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How do I clean and polish terracotta tiles?

(11 Posts)
hattiejacques Wed 05-Sep-07 11:53:40

Does anyone know a good way to clean terracotta tiles and keep them from looking dull. We've recently moved and our tiles have a few unidentifiable whitish marks and I'm unsure how best to clean them properly. Do they need sealing as well?

hattiejacques Wed 05-Sep-07 18:30:41

bump

yaddayah Wed 05-Sep-07 18:37:48

Ours are unsealed, I just wash them with a cloth dunked in soapy washing up water .. and buff with a dry cloth after, could the white stains be water marks ?

newlifenewname Wed 05-Sep-07 18:38:52

I'll ask my dad but I think you need linseed.

hattiejacques Wed 05-Sep-07 18:49:39

Thanks. I think some of them could be water marks. Some look like small bits of emulsion. A man in the tile shop tried to sell me a £17 bottle of restorer but I was unsure and he still said it would need sealing.

dandycandyjellybean Thu 06-Sep-07 09:52:59

I've got really old (100+ years) teracotta tiles in my sitting room, and aswell as being pocked and pitted, they too have these white water mark type things. After loads and loads of searching I bought something that was very good (if a ball ache to apply if I recall) - but am currently up to my eyes finishing of decorating ds room and preparing to go on holiday on Saturday (6am - 10pm straight through yesterday yawn yawn!) so if you bump this again when i get back next weekend i'll have time to have a dig around in the utility room and find it. smilehth

dandycandyjellybean Thu 06-Sep-07 09:53:31

oh, and they will need sealing if you don't want them to look dull.

chipkid Thu 06-Sep-07 09:54:36

to give them a sheen you should invest in one of those polishing machines! either than or go around in a thick pair of socks rubbing each tile with your feet!

haychee Thu 06-Sep-07 10:09:01

linseed oil

Caroline1852 Thu 06-Sep-07 10:10:06

We have hand made terracotta in our boot room. I go round with a strong bristle scrubbing brush (dry scrubbing) to lift any stains that are sitting on top. I put boiled linseed oil on them (make sure the tiles are completely dry) rubbing it in with a strong cloth (be careful with linseed oil as it really can spontaneously combust). I do 3 coats (more if I can) of linseed oil and then buff the top coat with one of those big looped loofahs (I think it is designed for car washing) until they gleam (or you could hire a polishing machine). I do this about once a year and between times you can just hoover and give it a mop (so long as the tiles have been properly sealed with the linseed oil which prevents the water getting into the tiles). There is another product - I think it is German - that is a milky looking product and you put it on with either a paintbrush or a sponge. You just leave it to dry. It seals and leaves a sort of shine. I think linseed oil is superior but obviously more work, much more.

hattiejacques Thu 06-Sep-07 13:34:09

Thanks for all your tips. Will try the linseed oil when I can get a child free house for a morning!

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