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How to Fix Tile Discoloration From Cleaning Supplies

Chelsea Fitzgerald

Over time tile and grout may discolor from the use of ammonia-based and other cleansers that aren't appropriate for tile. This is not impossible to correct if you use the right products to remove the discolorations. Other causes of tile discoloration are soap scum buildup and oils from your skin on bathtub walls. Ground-in dirt and dust also may cause dinginess in the tiles. The proper tools and non-abrasive cleansers can remove the discoloration but won't scratch or otherwise damage the tile surface.

Proper care and the right cleansers can prevent tile discoloration.

Step 1

Combine a 1/4-cup of detergent and approximately 2 tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate in a clean bucket. Use a low-sudsing detergent for the easiest cleanup. In lieu of tri-sodium phosphate, you can use washing soda or a commercial cleansing powder formulated for use on tile surfaces.

Step 2

Add 1 gallon of warm water to the bucket to dissolve the powders. Swish the water around by hand.

Step 3

Dip a cleaning sponge into the solution. Squeeze the sponge out so it doesn't drip. Spread the solution over the tile surface. Allow it to sit for three or four minutes to dissolve the stains.

Step 4

Turn on an electric floor machine to clean the tiled area. Run it over the wet surface in a circular motion to remove the discoloration. These machines are available for rent at many grocery, discount and home supply stores. If you are cleaning a tiled wall surface, use a nylon scrub brush to clean the surface.