Here are some great tips for taking care of porcelain surfaces

Written by Ted McFadden, owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Southern California and San Jose, and Easy Stone Care. This shower is just about the worst we have seen. It is caked with heavy minerals, soap scum, and rust. We cleaned, polished, and sealed the entire surface. The new surface will last for years.

I know, this is a strange subject. I mean, who want to talk about toilets. Well no one likes to clean toilets, least of all me. We have developed some easy care procedures for porcelain sinks, shower tiles, counter tiles, toilets, and tubs that help to reduce water spotting, mineral build-up, and scale over time. These methods will not completely eliminate your need to clean your toilet but they will reduce the severity and increase the time that the surfaces will last between cleanings.

Equipment Needed:

  1. Stone Scrub or Equivalent mild abrasive cleaner
  2. 600 or 800 grit aluminum oxide powder can help prepare the surface
  3. White Scotchbrite had pad
  4. Easyoxy
  5. Hand Brush
  6. Latex glove
  7. Scissors to open WnS
  8. Wipe n’ Seal (WnS) – Two Part Sealer for Glass, Granite, and Porcelain
  9. Microfiber Cloth

Careful preparation of your porcelain surfaces is key to getting the longest pasting protection from these procedures. Simply wiping the the surface and seeing that it is visually clean is not enough. Wipe n’ Seal reacts with the surface on a molecular level so mild abrasive cleaners must be used to remove unseen oxidation and any films that may be present. It is recommend that you prepare all of your surfaces prior to opening and using your Wipe n’ Seal. Wipe n’ Seal is a highly reactive and evaporative product. You can get the most out of it by prepping all of your surface then using the Wipe n’ Seal quickly and liberally.

Preparing Toilets:

  1. Sanitize and drain the toilets that you will be working on. You can do this by using comet or equivalent and a toilet brush. Turn the water off to the toilet from the wall and flush the toilet. Using a wet vacuum, remove the rest of the water from the lower bowl. Use a towel to dry the surface and remove residues. It goes without saying that many of the towels that you use will be thrown away after you perform these tasks.
  2. Let the bowls dry.
  3. Using your white scotchbrite pad and a generous amount of Stone Scrub, scrub the surface vigorously to remove water lines, and and other residues from the surface. Old porcelain can be damaged from years of use. Do your best here to remove as much of the damage as you can. If you have to use a more abrasive powder here, you should be fine. Do not use a honing powder that is to low in grit as scratches can increase the surface area and cause more staining over time.
  4. Clean the surface thoroughly and remove any abrasive residues using Easyoxy and a microfiber cloth. Remove all residues.

Preparing Sinks and Tubs:

  1. Use steps 3 and 4 above.

Preparing Counters:

  1. Scrub the grout lines and the tile surface with a brush and cleaner and remove thoroughly.
  2. Use steps 3 and 4 above

Preparing Showers:

  1. Scrub the grout lines and the tile surface with a brush and cleaner and remove thoroughly.
  2. Use steps 3 and 4 above

Apply Sealer:

  1. Wipe n’ Seal – Step 1: All of the surfaces that you will be applying WnS to must be properly prepared. Using a latex glove, tear open the Step 1 packet and with a scissors open the inner bag. Remove the saturated clot being sure to squeeze it a little and leave some in the bag. You can recharge the cloth when you run out of sealer.
  2. Quickly seal the areas that you have prepared paying first and special attention to the areas that will be most affected by contact with water. Seal all areas.
  3. Wipe n’ Seal – Step 2: Use the above suggestions with the Step 2 packet.
  4. Clean residues as necessary. It may not be necessary to clean the residues around the water line of the toilet but WnS can leave streaks on high polished porcelain tiles and tubs. Use a micrfiber cloth with Easyoxy or Repellent wash.

