How do I deep clean and reseal saltillo tile floors?

by Ped14622973

I live in a 30+ year old home that has Saltillo tiles in the kitchen. They are stained and needs resealing. We recently tiled the remainder of the house and there is a big difference in the two colors even though I know they are the same tiles. I think that if I can deep clean the old tiles and then seal the entire house with a darker colored sealant it will bring it all together. HELP!

  10 answers
    • Sheila Garcia Sheila Garcia on Sep 01, 2018

      That’s exactly what I recently discovered after I bought a steamer for $108 ay Home Depot for my carpets. It dawned on me that all that hard scrubbing with my bad back wasn’t possible so I tried using very hot water in my steamer with some of the cleaning solution and let IT do the scrubbing for me! And it sucks up the dirt and excess water.

  • Ana Bacallao Ana Bacallao on Aug 31, 2018

    I have saltllo in my kitchen, family room and hallway. About 15 years ago we had it professionally refinished but since then, we've maintained it ourselves. We give it a real thorough cleaner with an alkaline professional cleaner (you can find it at HD) and then sealing it with some Trelab stone sealer. I try to reseal it at least once a year and it's really nice and shiny. Here's a link for instructions on cleaning:

  • BARBARA ANN BARBARA ANN on Sep 01, 2018

    Steam cleaned with ammonia then seal with tile sealer. I've steamed mine and boy what a difference it makes. The dirt just rolled up.

  • Connie Connie on Sep 01, 2018

    When I lived in a house with Saltillo, I waxed it using an Electrolux buffer. Never washed the tile. Oh, how gorgeous it was. Eventually, I used a tile stain and painted all the grout a dark color. It had turned light gray and the difference was dramatic. That was back when I could sit on the floor for hours!

  • Dee Dee on Nov 08, 2018

    I would buy a good cleaner degreaser at Home Depot or an auto store. Walmart sells Purple Power. Clean the floors really well. I like the suggestion from Sheila who used her carpet cleaner. I am going to try that.

    Maepi makes grout refresh in several different colors. I would change the color of the grout. I did this in both my bathrooms and it still looks great years later. It is not hard to do, just time consuming. and can be done in sections.

  • Laurie Gouge Laurie Gouge on Nov 08, 2018

    Get la awesome orange degreaser from any 1$ store .use a doodle bug (a scrub brush on stick) . Should lift pretty much anything..rinse well . You can get tile sealer and industrial wax from smart n final. You need to put several coats of wax on . If u really want to you can rent a burnished (a high powered buffer that melts the wax and will put a fine finish on it but I'm really happy with 4 or 5 coats of wax .good luck. Hope this helps

  • Em Em on Nov 08, 2018

    I agree with Laurie. I use Awesome for EVERYTHING. It tackles dirt other cleaners don't touch. And you can't beat the price. The old stuff doesn't look as bad as you think. A good scrubbing and the difference in color(s) adds a cool aged look. Scrub the tiles as well with it and I think it will look great. If you use a colorant on it , it will look odd. I did my shower walls with a grout paint and it looks great, but the floor should be different. After all it gets...well... walked on.

  • MeganO MeganO on Jul 30, 2020

    Been through this recently! Here is some good information -

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Feb 02, 2023

    Here are several tips and tricks that might help you

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 12, 2023

    Depends if they are sealed or not.

    Cleaning Sealed Tile

    When your tiles are sealed, you’re really cleaning the seal coat rather than the tiles themselves. If you’re looking for a quick clean weekly, this is just fine. Every year or so, however, it’s well worth removing the sealer and cleaning the exposed tiles.

    In the meantime, however, purchase an alkaline product to clean with. Most all-purpose household cleaners are alkaline products. Check the label to be sure.

    If cleaning sealed Saltillo Tile floors, dilute the product with lots of water. Use a soft brush or cleaning pad to gently scrub the tile. Have a mop and bucket of clean water handy for rinsing. Hiring a professional cleaning service that is trained to clean Saltillo Tile floors can be an alternative option for you if you are unsure or just don’t have the time.

    Cleaning Unsealed Tile

    Mix equal parts alkaline cleaner and hot water, and pour directly onto the tiles—working on one small area at a time. Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the tiles for 10 to 15 minutes before you begin scrubbing. Scrub with a floor brush or scrubbing pad. Rinse each section with a mop rinsed in hot water. If excess water collects on your floor, a shop vac may be used to suck it up. Wipe the floor down with a dry cloth or wait until it dries on its own.