How do I safely clean antique ceramic tile?

We bought a home that was built in 1903. All the fireplace hearths have the original tile on them. Although there are a few cracks here and there I don't want to replace them, but how do I get 115 years worth of dirt off without possible doing damage?

  2 answers
  • Bijous Bijous on Jan 02, 2019

    Hi. Ceramic's pretty tough, but start with the obvious first: hot water and dish soap with a medium stiff scrub brush. It may take a couple of scrubbings and a good deal of elbow grease, but a lot of the grime should come off. If you still have spots that need some cleaning, use a stone cleaner and test on a small spot. If the cleaner works, finish the job, then seal. Done!


    And congrats on the "new" house!

    • Erika Kirby Erika Kirby on Jan 02, 2019

      Thank you! I am going to try vinegar first but, if that doesn't work, I will try the soap and scrub brush.

  • Lindy Lindy on Jan 03, 2019

    In an inconspicuous spot try a bit of smooth top stove cleaner. I've found that it is versatile and it cleaned the bottom of a burned pan back to a like new finish. If your tiles aren't painted or if they are glazed there should be no problem. Just a thought on the scrub brush--I might go with the softer kind to avoid possible scratching on the tile finish or maybe just a soft cloth instead. Good luck with the cleaning and lucky you already with those beautiful antique tiles. Wish you had before and after pictures