Terracotta tiles, like any tiles, need to be cleaned fairly often. They are considered to be a porous, yet natural form of tile that is semi-cooked in an oven. Terracotta tiles come in various colors and styles, however, the rust-colored ones are the most popular often used in kitchens and hallways.
Cleaning the Terracotta tiles is important if you want them to have a long life, as well as add value to the home. Just day to day sweeping can keep them relatively clean without having to wet mop them.
Here is how to clean a Terracotta floor.
Step 1: Sweep Up
Using a soft-bristled broom or rope-like mop, sweep away any form of topical dirt from the tile floor such as dust, and/or any daily debris that has built up before attempting to wash down the Terracotta tiles. Any remaining debris could be pushed into the grout when it's wet, so it is important to sweep well first.
Step 2: Next, Mopping
Once the tile floor has been swept up and looks clean, put enough warm water into a deep bucket to clean the entire floor area. Add an equal part of white vinegar to the water and then plunge the mop head into the bucket. You might want to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and fingernails.
Step 3: Time for Cleaning
Run the mop head over the Terracotta tiles in long, sweeping motions vertically to avoid streaking marks. If there any tough stains, you might have to go over them a few times with the mop and a vinegar solution to get rid of stains.
Step 4: Harder Stains
For heavier or more prominent floor stains such as water or food stains on the Terracotta tiles, you might want to try using a light coat of Linwood oil. This oil can typically be bought at home improvement and/or specialty flooring stores, as well as a hardware shop. Be sure the floor is clean and dry before applying the oil.
Step #4: Wear Shoes
Wearing rubber sole or soft shoes like sneakers, place a small amount of Linwood oil on the mop head. The mop head should be a little damp so the oil can be absorbed into the mop rather than laying on top of it. Spread the oil on the tiles from corner to corner of the room, avoiding furniture and baseboards. Cover furnishings and baseboards prior to cleaning/oiling with plastic drop cloths so the areas do not get ruined.
Step #5: Dry Time
It is important to allow the Terracotta tiles to dry completely after you have washed and/or oiled them. Do not walk on them and keep away pets, as well as kids.
Step #6: Professional Products
For heavier stains and stains that you are not quite sure as to what they are or how to remove them properly and safely, purchase professional products at a flooring store. You can also ask your tile installer for the best way to clean Terracotta tiles and the safest.