How To Clean An Unsealed Tile Floor? [The Ultimate Guide]

It can be tiresome if you don’t know how to clean an unsealed tile floor. There are many ways to clean unsealed floors. Every method is easy to do and makes the floor tidy. Also, there are some cautions while cleaning this type of floor. An unsealed tile floor is so sensitive that water also can leave a mark on it.

The Unsealed tile floor can deeply absorb dirt on its pores and crannies, and it causes discoloration. Being unsealed, there is no glaze on its surface. This makes it a little bit more complex than a sealed floor. Since it is unsealed, the grout between the two tiles creates a proper environment for dirt. By maintaining some precautions, the floor can be cleaned properly. So, you need to clean it frequently. Some of the cleaning steps are given below. I hope after reading this article, you can clean hassle-free.

6 Steps To Clean An Unsealed Tile Floor And Grout: Easy Way

Before cleaning an unsealed tile floor, you must remember that this flooring type is susceptible. It doesn’t repel dirt and can’t be seen with an open eye. In addition, the dirt on grout makes the floor stippled and causes discoloration. So, keep in mind these steps while cleaning.

Step 1: Sweep The Floor

Sweeping the tile will help to remove loose dirt. It’s essential because if you directly use water, the dirt will make a mold that will be more difficult to clean. Mopping also helps remove pets’ hair stuck on the grout. So, mop the floor first to get a quick cleaning experience.

Step 2: Choose A Cleaning Solution 

Choosing a better cleaning solution is essential to get a better clean floor. There are many cleaning solutions like bleaching powder, baking soda, powdered oxygen, white vinegar, etc.

I will discuss using the bleach cleaning solution. All the cleaning solutions do the same for unsealed tile floors. You can also purchase cleaning solutions at any department store.

Step 3: Mix The Cleaning Solution With Moderate Water

Don’t use too much water while mixing the cleaning solution. Since unsealed tile is not coated with a glaze, it absorbs more dirt than sealed tile. Thus, too much water can leave a mark on it. The bleach and water ratio is 1:5 is recommended. Use a moderate amount of water which is enough to clean

Step 4: Spray Cleaner On The Floor

After mixing, keep the cleaning solution in a spray bottle. Spray on the desired section that you want to clean. Spray moderately to cover the area. Don’t spray too much.

After spraying, wait 15-30 minutes to fully hydrate the tile. If you notice that the floor is getting dry, sprinkle cleaner. But be careful of over-hydrating. It may cause erosion of your tile and leave a mark on it.

Step 5: Scrub The Floor With Care

Gently rub the floor back and forth with a scrubber. Using a sponge is effective. Don’t pressure too much else because this will cause discoloration. The scrubbed area will remain wet for a bit of time. After cleaning a specific area, wash the scrubber with water. Then again, scrub the different regions. A particular area needs to be scrubbed two or three times. Don’t scrub so much in the same place.

Step 6: Dry The Area

After scrubbing, use some mild water to remove the cleaner. And then, dry the area with towels. You have to ventilate the area with fans. That will help the grout clean and feel smooth on the feet. 

Note: If you’re using a bleach cleaning solution, don’t put it so long on the floor. It will cause discoloration. In addition, don’t mix bleach with any products that contain ammonia. Keep in mind that these steps shouldn’t apply daily. 

4 Methods To Clean An Unsealed Tile Floor: Works Every Time

The three most popular cleaning methods to clean unsealed tile floors are natural cleaning, oiling, and waxing. Every method is different from the others. Also, these methods can apply every time. I have discussed the natural cleaning method above. Now, two of them are explained below. 

1. Foaming:

Foaming is one of the best ways to clean both floor and grout. In this method, you have to create foam using detergent and water. Spread the detergent on the floor and then pour a small amount of water. After that, rub the bottom with a smooth brush and make foam on the floor. Keep the foam for 15 minutes and rinse the floor with normal water.

2. Pasting The Cleaning Solution

Another best way is pasting the floor with cleaning solutions. Different types of cleaning solutions can be used to paste. They are borax, dish soap, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, etc. It is the same way as classical cleaning. Just mix it with water and spread it on the floor. Use a sponge to rub and clean the floor with home temperature water. 

