Advice needed please! We have to clean our floor tiles!

Evening everyone, I’m hoping for a bit of help with suitable products and methods that we can use to clean up our floor tiles.

We’ve uncovered these old tiles downstairs, they were covered with brown ceramic floor tiles, possibly since the 1970s, and we have now chipped off the old tile glue and grout. They are coming cleaner with use but there are still a lot of white marks and some rusty type stains on them.

Does anyone have experience if cleaning this type of tile please? We think they’re concrete and the colour seems to go into the tile. Maybe dating from late 1900s? Which products do you recommend and methods to clean them up?

Thanks very much


Thank you John, we will heed your advice.

Hi Jane,

I use hydrochloric acid, easy and cheap to buy in Brico's I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the personal protection equipment, goggles, vapour mask such as activated charcoal and gloves. Open windows and doors and never mix bleach based products with acid. I don't know what st marc lessive special professional powder is so read the MSDS safety sheet or make sure they don't mix as these can produce a lot of heat and produce corrosive steam. Neutralise the acid with bicarbonate of soda and the same with any splashes.

I hope I have covered everything, just be careful.

Thank you both, my husband suggested acid but I thought he was joking! He will try a corner and also try the St. Marc stuff.

They are patterned tiles, I thought I’d uploaded a photo, sorry if it didn’t work!

What type of acid would you use John?



An acid wash would dissolve the old tile adhesive and grout, it would also reduce the iron staining but must be used with caution. Wear a mask, gloves and goggles and test on a small area out of sight first. Something to neutralise any remaining acid afterwards like soda crystals would be needed as well. Are they red tomate tiles?

I have used st Marc lessive special professional powder, dissolved in water and then on hands a knees with a scrubbing brush