container until the baking soda takes on a paste-like consistency.

  2. 2

    Apply the paste to the stained area and scrub it across the surface or into the scratch with a damp non-abrasive scrubbing pad or soft-bristled brush. If you're dealing with a deep scratch, scrub it with a medium-bristled brush.

  3. 3

    Rinse the baking soda and metal particles away from tile. If you didn't remove all of the metal stain on the tile surface, rub the surface with a damp melamine resin foam eraser and rinse again. If you didn't remove all of the metal from a below-surface scratch, apply a bead of whitening non-gel toothpaste or a rust removal product to the scratch, wait five minutes -- or a shorter or longer period as directed on the product -- scrub the area and rinse again.

  4. 4

    Dry the tile to remove excess water when finished and then allow the tile to dry at least eight hours. If the tile still has visible below-surface scoring, apply a porcelain repair product to it to fix the scratch.

Tips and warnings

  • Always test any rust removal products on a small area of the tile before use to confirm that it won't damage the tile.
  • Always open windows, turn on exhaust fans and wear a mask when using any type of porcelain repair product as most products contain chemicals that release toxic fumes.

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