3. Using Of Oil

Since the unsealed tile floor is not coated with a glaze, the oiling method can be used to make it smooth and shiny. After vacuuming or sweeping, use a little amount of jojoba oil or other oil. That will remove the residue from the floor. After oiling, dry the floor unless it is slippery. Perform this method once a month.

4. Waxing The Floor

It’s a kind of the same process of oiling.  It is also used to seal the floor. To seal the floor with wax, you need to combine wax with oil. It makes the floor shiny and smooth. Some benefits of waxing are given below.

5. Sustainability

Besides protecting floors from accidental liquid spills, wax prevents scratches and stains. Surfaces in high-traffic areas benefit from the application because they become more durable.

There will always be accidents, and you will have to remove dirt and leaves from your floors. In this case, waxing is the most effective way to mask this dent and make the defect less noticeable. 

6. Gripping

Floor wax ensures a better grip in areas with too many steps, such as offices and restaurants. Regardless of the condition of the floor, people can walk comfortably without slipping or falling. Besides the steps I discussed before, there are other methods to clean the unsealed tile floor. 

7 Mistakes Should Be avoided While Cleaning Unsealed Tile Floor

While cleaning the unsealed tile floor, keep in mind some things you need to avoid. Otherwise, your floor will be more clumsy, and the surface will be rougher. Following are a few points to keep in mind when cleaning unsealed tile floors:

1. Don’t Press The Tile Too Hard

While cleaning, don’t pressurize the tile harder. It will break the tile and even make it more rough than usual. If you think about cleaning the grout with more pressure, forget it. Use a sponge soaked in the cleaning solution and mild anxiety to clean the grout.  After that, use normal water for final cleaning. 

2. Avoid Using Scraper Or Brush

When using bleaching powder, vinegar, and powdered oxygen, don’t use a brush and scrubber. Use a soft cloth or sponge because the brush can scratch the floor and leave a permanent mark on it. But you can use a small brush to clean the grout with mild pressure. 

3. Avoid Strong Acidic Solution

If you thought about deep cleaning and using something substantial will be harmful to both the floor and you.  You know that ceramics are made of quartz or melamine. Quartz is a kind of alkali that reacts with acid and makes salt. If you use a solid acidic cleaning solution, it will damage the floor. So, use a mild acidic solution to get a perfect floor.

4. Don’t Wet The Floor Too Long

You may think that the more time you keep the floor wet, the more you will get a clean floor. It’s not true. As I said before, after spraying the floor, wait up to 30 minutes. During this time, the tile will absorb the solution. If it’s long, the tile will be slippery and cause damage to it.

5. Don’t Use Different Cleaning Solutions

The cleaning solutions may differ for every type of unsealed floor. Before cleaning the unsealed grout, consider the properties of a specific tile type. Also, use the same cleaning solution every time. Don’t use different keys, or else the tile will get damaged. If the solution accidentally falls on your body parts, it will damage your skin or organs.

6. Don’t Dry Manually

Let the floor dry itself after cleaning. Don’t use a hairdryer or fan to dry. It may cause more roughness on the floor because it’s essential to absorb some liquid for the tiles’ health. Sometimes the tile can be cracked over dryness. Also, keep in mind about being over-damped. 

7. Don’t Stretch Furniture

Dragging the furniture is the leading cause of scratching the tile floor. After cleaning, the tile becomes vulnerable. At this moment, if you pull any furniture on it, there will be permanent marks on the floor. So, be careful and don’t do any action for 10 minutes after cleaning.

6 Tips To Keep Your Tile Floor Always Clean And Tidy

It’s essential to keep the floor clean and tidy. It will become dirty and look ruined if you don’t clean it regularly, especially for unsealed tile floors. As I said before, unsealed tile is so sensitive that the dust can get stuck on the grout if the cleaning process is not done regularly. That will cause a rough sensation.

1. Mop Regularly:

By mopping, you can clean the looser dirt from the surface. It will prevent the dirt from getting stuck in the grout. Also, the pets’ hair will be removed easily by mopping. Before cleaning with a natural method, you have to mop the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner for perfect mopping.

