Outdoor tiles are a great way to beautify a space, but you do need to clean them regularly. Identify what your tiles are made of (porcelain, wood, composite, or solid stone). Dust or dry mop the dirt and debris before you wash the tiles with a mild soap or vinegar solution. You’ll need to deep clean the tiles once or twice a year to prevent mold and mildew from growing. To keep the tiles looking great, always avoid using abrasive cleansers and products.
Cleaning Porcelain Tiles
Sweep the tiles daily. Try to sweep your porcelain tiles every day or so. Use a soft, natural bristle broom or take a vacuum attachment and suck up the dirt. Regular sweeping will prevent your tiles from becoming caked with dirt and stained.
- If your porcelain tiles lead up to an entryway for your house, you’ll want to sweep them more often. This will prevent people from tracking dirt into your house.
Wash the tiles with clean water once per week. Every few days (or whenever you notice a little dirt or grime building up) you should clean your outdoor porcelain tires with warm water. Fill a bucket with clean, warm water and mop the tiles. This will remove most of the dirt and keep the tiles looking their best.
- Try to wring most of the water out of the mop. You don’t want excess moisture just sitting on the tiles.
Deep clean the tiles once a month. At least once a month, fill a large bucket with 2 gallons (7.6 L) of clean water. Add 1⁄4 cup (59 ml) of white vinegar and stir the mixture well. Submerge a mop into the cleanser and wring it out. Mop the floor with the cleaner to loosen any dirt.
- If you prefer, you can buy a commercial cleaner designed for porcelain tiles instead of using the vinegar mixture.
Rinse and dry the deep-cleaned tiles. Once you’ve scrubbed the floors with the vinegar mixture, submerge the mop into clean water and wring it out. Mop the floor with the water to rinse off the rest of the cleanser. Take a large clean towel or microfiber cloth and dry the tiles.
- If your porcelain tiles are really dirty, you may need to deep clean and rinse them a second time.
- If your porcelain tiles cover a large space, consider mopping, rinsing, and drying small sections of the floor at a time.
Remove stains as soon as you notice them. Try to remove any stains as soon as you notice them. Fill a 5 US gal (19 L) bucket with water. Buy a commercial floor cleaner that’s safe to use on porcelain and add 3 to 4 capfuls of the product to the water. Use a small brush or mop to scrub the mixture over the stain until it’s removed.
- Avoid using an oil-based cleanser for stain removal on your porcelain tiles. These can leave an oily residue on the tiles which can make them slippery.
Avoid cleaning with abrasive materials. While you might think that you need to scrub built on dirt with a rough brush, you should avoid anything that’s abrasive to the porcelain. Avoid using abrasive cleaners like:
- Hard bristle brushes or steel wool
- Cleaning products with ammonia or bleach
- Oil-based detergents or wax cleansers
Cleaning Wood and Composite Tiles
Sweep the wood or composite tiles every few days. Try to sweep your tiles every day or as soon as you notice dirt, leaves, or grime. Use a soft, natural bristle broom to remove the debris that’s on the tiles. Regular sweeping will prevent your tiles from becoming caked with dirt or stained.
Wash the tiles with soap and water at least once a month. Fill a 5 US gal (19 L) bucket with water and a few squirts of mild dish soap. The water should be soapy and bubbly. Dip a mop into the soapy water and wring it out. Mop the tiles until you’ve removed the dirt.
- You can use a string mop or sponge head mop. Just avoid using a scratchy or abrasive mop on the tiles.
Rinse the tiles. If you’re cleaning a large space, take a garden hose and rinse the tiles with clean water to remove any soap residue. If you’re cleaning a small area, you can dip the mop in clean water and wring it out. Mop over the tiles so they’re rinsed with the clean water.
Remove any grease stains. As soon as you notice an oily stain, wipe up whatever caused it. Dip a sponge or soft cloth into soapy water and wash the stain. This might remove the stain on its own. If not, use a deck stain remover that’s specifically made for wood or composite tiles. You’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The longer the stain sits on the tile, the harder it will be to remove. That’s why it’s important to clean up the stain quickly.
Deep clean your tiles twice a year. In addition to keeping your wood and composite tiles swept and clean, you should try to deep clean the tiles in the spring and fall. Buy a tile cleaner developed for wood or composite. It should contain sodium hypochlorite. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Sodium hypochlorite will prevent mold and mildew from growing on your tiles.
Avoid cleaning with abrasive materials. Your wood or composite tiles may become slightly scuffed over time. These scuffs may disappear on their own, so avoid trying to remove them with abrasive cleansers (like sandpaper or pressure washers).
- If you place salt or ice on your tiles in the winter, clean it off as soon as the hazardous weather passes. Ice and salt can damage the tiles if they sit on them for very long.
Cleaning Solid Stone Tiles
Dry mop solid stone tiles every day or two. Dry mop your tiles every day or as soon as you notice dirt or debris. The dry dust mop will prevent sand and grit from rubbing against the tiles which can cause scratches. You should dry mop if your tiles are made of:
Wash the tiles with soap and water. Fill a 5 US gal (19 L) bucket with water and a few squirts of mild dish soap or stone soap. Dip a mop into the soapy water and wring it out. Mop the tiles in small, overlapping circles to remove the dirt and prevent streaking.
- Choose a soapstone with a pH level of 7 or try to find a soapless cleanser since it won’t leave streaks. If you’re using dish soap, choose one that’s phosphate-free and biodegradable.
Identify if you should use a bleach solution. To remove algae or moss, clean the tiles with a bleach solution. If your solid stone tiles are near a pool, patio, or hot tub, wash them off with clean water. Pour 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water into a bucket and stir in 4 tablespoons (59 ml) of bleach. Use a sponge or mop to wash the area with the mild bleach solution.
Rinse and dry the tiles. If you’re cleaning a large space, take a garden hose and rinse the tiles with clean water to remove any soap residue. If you’re cleaning a small area, you can dip the mop in clean water and wring it out. Mop over the tiles so they’re rinsed with the clean water. Wipe the tiles with a soft cloth until they’re dry and let them air dry completely.
- You’ll need to change the water several times and keep rinsing until the soap residue is completely removed.
- Stone tiles tend to fade in color over time due to sun exposure, so use a stone enhancer and sealer to protect them. Make sure you find one that is safe for outdoor use.
Avoid cleaning with abrasive materials. Never clean your solid stone tiles with anything that’s abrasive. These can scratch and damage the tiles. When making or buying cleansers, avoid:
- Hard bristle brushes
- Vinegar or lemon juice
- Products with acid cleansers
Add New Question
How do I shine outdoor stone tiles?
Michelle Driscoll is the Owner of Mulberry Maids based in northern Colorado. Driscoll received her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2016.
Founder, Mulberry Maids
A stone enhancer and sealer will help restore the tile, especially to tile that has faded from the sun. There are a variety of products that are safe for outdoor use at the hardware store.
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Things You’ll Need
- Soft towels or microfiber cloths
- White vinegar
- Mild dish soap
- Garden hose
About This Article
To clean porcelain outdoor tiles, sweep them every day with a soft, natural bristle broom. Once a week, fill a bucket with clean, warm water and mop the tiles to remove dirt buildup. Deep clean the tiles once a month by mopping them with a cleaning solution made with 2 gallons of water mixed with 1⁄4 cup of white vinegar. Finish up by mopping the floor with plain water and drying the tiles with a microfiber cloth. For tips on cleaning other types of outdoor tiles, like wood or stone, read on!
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