Cleaning Terracotta

Cleaning your terracotta

Terracotta tiles look stunning when they’re brand new, but over time they can become stained and lichen-covered, leaving them looking unsightly. While the best solution for thoroughly cleaning your terracotta tiles is a high pressure deep clean from the professionals, it’s possible to undertake some basic terracotta maintenance yourself. Here are some tips for cleaning a range of different substances from your terracotta tiles.

Rust stains

One of the most common issues you’ll find when cleaning terracotta is that your terracotta is rust stained. Rust stains are commonly found when your terracotta is placed in close proximity to metals or other components that can easily corrode. Cleaning terracotta of rust is relatively simple if you’re only dealing with a small amount of staining.

First, wipe down your terracotta, then apply a coating of an appropriate tile cleaner. Use a soft-bristled brush to rub it in. Next, rinse your terracotta, and then apply a solution of diluted vinegar. Vinegar is an excellent rust remover, and is great for cleaning terracotta. Once you’ve let the vinegar set for around half an hour, rinse it off using warm water. Dry your terracotta using a cloth.

Lichen build-up

Lichen can be removed from your terracotta using high pressure equipment such as a high pressure hose. After testing that your tiles are in suitable condition, apply an anti-fungal spray to help kill off any lichen or mould. Once this has had time to set, use a high pressure device to wash away the newly lifted lichen. Finally, once the tiles have dried, apply a sealant to prevent further lichen growth.

Note: if you’re cleaning lichen from your roof tiles, consider using a professional service, as using high pressure equipment without the necessary know-how can result in damage to your roof and water damage to your home. Also note that you should always adhere to State and Council guidelines relating to water use.

Builders grout and other leftovers

Renovations and repairs can be messy, and you may find that construction residue such as grout is left on your terracotta tiles. Fortunately, if you’re only dealing with a small amount of grout, this type of terracotta cleaning is relatively simple.

For most types of grout, a simple vinegar solution is enough. Apply the solution and leave it until the grout breaks down, and then simply rinse and dry the surface using warm water. For special latex or polymer-based grouts, you may need to buy a special grout remover product in order to avoid damaging your tiles.

Call in the experts

If your attempts at cleaning terracotta aren’t doing the trick, then it might be time to call in the experts. A1 Pressure Cleaners are experts at all types of terracotta cleaning, so whether you need help with your terracotta roof, terracotta tiles, or some terracotta paving, we can help. Call A1 today for a free quote!