2. Don’t Allow Water To Accumulate:

Wipe out the water even if it falls accidentally or willingly. Because of being unsealed, the floor exploits water into its pores and crannies. That’s how water can also leave a mark on the floor.

If you don’t notice it and if the mark has already taken place, use baking soda and ammonia to remove it. So, be careful and don’t let the water freeze on it.

3. Remove Food Particles:

It’s like, what, food particles love unsealed tile floors. Foods are more likely to get stuck on the floor in a few moments and become stiff. It becomes more difficult to remove. So, be quick to clean the food particles. If the food particles have sweets, then it will attract bees. That will make a dirty environment for your home.  

4. Keep Pets In A Separated Area:

Pets are vulnerable on the unsealed tile floor. Its hairs, food, and sometimes its poops can easily be attached to the bottom. It’s more painful to keep pets clean from pets. So, you better keep a different place, where only the pets can play. Also, you will need to clean the pet’s area every two or three days after.

5. Find Out Unsealed Area:

There are times when you have trouble finding an unsealed area on your floor. A few signs make it easy to find the sealed place. Its glaze is its primary sign. Unsealed tile doesn’t coat with glaze. Water absorbent is another sign. It absorbs more water than a sealed tile floor. Feels rough. The sensation is scratchy on feet in unsealed grout.  

6. Sealed Often:

To keep your tile floor tidy, seal the floor every two weeks. It will make your floor shiny and look like a sealed tile floor. Follow some steps to close your tile floor:

Firstly, clear the grout. It will remove the dust, and the sealing process will work fine. After clearing, leave it to dry for 30 minutes.

Secondly, choose a sealer. Two major types of sealers are penetrating sealers and membrane-forming sealers. I suggest using a membrane-forming sealer because it creates a coat on the surface and prevents water from getting into the grout.

Difference Between Sealed and Unsealed Ceramic Tile Floors?

The key difference between sealed and unsealed ceramic tile floors lies in their protection and durability. Sealed ceramic tile floors have a protective layer applied, usually made of a clear sealer or a glaze during the manufacturing process. 

This sealant makes the tiles more resistant to stains, moisture, and damage. In contrast, unsealed ceramic tile floors lack this protective layer, making them more porous and susceptible to staining, moisture absorption, and wear. 

Unsealed tiles may require more maintenance, including regular cleaning and resealing to prevent stains and protect the surface. Sealed tiles are generally easier to clean and maintain, making them a popular choice in high-traffic and moisture-prone areas.

How to Clean Unsealed Granite Floor Tiles?

Cleaning unsealed granite floor tiles requires special care, as the absence of sealant means the stone is more susceptible to stains. Begin by sweeping or vacuuming to remove loose dirt and debris. Use a mixture of mild dish soap or a pH-neutral stone cleaner and warm water. Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can damage the granite’s surface. Gently scrub the tiles with a soft-bristle brush or mop, paying attention to any stains. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue. Dry the floor with a soft cloth or towel. While sealing unsealed granite is advisable, it’s essential to consult a professional to determine the most suitable sealer and application method for your specific floor.

How to Stain Unsealed Ceramic Tile Floors?

Staining unsealed ceramic tile floors is not a common practice, as ceramic tiles are usually glazed, making them impervious to staining. If you have unglazed ceramic tiles and wish to change their color or appearance, consider using a tile dye or pigment. 

These products are designed to penetrate the porous surface of unglazed tiles, providing a permanent color change. Ensure the tiles are clean and dry before applying the dye or pigment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Afterward, it’s advisable to seal the tiles with an appropriate tile sealer to protect the new color and prevent future staining. Always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the desired results.

How to Remove Unsealed Grout Tile Floor?

Removing unsealed grout from a tile floor requires careful and methodical steps. Start by wearing protective gear, including goggles and gloves. Use a grout saw or a rotary tool with a grout removal attachment to carefully scrape away the old grout. 

Take care not to damage the surrounding tiles. Once the majority of the grout is removed, use a combination of water and vinegar or a commercial grout remover to clean any remaining residue. Scrub gently with a brush or sponge. 

After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the area with clean water and dry it completely. Consider resealing the grout to protect it from future stains and discoloration.

Related Questions:

How Do You Clean Unsealed Grout On Floors?

