Which cleaning products are not easy to clean?
The most common damage caused by the laying of tiles is related to the so-called final construction cleaning, which is not carried out or not carried out properly. This means the initial cleaning after the completion of new construction, conversion or renovation work. After cleaning after construction work, the surfaces should be free from handicraft dirt (mortar, plaster, paint splashes, drilling dust, etc.) as well as from protective films and labels; In addition, surfaces should be free of dust, wipe marks and streaks.
The planner should always explicitly include final cleaning in the tender for tile work, as otherwise the tilers often only carry out a major cleaning of the building. While cement residue and adhesive residue are usually removed by the processors after installation without leaving any residue, alkaline cleaning (pH 9 to 12) is usually not carried out. The residues of the cement-based, plastic-modified jointing compounds (see article "Joints: types according to raw material basis") cannot be removed with acidic cleaners (pH value 2 to 6). Even after carefully washing the flexible joints, residues of the invisible plastic can remain in the washing-up water and leave stains or even full-surface films on the tile surface. Often enough, these stains or the film of the liquid plastic that remains are only discovered when the floor is in use. Then it is almost too late because the plastic with "very good adhesive properties" has hardened on the tile surface. After inserting a flexible joint, it is therefore always advisable to first clean with alkaline and then acidic. If you then scrub with a suitable pad, then absorb the dirt and neutralize the surface well with a sufficient amount of water, the tile covering should be thoroughly clean.
Since grouts are often sensitive to acids, they must be hardened before cleaning; In addition, the joints must be sufficiently pre-moistened before treatment with the cement film remover in order to prevent the cement film remover from penetrating too deeply into the grout. By pre-wetting, the absorbency of the joint is saturated with water before cleaning. The cleaner then largely only works on the surface of the covering. Rinsing also reduces the attack of the aggressive cement film remover to a minimum.
Hardened elastic joints (silicone joints) are usually unproblematic. A waiting period of three days must be observed when using alkaline cleaning agents and ten days when using acidic cleaning agents. In the case of fast-setting joint mortars, a shorter waiting time may be possible under certain circumstances (take manufacturer's information into account).
If tiles with a high surface roughness are used, it should be noted that cement veils adhere extremely to such surfaces; In this case, it is advisable to use a grouting material that can withstand removal of the cement film shortly after the grouting has been completed. The installation material manufacturers will give appropriate recommendations on request - in some cases also on site - and, in case of doubt, will also issue a declaration of no objection on request. It should also be pointed out that cement film removers reduce the adhesion in the area of the joints.
Unsuitable cleaning and care products
But even if a tile surface has been properly cleaned after construction work, damage can still occur. The use of unsuitable cleaning and care products as well as the improper application of the agents used can damage the joints and, in extreme cases, the tiles and other materials in the room. For example, acidic cleaners based on hydrochloric acid attack metal. Corroded metals have already led to enormous amounts of damage in unsuccessful attempts at cleaning with these agents. And the glazed porcelain stoneware tiles with a metal look also have their pitfalls. Most manufacturers forget to mention that the metal-containing minerals used in the glaze are attacked by hydrochloric acid. The iron released in the process combines with oxygen and rust is created. Paradox about it: Especially with cement film removers, rust stains can also be removed - just not on metal-containing surfaces.
If you mix - true to the motto: a lot helps a lot - different household cleaners with each other, this can have devastating consequences, not only for the tile flooring, but also for the health of the people in the room. The combination of sanitary cleaners containing chlorine and vinegar or toilet cleaners can, for example, give rise to toxic chlorine gas. This reaction can still take place even if both cleaners are used one after the other. Likewise, with the appropriate detergent mixture, even hydrofluoric acid can form.
Most of the time, however, it is simply incorrectly cleaned or inappropriate cleaning and care products are used. Film-forming cleaning agents (soap, washing-up liquid, etc.) and care products, for example, should never be used on tiles. The surface properties of the tiles must also be taken into account. Heavily structured, slip-resistant tiles cannot be wiped off with a microfiber cloth - a scrubber is required here. The following applies to larger objects: It is better to use a suction-brush machine than a single-disc cleaning machine. And above all: use enough fresh water! Unfortunately, many cleaners only distribute the dirt evenly over the surface because they can get by on hundreds of square meters with a bucket of water. However, today they hardly have the time for a thorough cleaning, since - even according to calculations by reputable sources - they are allowed less than a minute for ten square meters of floor space. In addition, cleaning companies now only receive an order if they are (too) tightly calculated.
With a thorough cleaning - exactly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions - these surfaces can be returned to their original state. The tile manufacturers' cleaning and care instructions also contain suitable recommendations and processing instructions for special forms of soiling.
Expertise on the subject
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