How to Clean Outdoor Tiles

G.K. Bayne

Outdoor tile work in some ways can be cleaned much like their interior counter parts. A major consideration though is that most outdoor tiles have a protective coating or sealer placed on them. This sealer is used to protect the tiles from the outside environment of sun and rain.

Some cleaners and solvents may harm or even remove the protective coating. This can damage the tile work over time. By following a basic process you can clean outdoor tiles.


TSP is safe for all tile finishes. Consult the manufacturer's labeling for specific vegetation warnings. The type of tile finish may dictate a specific “soft” bristle for the long handled scrub brush. Most natural bristles, plant material, will not scratch the tile finish.

  1. Sweep the floor area well with the broom. If the outdoor tiles are placed vertically, wipe the area in a downward motion. Remove all standing dirt and debris from the area.

  2. Use the garden hose and thoroughly wash the tiles down with clean water. Use the water hose to soak heavily soiled areas. This will help in loosening up tightly compacted dirt.

  3. Add one tablespoon of the TSP based cleaner to the bucket and fill with water.

  4. Dip the long handled scrub brush into the cleaner solution and remove. Using the brush scrub the area one section at a time. Approximately a four foot-by-four foot square. Keep the floor area wet. Do not allow the floor or wall to dry out, as the TSP cleaner may cause a white dust to form. This white dust is the dried TSP.

  5. Flush the outdoor tiles with clean water to remove all signs of the cleaner. Use the long handled squeegee to remove any standing pools of water from the floor area. The standing pools of water can catch floating dust particles and leave a dull finish when dry.