First, take a bucket with 7 cups of water and  ½ cup of bleaching powder (Don’t use any other cleaner with bleach). Then mix it and pour it into a spray bottle. Make sure that you are wearing rubber gloves and have eye protection. Spray it on the desired grout that you want to clean.

Leave it for 15-30 minutes. If the grout gets dry between this time, spray some more solution. After that, rinse the grout with normal water. And then wipe the floor back and forth with a sponge or soft cloth.  Finally, leave the floor for 15 minutes to get dry.

Is It Possible To Clean Unsealed Grout?

Without any doubt, unsealed grout is possible to clean. Although there are many ways to clean the grout, steam extraction is the best way to clean the unsealed grout. In this method, the water is heated up to 212 degrees Celsius.

This helps to loosen the dirt from pores and crannies. But, you have to be careful while using this method. Because if the water spreads into the tile, the tile will be vulnerable to this temperature. This may cause the breaking of the tile.

Can You Use A Steam Mop On Unsealed Tile Floors?

The steam mop is not suitable for unsealed tile floors. Because unsealed tile absorbs the moisture which is produced by a steam mop. This steam mop also leaves stains like water. It also created a potential breeding environment for the dust to mold.

According to the type of tile, the heat can damage the grout. The unsealed tile should not be cleaned with hot water. It will damage the quality of the floor. Manufacturers of steam mops warn against using them on unglazed bottoms. So, a steam mop on an unsealed tile floor is not applicable.

What Cleaning Products Can Be Used To Clean Unsealed Tile Floors?

There are various types of cleaners to clean the unsealed tile floors like bleaching powder, baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and sometimes rubbing alcohol. There are some more products to clean unsealed tile.

But the above are the most used items. Every product is easy to use. Without some side effects, every product does the same. Also, you can buy different cleaning products in a departmental store.

Is It Ok To Use Ammonia On Unsealed Tile Floors?

Experts don’t recommend using ammonia on the tile floor. It causes discoloration on the tile. Also, ammonia smells too strong. You may think that the more it smells strong, the more it will clean the grout. That’s wrong. It’s all about the pH of the cleaning solution.

The pH of ammonia is between 11 to 13. That means it’s quite an alkali. Using the cleaner, which contains ammonia, will harsh the floor and reduce the lifespan of the tile surface.  

How Do You Whiten Unsealed Grout?

Use a little amount of oxygen powdered bleach and mild-warm water in a bucket. A little chemical reaction will happen, but it’s not harmful. Put on a glove in your hands and sink a sponge into it. Then wipe it on the floor back and forth. Leave it for 15 minutes to dry. Then rinse the floor with water. That’s how you can get a clean and white floor.

How Do you Clean Tile Floors That are not Sealed?

Cleaning unsealed tile floors requires special care as the absence of sealant means the tiles are more porous and susceptible to stains. Start by sweeping or vacuuming to remove loose dirt and debris. 

Use a neutral pH tile cleaner or a mixture of mild detergent and warm water, avoiding harsh chemicals or acidic cleaners that can damage the tiles. Apply the cleaning solution with a mop or soft-bristle brush, gently scrubbing any stains. 

Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove residue, and dry the floor with a towel or cloth. Consider applying a tile and grout sealer after cleaning to protect the tiles and make future cleaning easier.

How Do you Clean Unglazed Tile Floors?

Cleaning unglazed tile floors requires gentle yet effective methods to avoid damaging the porous surface. Begin by sweeping or vacuuming to remove loose dirt and debris.Then, use a mop or soft-bristle brush with a neutral pH cleaner or a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. 

Avoid harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners that can cause discoloration or deterioration. For stubborn stains, use a baking soda paste or a specialized cleaner formulated for unglazed tiles. 

Rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth or towel. Regular maintenance will help preserve the natural beauty of unglazed cleaning unsealed slate tile floors.

Final Verdict:

I am sure that you will learn all things about how to clean an unsealed tile floor. When cleaning an unsealed tile floor, keep in mind some precautions. But if your house floor looks dirty and clumsy, it becomes a source of annoyance.

It’s simple to work, and you have to perform regularly. Above I have discussed how to keep the unsealed floor clean. I’m sure every tip and trick that I have shared will be fruitful in everyday life.

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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