How to Get Paint Off Tiles and Keep them Clean

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How to Get Paint Off Tiles and Keep them Clean

So you found the perfect tile for your remodel project, and you’re in love with your new shower, entryway floor, or beautiful backsplash! Maybe the painters get a little careless the week after your brand new tiles go in, or you’re looking to scrub off water stains after enjoying your new shower for a year. Whether you’re looking to remove stains from marble, keep your glass backsplash clean and shiny, or remove paint from tiles after a remodel, we’ve got the best cleaning guide for any type of tile!

Clean fresh cabinet paint and other messes off your kitchen tile

Clean that new blue cabinet paint off your marble mosaic tile backsplash without worrying about stains or spots!

How to Remove Paint From Tile Floors, Walls & Grout

Since tile and paint go hand in hand for the quickest, easiest, and most cost effective ways to freshen up your home, it’s pretty common for homeowners to find paint splatters or splashes on their gorgeous new tiles.

If you’re one of the many (and trust us, there are many) who learns the hard way that painter’s tape, drop cloths and plastic coverings are vital to any paint job, we’ve got a handful of helpful pointers for how to get paint off tile - from what paint removal methods work best, what solutions to avoid, and a few golden rules for cleaning and maintaining tile materials! This way, you’ll have like-new tile for years to come!

Keeping tiles clean and maintained

To keep your tile like-new for the future, you’ll want to use the right cleaning methods and products now. Be sure to follow directions completely and don’t skip corners! 

Whether it’s your kitchen backsplash or floor tile, the easiest way to remove paint from tile floors, walls, or in any other location is to gently scrape it off with a sharp razor blade, or use a solvent safe for the tile material. If after a few gentle passes the paint splatters are not coming up, try heating the paint with a heat gun or hair dryer, before you wipe it off your tile floor or wall. 

Now, if you need to learn how to remove paint from tiles and grout, a solvent-based residue remover will be your best bet.

Related: How to Regrout Tile for a Fresh New Look

While many tile and grout solvents are acidic in nature, not all cleaners are created equally, or are meant for the same tile materials. You’ll want to avoid acidic cleaners that could damage or erode the grout (like chlorine bleach) and instead use a solvent formulated specifically for tile and grout, like the Miracle Sealants Company Residue Remover

This is a sealant residue and remover cleaner safe for granite, marble, stone, ceramic, porcelain tile, grout, and concrete. For grout between glass tiles, a simple mixture of warm water and vinegar and some quick work with a soft toothbrush can help loosen up the paint and scrub away stains. Or, for a homemade cleaning solution you can whip up now, check out this Easy Way to Clean Grout.

One of the most important aspects of learning how to remove paint from tile and grout is to use a solvent that will not harm your tile or cause your grout to disintegrate over time, like the residue remover shown above. You can pick this up today at local home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

A Word to the Wise: Remove Paint From Tiles Before It Dries!

How to remove paint from tile

Want to know how to get paint off tile without leaving behind any stains? Clean it up before it dries! 

While this may go without saying, we’re going to say it anyway: If you are in the middle of a paint project and notice you are splattering paint and think “eh, I’ll just clean it up later,” we urge you to clean it up as soon as you notice it! It’s much easier to remove paint from tiles when the paint is wet and can be wiped up with a wet cloth or paper towel. Doing so will reduce the chance of scratching your tile with a razor blade to remove dried paint. Plus, since grout is porous in nature, it absorbs surface liquids and stains much easier than tiled surfaces, which means you’ll spend more time later trying to rid your grout of stains than you will the moment they happen.

Here’s How to Clean & Maintain Your Tile

There’s no doubt that tile is one of the longest-lasting, most durable building materials for high-traffic homes and businesses, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged by improper maintenance and cleaning products. Because different tile materials all have varying levels of porosity, special care and consideration should be taken based on the type of tile you are cleaning.

How to keep tile floors clean

Scrub away dirt and grime regularly for great-looking tiles with the right tile cleaner! Photo via The Family Handyman.

First Things First: Seal Your Tile & Grout!

Before we move into the best ways to clean tile based on material, let’s talk about grout and tile sealants. Sealing both your grout and tile will protect them from falling victim to future stains, dirt, and spills. If you have an unglazed tile or a natural stone, a tile and grout sealant will be critical to preventing stain absorption, and over time will save you plenty of time, money, and heartache when you try every cleaning solution under the sun to pull up old stains or the realization that to make your tile look good as new, you’ll need to replace it altogether (of course if you do,  you know where to look!) You can find out more about Sealing Tile and Grout at the Tile Club Blog.

STONETECH® Heavy Duty Sealer is perfect for sealing tile in high-traffic and water, moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and showers.

Cleaning Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Cleaning Glazed Ceramic Subway Tile Kitchen Backsplash

Don’t let a little spilled milk (or paint) ruin your kitchen design! This La Riviera Blue Reef Ceramic Subway Tile is ready for it all, and cleans up easily when the pizza, paint, or surprise party's over!

Porcelain tile and ceramic tile are two of the most low-maintenance tile selections available. They are excellent at resisting stains, scratches, and chips. Many messes can be cleaned up with just hot water and soap, or a solvent safe for porcelain and ceramic tile.