Ongoing Maintenance:

  1. Periodically these surfaces will need to be cleaned to remove minerals from the surface before they bond permanently to the surface and undermine the sealer.
  2. Weekly, you should clean your toilets with a mild cleaner and a toilet brush. Clean and dry the top and exterior surface of the bowl to remove soiling. Everything should be pretty easy to remove.
  3. Weekly, you should clean and wipe all other sealed surfaces with Easyoxy to remove soiling, dust, and debris. If your shower glass is sealed with WnS, you should use Repellent Wash for ongoing maintenance.
  4. WnS should last as long as three years under normal conditions. If the surfaces are not cleaned regularly, the life can be reduced but the entire time the surface will be easier to keep clean and the reapplication of WnS is a snap.

About Ted McFadden: Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. If you are in need of services in Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com. You can purchase all of the products listed in this article at easystonecare.com.

Keep Your Tile and Grout Looking Like the Day It Was Cleaned

I know how hard it can be to keep your tile and grout floors looking great after you have Sureshine deep clean them. You don’t want them to get back to that soiled appearance. Use these easy to follow maintenance guidelines to get the most long term value from your newly deep cleaned  and sealed floors. Call Sureshine today at (800)378-0266 to make your tile and grout look like new again or visit our website and get your floor cleaning quote right now!

All of the products listed below are available at www.easystonecare.com.

When caring for your tile and grout floors it is important to remember a few simple rules.

  1. Water is the enemy of tile and grout floors, especially the grout. Water carries dust and other particulates into the tile and dries. This causes the dark soiling to accumulate in the small holes and grout. When this happens, professional cleaning is needed to restore your floor.
  2. Holes are common in travertine floors and require constant attention. You can fill these holes using the appropriate filler of your choice. Please the Filling holes section below.
  3. Dry dust mops, vacuums, and brooms will save you thousands of dollars over the life of your floor. When mopping is necessary, make sure the surface is thoroughly dried with a towel before the solution dries on the surface. When mop water is allowed to dry on the surface, dirt and soiling is pulled, by gravity into the tiny holes and grout and builds up over time causing the need for expensive services.
  4. Use felt pads under all furniture to prevent scratching and protect the floor from wheeled chairs to prevent compacting holes.

Tools to have on hand:

  1. Neutral Cleaner
  2. Vacuum with soft bristle wand
  3. Several Large Towels
  4. Microfiber Dust Mop

Evaluate Surfaces to begin maintenance:.

  1. Check all grout areas especially in areas around doorways and in walkways. The baseboards should be caulked to prevent moisture from going under them and causing damage over time. Patch any missing grout prior to starting your maintenance.
  2. Look closely at the surface for water absorption. If the surface absorbs water, it should be sealed prior to beginning your maintenance. Allow sealed areas to stay dry cure for a minimum of 2 days.
  3. Check the surface for cracks and loose tiles. Cracks are usually a subsurface cause. If you floor is set over a slab, cracks can be transfer from a crack in the slab. Many customers choose to fill these cracks as opposed to repairing the main problem. Understand that these types of cracks will need to be repaired occasionally as movement occurs.

Daily, Weekly, Biweekly Maintenance:

  1. Dust Mop the surface daily to remove residues from dust as well as pet hair and dander. If you have no pets, your Dust Mopping can be less frequent.
  2. Textured Surfaces must be vacuumed regularly to remove debris from the grout lines and lower parts of the stone that a dust mop may not reach. There are a few automatic vacuums on the market that have many customers have had good success with.
  3. Spot clean areas that get frequent use with the appropriate Neutral Cleaner and remove residues completely with a towel.
  4. When mopping is necessary using a correctly diluted Neutral Cleaner; apply enough cleaning solution to the floor so that it does not dry before you have an opportunity to dry it. Use a large towel under the velcro frame of your Microfiber Dust Mop head to dry the floor thoroughly. You want to see the soiling on the towel.

 

  1. Check your floor for holes and scratches and address the causes if necessary. Fix felt pads and prevent wheeled chairs from damaging the surface.
  2. Check your sealer periodically to insure you have adequate protection. Many travertines are very dense but some can be absorbent so keep an eye on this.
  3. When major spills, scratches, and other damage occurs; don’t be afraid to call a professional. Professional stone refinishers exist to help you get the most out of your investment long term by keeping your floors looking like new.

Check out how we make your tile and grout look like new again here: