It is possible that your bathtub or shower tile will get notoriously dirty after some time. The dirt in a bath makes a person uncomfortable to even take a shower in it. Sometimes it is not just being dirty, but it has gotten to a point it is slimy and moldy. This happens when the soap scum accumulates on tile after a long time.
If you have such kind of cleaning problem, then it is time to bring out the big guns. You might want to consider getting a pressure washer to clean the tile. The water comes out of the pressure washer at a pressure high enough to dislodge the dirt from the tile. This leaves you with a clean bath and shower.
Cleaning your bath or shower tile with a pressure washer can be quick and effective. That being said, it should not be a total replacement of the traditional hand-scrubbing method. The hand scrubbing method has to be maintained as the best method for weekly cleaning of the tile. Power washing is supposed to be an infrequent activity. So, depending on the health of the tile grout, power washing needs to be limited to maintain it in good condition.
Also, setting up the power washer for bath tile cleaning and later on taking it down can be burdensome to some users.
For those with moisture intolerant flooring, you would also want to keep the use of a power washer to a minimum. Always be cautious with re-glazed tiles as they might start to chip away with frequent power washing of the tile.
Preparation for Washing Your Tile
For the process to be fruitful, you still have to prepare for it. It is common to end up with a bit of overspray as part of the process. As much as it cannot be avoided, make sure to keep it at a minimum. As a way of limiting the overspray, it is recommended that you use plastic sheeting. The plastic sheeting helps to keep the space drier even with power washing.
The plastic sheeting is supposed to be tucked at the bottom of the tub. This helps to get the water draining back into the tub. It will be great to have several bath towels available to mop up the excess water that gets past the plastic sheeting.
- Mop or rags
- Garden hose
- Gas or electric pressure washer having a fan tip
- Set up the pressure washer
To start off the process, set up the power washer outdoors, but as close to the bathroom as possible. You will have to feed the hose through the bathroom window for cleaning. Proceed to connect the hose to the washer and then attach the nozzle in the bathroom. Once that is done, connect the washer to a GFCI outlet.
It is important that you never run a gas-powered pressure washer in the house. This is because the gas engine emits deadly carbon monoxide gas that can be dangerous.
- Adjust the pressure and spray
Next is to adjust the fan tip of the pressure washer. You are not to use the pinpoint tip as it will likely damage the grout. You are then to set the pressure to its low setting before using. If it is too low, adjust it slightly to get more pressure, but not too much. Always use enough pressure to clean the tile and nothing too much.
- Get to work
When cleaning the tile, you are supposed to spray in horizontal runs. Move in steps where you finish about 6 inches of a run and then move to another. Always start at the top so that you keep the debris moving downwards and away from the cleaned areas. Keep the spray and 45 degrees so as to minimize the overspray. This helps to drain as much water as possible back into the tub and then down the drain.
- Stay away from caulk joints
When cleaning with a pressure washer, try to avoid the caulk joints. This is where the tile meets the shower floor or tub. This part is always filled with caulk rather than having grout. Using a lot of pressure on these joints will chip away a few inches of the caulk.
- Clean up any debris or excess water
Once you are done cleaning, proceed to turn off the washer and then take the hose from the bathroom through the window. With your sponge and rags, clean up any remaining debris in the tub. The rags can also come in handy to dry the bathroom floor to keep it nice and dry.
Just like that, you have managed to clean your bath tile by using a pressure washer. It is important that you do not use a lot of pressure. This way you never have to worry about damaging the tub tile and surrounding areas.