Asked on Oct 17, 2017

How to clean terra cotta like tile?



This tile is on my front porch. It isn’t true terra cotta but a brick fired tile. These spots are mostly on the exposed edge of the porch. how do I get it clean. I suspect it is from a tile clean and protect product I put on To give it a polished look. The product has been taken off the market. Hummmm
4 answers
  • Roxaneg
    on Oct 17, 2017

    Have you tried brushing it off? Efflorescence, the migration of salts to the surface of tiles and bricks, is usually remedied by brushing off the white periodically. It might be coming through the tile at those spots where the protection product has broken down.

    Try scrubbing the tile with a vinegar/water solution. Then when the white pops up again, brush it with a dry scrub brush and see if that works.

    A 50/50 solution of water and phosphoric acid applied to the tile, held there for 2 minutes and then thoroughly rinse with water might work. Try it on a less conspicuous spot.

    Sealing brick and tile doesn't usually work against efflorescence. I'm not 100% positive what this is, but water and vinegar and scrubbing won't hurt the tile. The phosphoric acid is regularly used in cleaning away grout residue and efflorescence.|THD|google|&mid=s|dc_mtid_8903pdd25182_pcrid_226790683437_pkw__pmt__product_100672861&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIq-24pe331gIVCJRpCh2gCwktEAYYASABEgJwIvD_BwE
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      on Oct 18, 2017

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  • Lin27451315
    on Oct 18, 2017

    I agree that trying the above to remove the residue you're seeing is certainly worth a try. If you can get it removed, I highly recommend using Murphy's Oil Soap on the tile. After living with tile for many, many years and not being able to find a product (and I pretty well tried them all!!) that would clean it and not leave spots or streaks, someone told me about Murphy's Oil Soap. It worked GREAT! It sounds like it would be the wrong product for this job, but it's not. HOWEVER, only mix it according to the directions or it could become slippery.
  • William
    on Oct 18, 2017

    DON'T use phosphoric acid on it. It will etch the surface. It doesn't look like efflorescence to me. Vinegar and water may work but I don't think so. Murphy's Oil Soap is for woodwork. Looks like the sealer has peeled off. You can try one cup of lemon scented ammonia to one gallon hot water to remove the sealer. Let it sit on the surface for a while to soften it and rinse/wipe off. You can also try the ammonia straight from the bottle.
  • Piet02ch
    on Oct 19, 2017

    Lubricating soap is the only one to clean these terracotta stones.
    Always clean with lukewarm water, wipe the floor.
    Never seal or apply anything else.
    Greetings from Switzerland.Peter
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