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How to Remove Spots From Mexican Floor Tiles

Gail Cohen

If you've lived with Mexican floor tiles for any length of time, you're probably an expert on the subject of maintaining them.

A little elbow grease and mild cleaners restore Mexican floor tiles nicely.

Less resistant to traffic than other popular kiln-baked tiles, Saltillo---the name by which it is also known---makes up in rustic beauty, charm and cost-effectiveness what it lacks in durability. Of course, charm goes out the window when you discover a stain or spot, but if you've always got clean-up solutions at your fingertips, you'll be ready to conquer them pronto. The tips in this article are rank ordered from simple to complex. Try them out in that order.

  1. Begin by using the simplest spot removal technique of all: Hand scrub the soil and the area surrounding it with an ultra mild, highly-diluted cleaner formulated for use on porous flooring. Use a plastic- or rubber-edged scraper to gently loosen stubborn materials.

  2. Move to the next level of spot removal by increasing the ratio of tile cleaner to water to apply a slightly stronger solution of the cleanser to your Mexican tile. Work the area by hand using consistent strokes across the floor.

  3. Add a small amount of ammonia to your cleaning agent. Use extreme caution and don rubber gloves when working with this caustic additive; even a little will do the job. Keep the ammonia-laced mix on the Mexican tile for the shortest amount of time before rinsing thoroughly.

  4. Enlist the help of professional oil and stain removers if cleaners haven't made a dent in the problem. Follow package or container directions to ascertain the correct dilution ratios recommended to remove a specific type of spot on your Mexican tile.

  5. Resort to mechanical floor cleaning equipment next. Rent a professional floor-scrubbing machine fitted with a .46-grit silicon brush. Load the tank with biodegradable floor care agents. Work the multi-length brush bristles over the spot(s). Expect this method to remove the most stubborn types of soil, like wax and long-term grease buildup.

  6. Opt for a method of last resort: Apply a ¼-inch coat of any brand of undiluted oil stain remover to the spot and surrounding area. Allow the product to dwell for up to three days. Sweep the product away after it has turned from liquid to powder. Follow package instructions if you wish to try this step again.

  7. Take extra precautions when you rinse your floor because too much water can weaken unglazed Saltillo, leaving tiles vulnerable to breaks and chips.Towel dry the floor thoroughly to absorb liquid remaining on the floor. Use a professional vacuum cleaner to remove residue, and then seal the floor area with a product formulated specifically for porous tile.