Why you should be careful with off-the-shelf cleaning products

At Tile & Stone Medic Cheshire, we see a huge number of tile and natural stone floors. Whether in private homes, business premises or public spaces, they all have to put up with various levels of wear and tear.

Whilst many can be quite tough and hard wearing, eventually they begin to show signs of use. Typically they will become dull and flat looking, sometimes chip and occasionally even stain. For both this reason, as well as general hygiene, those who have invested in hard floors recruit a wide range of cleaning products to help take care of these valuable surfaces as safely and conveniently as possible.

How does this wear and tear happen? It could simply be down to regular footfall. Shoes, especially hard-soled ones, can eventually scrape away at any protective top layer of a tile or stone floor, leaving the surface vulnerable to water damage and engrained dirt. Hard objects accidentally dropped on a floor can have a similar effect or cause chips and cracks. Sometimes, however, cleaning products themselves can be the cause.

Tiles and natural stone are actually materials that are far more sensitive than people think. Whilst many appear heavy and extremely solid, the vast majority are highly susceptible to liquid damage, particularly from acidic or alkaline substances. Often, well intentioned cleaning and scrubbing using off the shelf products leaves behind ugly and scarred stone flooring. Using an acidic cleaner, as is commonly designed for cleaning limescale, can have devastating effects on a limestone floor. There are numerous deadly combinations of cleaning products and floors.

Fortunately, most tile and natural stone floors are ‘sealed’ with a tough coat of a specialist liquid in order to prevent the damaging effect of water absorption some of these partially soak into the material to provide strong foundations for the protection they offer. Materials such as terracotta and limestone can suffer particularly badly if not professionally sealed before use but having said that, sealers do not last for ever. As there are many types of sealer and different types of floors require very different approaches to their care there is not a single solution that can be applied to all cases.  The cleaning products and protocol that you use will naturally depend on your situation.

When attempting to clean a stone floor with an off the shelf product, we often find that the product used has not been properly formulated for either the sealer or the material it is being applied to. The end results are often stains or a marks of some sort on the floor. If the chemical has been scrubbed it may wear down the actual stone too. In some cases that materials can be so damaged that replacement tiles need to be ordered.

It is for this reason that we always advise customers to avoid off the shelf cleaning products for their tile or natural stone floors. Even if the products used do not damage the surface they’re being used on, many customers who have tried them then reach out to us complaining that they have tried everything and simply cannot get their floor clean. Inevitably, we find these products are a waste of money for our customers, since even when they are suitable for use they cannot make a difference without an experienced professional at the controls.

The advantage of working with Tile & Stone Medic is that we have an extensive knowledge of the specific cleaning requirements of all natural materials used for hard flooring. Backed by years of experience, there isn’t a natural material out there we haven’t worked on and delivered outstanding results. We are therefore able to provide great value for money by offering restorations whose results last longer. Not only do we carry out thorough cleaning and sealing services, we can help you make sure that you use the best cleaning products for your unique floor.

Next time you’re thinking of scrubbing away at your delicate natural stone floor ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Save your money for the professionals who can really make a difference. For better results, call up the friendly team at Tile & Stone Medic Cheshire. Our experienced technicians are on standby and always happy to offer helpful advice to both new and repeat customers.