How to Clean Outdoor Tiles

How to Clean Outdoor Tiles

Your tiles are a significant feature of your outdoor space. With the ability to imbue your garden or courtyard with an elevated design appeal whilst also providing functionality and ease, tiles are a great all-rounder material.

Your outdoor tile flooring is incredibly durable and a smart long-term investment that if properly cared for, can last you for decades to come. Keeping your tiles clean and debris-free is the best way to maintain this investment, and ensure your outdoor tiles look great throughout the years.

If you don’t know how to clean your outdoor tiles, don’t panic! We have put together an expansive guide to walk you through the need-to-know tips for cleaning your outdoor tiles, so whether you’re looking for information on how to clean your outdoor non-slip tiles, or how to keep your grout clean, we cover it all.

Cleaning Outdoor Tiles (in 6 Simple Steps)

Cleaning your outdoor tiles will prevent mould and grime build up from compromising the aesthetic and structural value of your outdoor tiles. By removing the harmful contaminants that can cause erosion and wear, you can ensure that your gorgeous outdoor tiles stay fresh and sleek for years to come. For a simple guide on how to clean your outdoor tiles, follow these tips:

○        Tools and cleaning products you will need:

■        Hose or bucket

■        Firm-bristled broom

■        Tile cleaner (we recommend Drytreat Alkaline Cleaner Hanafinn)

Pre-clean routine

  • Firstly begin by hosing the area down.
  • Sweep the area to remove any leaves, dirt and debris.

1. Sweep the tiles daily

  • Vigorously sweep your tiles. Sweeping on a regular basis will ensure your outdoor tiles don’t end up caked with dirt and build up grime or stains which can be difficult to remove.

2. Wash the tiles with clean water once per week

  • If you have a hose, use that to wet the area. If not, use a bucket and/or a mop to ensure the outdoor tiles are sufficiently wet.

3. Deep clean the tiles once a month

  • Applying a deep cleaner over the tiles will help to remove grime and excess build-up, without requiring harsh scrubbing.
  • Deep cleaning also helps to prevent cracks and erosion.

4. Rinse and dry the deep-cleaned tiles

  • To finish the process, hose down the area to remove the excess dirt or grime that remains, ensuring a thorough clean.

5. Remove stains as soon as you notice them

  • Similar to stain removal for clothing, it is best to remove stains as soon as they occur.
  • The sooner you get to a mark or a stain, the less likely it is to cause permanent damage and the easier it will be to remove.

6. Avoid cleaning with abrasive materials

  • It’s best to leave the steel wool under the kitchen sink. Using abrasive materials will damage the finish of the tile, leaving the surface much more vulnerable to staining and pitting.

how to clean outdoor pavers

How to Clean Different Tile Types

Different tiles require different means of cleaning. Each material can respond differently to cleaning products, which is why it’s best to do some research first to ensure your tiles stay in tip-top condition. For a specific handbook on how to clean your outdoor tiles, look no further.

Porcelain & Ceramic Tiles:

When it comes to cleaning outdoor porcelain and ceramic tiles, the guidelines are simple! These hard wearing and durable tiles are popular across Australian households due to their strength and low-maintenance appeal. To clean these tiles, follow the steps listed above. For porcelain and ceramic tiles, it’s best to use a pH neutral cleaner, such as Amberclean. Wash and dry the tiles and watch them sparkle!

Marble Tiles:

When it comes to cleaning your beautiful marble tiles, the gentler, the better. Marble’s soft, porous materiality is susceptible to staining and scratches, so it’s best to be careful when cleaning. If taken care of properly, marble can age beautifully and maintain its refined, elegant aesthetic for many years to come. To ensure you’re taking the best care of your marble, use a pH neutral cleaner such as Amberclean and steer clear of acidic solutions and abrasive scrubbing tools.

Slate and Natural Stone Tiles:

Similar to marble tiles, when cleaning slate and natural stone tiles, it’s best to avoid anything acidic and instead use a pH neutral cleaner. Acidic cleaners will break down the slate, and can cause cracks that require expensive repairs or even replacement. If you’re unsure how to clean rough outdoor tiles, the same process applies.

