by Emily McBride
(last updated January 15, 2018)
Glass tiles can be a beautiful surface in your home, whether in the form of a window, sink, floor, or even as a pool surface. Although glass tile can look nice, it will only usually look nice when it is clean. Glass tiles are relatively easy to maintain because they are not porous, can't burn, and won't retain liquid, but they do scratch easily. You want to keep your glass tiles looking beautiful for as long as they can.
If your glass tile has a chalky look to it, chances are that there is residue. There are actually two types of residue: one due to abrasion, and one due to mineral build-up. The best way to treat abrasion is to prevent it in the first place because once your tiles are worn down, it will be difficult if not impossible to treat. Do not scrub your tiles with abrasive fabrics or tools. Also, clean your tiles regularly so that sand and dirt don't have a chance to wear away at your tiles.
If the residue is due to mineral build-up, it is removable. If your glass tile is frequently exposed to hard water, you will probably deal with mineral build-up on your tile. One way to clean the tiles is to spray white vinegar on the tile, rinse, and then apply baking soda to neutralize the vinegar. Another way to clean them is to use white toothpaste (it is somewhat abrasive, but not enough to scratch the tile). If neither of these options work, you can look online for stronger cleaners that are specifically designed to remove build-up on glass tiles.
For normal maintenance, glass tiles can be cleaned with a soft wet cloth. If your tile is still not getting clean, look for a commercial cleaner specifically designed for glass tiles. Some general-purpose cleaners that might work are Lysol Foaming Disinfectant, Fantastik, Soap Scum Remover, and Mr. Clean. Make sure that you don't use a cleaner that is abrasive and can scratch your tiles. It's always a good idea to check with your manufacturer first to make sure that the cleaner won't damage the tiles.
One of the most important parts about having glass tile is to clean it consistently. That way, the build up won't happen and you'll notice if something is being done that is scratching the tiles (and hopefully be able to stop it before it becomes too big of a problem).
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