How to Clean Terracotta Floor Tiles

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Terracotta floors can make your home STAND OUT from your peers, however, for them to maintain their stunning appearance, you need to look after them well. In this article, we will look at how to clean terracotta floor tiles as well as how to use hydrochloric acid to clean this floor.

how to clean terracotta floor tiles

How to clean terracotta floor tiles – Step by Step

1. Get rid of any debris and dirt on the floor

This is standard procedure, you should always make sure that your terracotta floor is free of dirt and debris. Since this type of floor is mainly installed on point of entry, the majority of the dirt comes from dirty shoes, loose floor particles, and outdoor elements being blown towards the floor by bad weather.

if you clean the floor with dirt and debris on, not only will you make the floor messier, but you will also scratch it causing damage that can be costly to repair. You can sweep the floor or use a vacuum cleaner as it is more effective when it comes to picking up small particles.

2. Begin washing the dirt away

Once the floor has no debris or dirt on it, grab a bucket and fill it up with warm water. This is optional but you can add some dish soap to the bucket to create a powerful cleaning solution that will both protect and clean your terracotta floor. 

If you don’t have dish soap, you can buy a commercial cleaner however, you need to avoid using acid cleaners like ammonia and vinegar. With the cleaning product of your choice, you can mop the floor or use a sponge. When the water gets dirty, change the water as using dirty water will leave residue behind.

3. Dry the floor

The last step in the cleaning process is to dry the terracotta floor tiles and you can use a towel, a rag, or any soft cloth you might have in your home. it is crucial to remove any form of residue that might find its way into your grout.

Best Terracotta Tile Cleaner

The cleaner below can be used on a variety of surfaces including dirty porcelain ceramic, natural stone, quarry tile, concrete, and terracotta floors.

It does a great job of getting rid of any grease found on terracotta. The other thing you have to know about this cleaner is it is ideal for everyday maintenance.

FILA Heavy Duty Cleaner PS87 1 QT, Stain Remover Grease, Coffee, Wine, Wax, Ink, Hard Surface Floor Cleaner, ideal for Natural Stone, Terracotta, Quarry Tile, Concrete, Porcelain And Ceramic Tile
  • Effective heavy duty cleaner and degreaser.
  • Cleans and removes grease from dirty porcelain ceramic, natural stone, quarry tile, concrete and terracotta floors.
  • Highly concentrated formula; can be used diluted and undiluted.
  • Diluted: cleans and degreases porcelain tile, ceramic tile, natural stone, concrete and terracotta.
  • Undiluted: removes ground-in dirt from porcelain tile.

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles with Hydrochloric Acid

1. Make sure the area is well ventilated 

Before you begin doing any cleaning jobs, you need to ensure that the area is well ventilated because some acid fumes can be harmful to the human body. Open all the doors and windows for good ventilation or put fans where necessary. 

2. Wear PPE (personal protective equipment)

If you are working with acids, you need to wear personal protective equipment. This includes things like face masks, goggles, and gloves. Your safety should always be prioritized and wearing these will keep your hands, eyes, and face safe from harsh chemicals.

3. Have your hydrochloric acid within reach and create a cleaning solution 

Make sure that the container these acids are in is within reach together with some baking soda or even some gardening lime. These will neutralize the acid in case you accidentally spill it. Have two buckets ready, in one mix one cup of ammonia with a gallon of water.

In the other bucket fill it with a one-half gallon of water, add the hydrochloric acid as instructed on the label. In most cases, you need to add one part of the acid for every 16 parts of water. This is the same as ½ a cup of acid for every ½ a gallon of water.  The measurements that you use should depend on how strong the acid is. 

It doesn’t matter how strong this acid is, you should always dilute it and remember to add acid to water not the other way around because it can cause a splash which can cause damage to the surrounding area and your skin.

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4. Clean the area and rinse

While wearing gloves and a rag in your hand, begin using the acid mixture on the floor surface you want cleaning. You need to make sure that the acid mixture doesn’t come into contact with your clothes and skin. 

Do small sections of your floor first before moving on to other areas. This is because you don’t want the acid to sit on your tile for more than 10 seconds, hence why you have to focus on a small area first. When cleaning is done, rinse the area immediately with fresh water. 

5. Neutralize tiles 

Grab the bucket with the ammonia mixture you made earlier, and use it to neutralize the tiles you just finished cleaning with a cloth. Wipe thoroughly to ensure there’s no residue left behind and rinse again with some water. Repeat the steps above where necessary and you should have a clean floor in no time. 


1. Can you use vinegar on terracotta tiles?

You should avoid using vinegar on terracotta tiles because it can cause discoloration or damage which can cost a lot of money to repair.

2. How do you rejuvenate terracotta tiles?

If you want to breathe new life into your terracotta tiles, first let it dry and then apply 2-4 coats of a sealer. With that done, you can complete the task by applying the surface coating finish.

3. How do you make terracotta floors shine?

You need to first scrub away any dirt and then use a floor cleaner mixed with water. Using a mop or sponge, apply the solution on the floor and then let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing everything away leaving the floor looking shiny.

4. Does terracotta tile need to be sealed?

Since unsealed floors tend to get stained and dirty very easily, you need to make sure that they are sealed.

Wrapping up on cleaning terracotta floor tiles

You cannot go wrong with Terracotta floors in your home because they will elevate the coziness of your home and they come in a huge variety of colors, appearances, and textures. 

Now that you know how to clean terracotta floor tiles, you can hire a flooring company to install them in your home, just make sure the company has a good reputation. With the tips above, you should be able to clean the floor with very little effort.

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