How To Remove Organic Matter From Outdoor Tiles

  • Before you get started with wetting the area, you’ll first need to ensure that the tiles are clear from organic matter i.e. leaves, stones, twigs and general natural debris.
  • Take your hard bristled brush and thoroughly sweep the area. Alternatively, if you have a leaf blower you can also use this.
  • From here, you can use your tile cleaner to remove the stains that may have been caused by the organic matter.
  • After cleaning and soaking the tiles for approximately 5 minutes, rinse the area and let dry.
how to clean outdoor pavers

How To Remove Stubborn Stains From Outdoor Tiles

  • Stubborn stains can wreak havoc on your outdoor tiles. The good news is that most stains can be removed without causing damage.
  • To remove stains, consider cleaning your outdoor tiles with a pressure washer. However, to ensure you don’t damage the stone it’s best to use a fan spray rather than a smaller nozzle which may put too much stress on the tile’s surface.
  • In the same way as regular cleaning, after hosing the tiles, sweep the area and apply a tile cleaner  to the marked area or all over for a general deep-clean. Leave this cleaning solution on the tiles for 5 minutes before washing.

How To Protect Outdoor Tiles Post-Clean

  • A large majority of outdoor tiles will be constructed with 20mm dense porcelain, and therefore don’t necessarily require sealing. However, sealing your tiles offers peace of mind and increases the longevity of your tiles.
  • To protect your tiles and ensure that they stay looking fresh for years to come, Amberseal is a great option.
  • Amberseal is a solvent based sealer that provides a natural looking finish on porous stone & tiles, with high stain resistance and longlife benefits.
  • Suitable for outdoor tiles and natural stone, Amberseal is also an excellent grout cleaner and is resistant to mould and mildew.

How To Clean Grout Joints on Outdoor Tiles

  • Organic matter and exposure to the elements can cause grime to build up in your grout.
  • If your grout has seen better days, try Drytreat Acidic Cleaner. Ideal for removing efflorescence, limescale, mortar mess and grout haze, this cleaner will turn your grout from grubby to glistening in no time.
  • If you’re unsure how to clean your outdoor tiles with acid, the best way is to spray the product onto the grout, leave for approximately 5 minutes, then work onto the joints using your firm-bristled brush or broom.
  • Once you’ve done this, rinse the area with cold water, or if you have a pressure washer, you can use this to ensure you’re giving the area a serious clean.
  • In order to protect your grout for years of use, consider using the Amberseal Grout Sealer.

Outdoor Tile Cleaning FAQs

What is the best cleaner for outdoor tiles?

Amber Tiles has a cleaner for every purpose. For example, if you're trying to remove stubborn stains that have built up over a long period of time, you may need something like our Spirit HDC. This heavy-duty alkaline cleaner is designed to rid your tiles of long-term inbuilt grease and grime.

If you’re looking to do a general clean and remove marks from oil, grease, mould, leaf marks or food and beverages, Drytreat Alkaline Cleaner (Hanafinn) would be your go-to. This cleaner is odourless but extremely powerful, with detergent-boosted qualities and the ability to be used on natural stone, tile, masonry, concrete, brick, grout, vinyl and raw or unfinished wood.

If you’re unsure where to source the materials to clean your outdoor tiles, Bunnings will sell the bucket and broom, whilst your local Amber Tiles will have all the cleaners and sealers you may need.

How do you clean exterior tiles?

You can clean your outdoor tiles by following these simple steps:

1)      Sweep the tiles

2)      Wet the tiles

3)      Apply the tile cleaner

4)      Allow the tile cleaner to sit until dry

5)      Rinse and dry the tiles

Washing and caring for your outdoor tiles on a regular basis will ensure that they are strong and beautiful for years to come, without a build-up of grime on the tile’s surface or in the grout.

Will vinegar clean outdoor tiles?

If you’ve noticed a mark or stain, and you don’t have any tile cleaner on hand, cleaning your outdoor tiles with vinegar may help you carry out a quick clean of your outdoor tiles. However, it’s important to note that vinegar is not suitable for stone, concrete or ceramic tiles. The extreme acidity in vinegar will strip these materials’ sealant and leave them looking ashy and dull. The damage to the sealant will also make the tiles more susceptible to water damage, marks and stains.

If you have porcelain outdoor tiles, the best way to use vinegar is to use one cup of white vinegar per 4 litres of water. This equates to roughly 2 cups of vinegar for 2/3rds full bucket of water. For best effect, get the water as hot as possible; boiling is best.

Summary

Your outdoor tiles are an investment in your home and if properly cared for, can last you for decades to come. When it comes to making the choice on how to clean your outdoor tiles, it’s best to do some research to make sure you’re picking the best option.

For guidance on where to start, or if you have any questions about which products are best, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of tile experts who can help you from beginning to end.

For tile ideas or inspiration for your renovation, look no further than our inspiration blog and gallery to see just how Amber tiles can transform your space.

You can find tile inspiration to suit all rooms, purposes and design styles through the Amber Tiles Ultimate Guide to Tiles (insert link to the ultimate tile guide).

Amber has the answer.