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How to Remove Watermarks on Ceramic Tiles

Updated February 21, 2017

Water marks -- caused by mineral deposits left behind by hard water -- are especially common in kitchens and bathrooms. Although not damaging to ceramic tile, water marks are unsightly, especially on dark-coloured tile. The white film that is the mineral deposit makes your tile look dirty and grimy despite regular cleaning. They are, however, fairly easy to clean. Water marks are alkaline, so the best way to clean them off tile is with an acid-based ceramic tile-safe cleaner like most commercial lime and scale removers.

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  1. Coat the tile surface thoroughly with the lime and scale cleaner of your choice according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  2. Leave the cleaner in place for five to 10 minutes to give it time to dissolve the water mark.

  3. Scrub the surface of the tile with a nylon scrub brush. Scrub the grout and caulk surrounding the tile with a grout brush or an old toothbrush. Reapply the cleaner to tough to clean water marks if necessary.

  4. Wipe the cleaner away with a tile squeegee; wipe tile walls from top to bottom.

  5. Wipe the tile clean with a soaking-wet sponge; wipe tile walls from top to bottom.

  6. Wipe the water away with a tile squeegee.

  7. Tip

    Wipe away standing water whenever you notice it to prevent the build-up of more water marks. Merry Maids suggests using any grocery store cleaner that contains phosphoric acid (between 4 and 6 per cent). Vinegar and lemon juice are mild acids and can be used in place of commercial cleaners to clean away light water marks.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lime and scale cleaner
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Grout brush
  • Tile squeegee
  • Sponge
  • Water

About the Author

Meg Butler

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.

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