Q:

What is an acid wash for ceramic floor tile?

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Quick Answer

Ceramic floor tile can become stained over time from constant exposure to dirt, food and debris, so muriatic, acetic or sulfamic acid is often recommended to remove difficult stains. The practice of using an acid wash to clean tile flooring should be done with caution to prevent personal injury or harming the tile. The three acids are approved for ceramic tile use.

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Muriatic acid is an extremely strong type of acid that was often recommended by ceramic tile sellers as an ideal acid wash. Unfortunately, numerous people experienced personal injury such as burns while using cleaning solutions containing muriatic acid. Industry experts now discourage use of this acid for cleaning ceramic floors. It should be used with extreme caution.

Vinegar is often recommended as a safer alternative acid wash for ceramic floor tile. Vinegar is an acetic acid that should be diluted with water before applying to ceramic. There is no standard for vinegar cleaning solutions when it comes to tile. Therefore, consumers must decide how much vinegar to add to a homemade cleaning solution.

Acid wash tile cleaning solutions containing sulfamic acid are highly recommended by ceramic flooring professionals. Sulfamic acid is easier to use and safer than muriatic acid.

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