For regular cleaning of ceramic and porcelain tile, we recommend a mildly alkaline cleaning solution that can both preserve the grout and reduce any chance of damage. Some mild cleaning products include Mr. Clean, Spic & Span, or a tile floor concentrate like Armstrong Flooring Once ‘n Done Floor Cleaner, safe for porcelain, ceramic, stone, and vinyl!

Cleaning Mother of Pearl Tile

How to Clean Mother of Pearl Tiles

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to get paint off tile made of shell like our  Pearl Sail Waterjet Mosaic Tile, or just need the right tips for regular cleaning, Tile Club has you covered!

If you have a wall of Mother of Pearl tile that needs a good cleaning, we recommend trying a warm water or neutral, mild detergent and staying away from abrasive cleaning agents or objects like scouring pads or steel wool. Mother of Pearl tile is made of naturally occurring calcium carbonate, which is much stronger than the romantic shine makes it appear. Whether it’s paint, food, dirt, or liquids spilled onto Mother of Pearl tile, try to clean it up as quickly as possible, and do not leave spills or cleaning agents sitting on the surface for too long to keep the dazzling shine as bright as possible!

How to keep Marble Tile Clean

How to clean marble shower floors

This Bardiglio Penny Round & Carrara Dot Marble Mosaic Tile is a show stopper for a shower wall and floor. Keep it looking that way with proper cleaning and care! 

As one of the oldest known building materials in the world, marble tile has withstood the test of time and proven itself a worthy contender in any traditional interior, modern home, or commercial design. To keep it looking like natural beauty it is and not a lost and forgotten ancient relic, routine cleaning is key. Here’s why:

Because marble is a naturally porous stone, it should be regularly sealed to prevent it from absorbing stains from cooking or shower product spills. Sealing marble tiles in wet areas like shower floors and mudrooms can also keep naturally occurring iron deposits from surfacing through contact with water, creating a rust-like stain on your white marble surfaces.

Related: Should You Use White Marble Tiles in Your Shower?

DIY Poultice to clean stained marble

You can create your own DIY marble poultice or pick some up at your local home improvement store. Photo via the Grit and Polish.

If eliminating built up soap scum is your mission, soap scum remover is what you need. Stonetech makes safe and effective marble tile cleaning products you can rely on to rid your gorgeous marble from yucky soap residue. This is safe for stone and tile use, in case you’ve got any other bathroom tile in your home that could use a little TLC.

Cleaning Glass Tile

How to clean this glass subway tile bathroom

Glacier Laguna Blue Polished Glass Tile: both gorgeous to look at and easy to clean with household glass cleaner!

As one of the most commonly used tiles for swimming pools, kitchens, and bathrooms, glass is an extremely low-maintenance tile choice that is impervious to water and will not stain. It’s also easy to clean, which means you don't necessarily need to use a store-bought cleaner, a mixture of white vinegar and warm water will work fine. 

Some warm water and cleaning vinegar is all it takes to keep your glass tile looking great! You can shop for Totally Awesome Cleaning Vinegar on Amazon.

No matter if it’s glass subway tile, glass mosaic tile, or mirror tile, a homemade mixture of white vinegar and warm water is typically enough to clean any glass tile. All you’ll need to do is make the mixture, spray or pour it onto the area you’re cleaning and let it sit for five minutes. Then, scrub with a soft toothbrush until you’re happy with the results. Rinse with water and dry.

Keeping Metal Tile Clean

How to clean stainless steel metal penny tile

When caring for stainless steel tile, always use the proper cleaning agent made specifically for it! Pictured here is Tile Club’s Stainless Steel Penny Metal Mosaic Tile for a modern laundry room design.

While most metal tiles can be cleaned with warm water and dish detergent, stainless steel tiles should only ever be cleaned with a stainless steel cleaner, and never soap and water. If you are to use a cleaner for your metal tiles so you can also clean the grout, stick with mild cleaning products free from acids, bleaches, ammonias, oil-based detergents, and always use a microfiber cloth. Make sure you avoid anything abrasive so you don’t accidentally scratch them. You can find several great stainless steel tile cleaners on Amazon.

Only use a dedicated stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel metal tiles! You can pick this one up at Amazon or your local home improvement store.

How to clean Peel & Stick Tile

How to clean peel and stick adhesive tile

With this Black and Gold Peel and Stick Tile you’ll have a stylish and low maintenance backsplash you love!

Peel and stick tile is a versatile, cost-effective, and low-maintenance choice you can clean regularly with common household cleaners like mild detergents. They are often made from vinyl, PVC, or thin metal sheets depending on the style you choose, and because many styles have no grout lines, you don’t even have to worry about keeping up with cleaning the grout!

We recommend wiping up splashes and spills as soon as they hit your tile - while the vinyl and aluminum surface is non-porous, you want to avoid heavy scrubbing or soaking to keep adhesive tiles pristine.

Tile Club also carries marble peel and stick tile - since it’s made of genuine Carrara marble, you can use the same stone cleaner you’d use on regular marble tiles!

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Whether you need quick answers for how to get paint off tile, how to remove paint from tile and grout, or you’re searching for the right cleaning solutions for your newly installed shower tile, kitchen tile, or commercial tile, you can count on Tile Club to have the answers and insight to keeping your tile looking good as new for years to come.

If your home or business is in need of a fresh new look, be sure to check out our newest tiles, or our tried and true classic tiles in the shapes, sizes, materials, and colors you didn’t know were possible! Shop today and discover your new favorite tile styles and designs!

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