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Old 01-25-2014, 03:47 PM   #1
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Tile never clean


I'm at my wits end in my new place. I recently bought a house. I'm not a home-improvement type person. It's about 1,000 square feet, and all flooring is done in glazed ceramic tile. It's a kind of tan/orange, with gray grout, like concrete.

This floor is never, ever clean. I basically have to wear shoes in the house, as the dirty tile ruins socks. Brand new socks are dirty and ruined after only a few minutes of walking around the place.

When I first moved in, I swept, vacuumed, mopped, etc, and repeated. I eventually bought a Hoover FloorMate hard floor cleaning machine and used that. It didn't really get me anywhere. No matter how many times I'd wash with the Hoover, the water still came up dirty. I also bought a grout brush online that attached to the broom handle and scrubbed out all the grout with tile/grout cleaner.

I eventually bought some Dupont tile cleaner at Lowes, along with a deck brush that attaches to a broomstick, and scrubbed every inch of the house. It came up very dirty, but the tile seemed cleaner. I vacuumed and ran the FloorMate again, and there was no change. Still dirty all the time.

I moved on to a relatively cheap Shark steam mop and was using it several times a day to try and get rid of the dirt. The pads would come up dirty every time, no matter how many times I just cleaned the same spot.

So with all my white socks stained with dirt, and all of my black socks stained silver on the bottom, I went back to Home Depot and discussed it with their flooring person. We concluded that the previous owners must not have sealed the grout. The tile is glazed ceramic, which is not supposed to be sealed.

So I end up buying a bottle of TILELab grout sealer and the bottle applicator with the roller on it, and spend two days crawling around on the floor sealing every grain of grout in the house. Leaving it for 5 minutes and then wiping it up like the bottle says. After letting it sit for a day, I got the FloorMate back out and cleaned the whole floor with it again (always just plain water). After that, I get the steam mop out and do it all again, just to make sure it's completely clean. I put on a brand new pair of clean white socks I bought just to test it, and walked around for five minutes. The bottom of the socks were stained dirty AGAIN.

What is wrong with this flooring? No one at Lowes or Home Depot seems to be able to offer any real solutions. I'm a few hundred bucks into hardware and products to clean and seal it, and it hasn't gotten me anywhere. Now I'm basically broke. I don't know what else to do with it. All my socks are ruined. I have to wear shoes in the house or I'll just ruin more. The windows/doors are closed and I'm not running the heat/AC. There's no way in hell the floors are getting this dirty again this fast. I can scrub them 10 times a day and they're still always dirty.

What can this be? Is there any way to ever make this floor clean? It's my first time with tile floors. I never imagined something like this would happen.

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by Shawn8; 01-26-2014 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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Tile never clean


What color is your grout? Do a test with a clean sock/towel...get it wet and wipe it on the tile itself, not the grout. Anything? Do the same with just the grout. Even poorly sealed grout shouldn't be bleeding this much.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:39 AM   #3
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Tile never clean


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What color is your grout? Do a test with a clean sock/towel...get it wet and wipe it on the tile itself, not the grout. Anything? Do the same with just the grout. Even poorly sealed grout shouldn't be bleeding this much.
It's both. I grabbed the lightest rags I could find but didn't really get much out of it, so I went to the store to look for some. I didn't find any, but I saw some pure white Scotch Brite magic eraser sponges. I got them wet and wiped down the face of a few random tiles around the house and squeezed them out into a glass. The water was filthy. I tried a couple grout lines with the same result. I even opened a bottled water and used that (just in case the tap water was an issue, it's pretty bad here). Same thing. Somehow after all the scrubbing on both the tiles and the grout has done nothing. There aren't any heavier chemicals available, and if the deck brush, grout brush, and FloorMate have all been ineffective, I have no clue what type of hardware will get this floor clean. It seems the harder I scrub, the more dirt I get down to, with no end in sight. These tiles seem to be able to hold an infinite amount of dirt for being pre-sealed glazed ceramic.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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Tile never clean


It sounds like you have a terra cotta tile.

Try going to stone tech tile sealers and cleaners.

They also have videos for using their products.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:55 PM   #5
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Tile never clean


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Originally Posted by olzo55
It sounds like you have a terra cotta tile.
That's what I first thought too, but, in the 1st paragraph Shawn clearly said the tiles are "glazed ceramic tile".

So I have no idea. Actually I resisted to answer cuz it makes no sense and thought we were being played.

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Old 01-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #6
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Tile never clean


I had unglazed terra cotta in my first home and it was never clean despite scrubbing on hands and knees. My only thought for you is that some of the carpet cleaning companies such as Stanley Steamer advertise tile cleaning. Maybe you could spring for that and immediately seal the grout.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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Tile never clean


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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
That's what I first thought too, but, in the 1st paragraph Shawn clearly said the tiles are "glazed ceramic tile".

So I have no idea. Actually I resisted to answer cuz it makes no sense and thought we were being played.

Jaz
I've had contractors call marble ceramic,too. It occurs to me that a new homeowner might not be using the right terms.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:07 PM   #8
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Tile never clean


They previous owners had a couple extra boxes of tile and left them in the garage. "Marazzi glazed ceramic tile". No doubt about it. I've taken a tile down to Home Depot/Lowes and had them inspect them, they knew what type of tile they were before I told them.

I'm pretty much at the point where I have to steam mop the floors every single day, if not twice, just so I can wear socks without ruining them. Bare feet are not an option. If I haven't mopped in a day, I have to wear shoes. No open windows, no heat/AC running. Can't be that much dust coming in.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:05 AM   #9
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Tile never clean


You need to post a picture. Otherwise everyones's guessing. Or call Stone Tech and they might be able to figure it out.
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