Need help with a Tile Floor Problem - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 07-27-2018, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with a Tile Floor Problem

I began cleaning a new customer's home two weeks ago. I go there every Monday. Last time I was there, I noticed what I call "Dirt Lines" on their dark floor tiles. Dark Gray tiles. I often find this, if previous cleaners swished around a dirty old string mop. All they do is spread dirt and germs around. UGH!
So I did what I normally. I wet a Magic Eraser with some H2O2 cleaner (something very safe!) and yes, the dirt lines came right off. BUT --- after it dired, it was obvious that I had somehow taken the SHINE off the floor. One of the owners was present and I showed him the dirt lines. He was a bit grossed out. And he also saw how the shine had been taken off the tiles. It was HIS idea that perhaps the previous cleaner had used some sort of wax on those floors, and I had removed the wax.

This made sense to me, but I was upset about it anyway. I went to Lowes after work and looked at various tile products that promise to create a shine. Hopefully the one I chose will help.

Has anyone else run into this?? Is anyone aware of a wax that can be applied to tiles??? I always thought waxy stuff was a big NO NO on tile floors. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Annie in HOT Florida
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post #2 of Old 07-27-2018, 07:50 PM
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It's the magic eraser that most likely did the damage... it's lightly abrasive like superfine sandpaper- you probably removed some of the glaze. We damaged a customer's hardwood floor by removing a scuff mark with a ME...you could clearly see that the area that was scrubbed had lost its shine... the ME had sanded off the finish! Horrifying!! Even though the customer was really cool about (and I offered to compensate them to have it fixed- which they refused) I still cringed every time I saw that floor. After that incident I've drastically limited the use of ME. I think your solution is worth a try... I'd test a small area first.
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post #3 of Old 07-28-2018, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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My hunch is that you are not right. Just a hunch. If I had scrubbed and put a lot of pressure on the ME, I could see that occurring. But I did not do that - at all. I used only light pressure, for the very reason you mention. I have used this method on many tile floors and have NEVER removed any of the shine! Only on THIS floor. Luckily it is a small area, and hopefully the new product will help. I used in in several homes this past week and it worked fine there.

Thank you for replying. This situation has me bothered. No one wants to hurt someone's property!
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post #4 of Old 07-28-2018, 12:41 PM
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I suppose you are right. It would be down right nervy of his previous cleaning service or person to take his matte finished tile floors and make them shiny without his approval!
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post #5 of Old 07-28-2018, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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People buy a home and dont find out those small details until later. These people bought the ouse maybe 6 monthes ago. They are slowly renovating it, removing wall to wall carpeting and putting down good laminates. I suspect that the previous owner did apply some sort of weird wax product to make those tiles look shiny. Hopefully, the product I bought will help solve this issue. If not, I may be out of a job with them!
Try, try again. We all make mistakes. But reading your suggestions made me re-think ME's. I will no longer use them on shiny tile floors! Never again! A simple foam sponge often gets the same results without ANY abrasion.
Thank you!
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post #6 of Old 07-29-2018, 09:21 AM
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I have a love/hate relationship with those sponges! They are good for certain things BUT from personal and professional experience IMO they have the potential to cause a lot more damage then manufacturers/DIY websites inform you of. On certain surfaces they also can leave a residue that requires a bit of rinsing to remove.. negates their efficiency on the job.
I've come to same conclusion as you... sponge or microfiber, a little detergent and a tad more elbow grease does just as good job on most surfaces.
I'm not knocking their use entirely, they have a place I just think it's important for professional cleaners to understand that the potential for damage is there, don't run amuck with those sponges... always test a small area first ( because not all surfaces are equal even if it's the same general material).
Okay, end of my public service announcement 😉😉
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post #7 of Old 07-31-2018, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well said. Thank you. The female part of this customer gave me the answer to this problem. "Mop and Glo" was used, she said. And then I remembered that a few years back before I cleaned professionally, I used that product on a tile floor in my own home. Yes, it made it look glossy, but it also turned yellowish with time and was hard as heck to remove! I think that is what the previous owner used. These customers were not upset at all by what had happened (great sign of relief on my part-). I used a product called "Quick Shine" ONLY on the small area of the tile I had disturbed the Mop and Glo covering. I told them that over time, good mop cleaning will slowly remove it all, but nor would I spend a lot of time (time=money!) removing it. They were fine with this. The Quick Shine stuff worked okay but I will not use it in any other house again, unless the same thing happened somewhere else!

Thanks to all who supported me with this teensy problem. Cleaning houses has its own problems, different from other sorts of cleaning jobs.

I cleaned a mobile home today - she had cancelled the last two cleanings (she was dog sitting a neighbors mean dog-). So this was only the 2nd time I had cleaned her home. OMG. The place was again filthy. She has two adorable cats, and I like them a lot (I happen to like cats!) but the dust everywhere was mainly kitty fur plus cigarette smoke (brown dust everywhere). The bathrooms were filthy with dust of all sorts. Every inch of that home was grubby. Well, it is not now, but she started niggling me about the cost. She is getting a slightly lower hourly rate because that is what her daughter negotiated with me, two months ago - when I was hurting more for jobs. I happen to know her daughter manages her money and adds money into her account when it looks low. I was fair about this issue with the lady, as she has serious health problems and simply cannot clean her home. She asked me to change her sheets and I agreed, but she threw in an extra $5 for this. LOL! People! I worked 3 hours and ended up making the same money I would have made in other homes for 4 hours. I like my work. I enjoy working. And I love getting a home truly clean!
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post #8 of Old 08-07-2018, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Gee, this home is starting to be one of my nightmares come to life. I will tell you a bit more. The home is owned by a young couple but one of their parents lives with them. I think they share costs of cleaning. I got there this time and one of them was visibly upset because the kitchen floors looks "uneven" in the spot I accidentally removed wax buildup. They only wanted a couple hours of my time and asked me to concentrate on that floor, plus do all three bathrooms. That is what I did. One of the problems is that each person has different ideas on how to solve the problem of the floor. In other words, conflicting ideas. One wanted bleach and water used. One wanted me to use the Shine product I tried last time. This wasted a lot of my time, but we finally worked something out. I worked for an HOUR on that floor, mopping first with one thing and a second time with the shine product. As I was working I realized what it is about that floor that has troubled me from Day One: Water BEADS on it !!!! To me that is proof that a wax product WAS used. The whole house is like this but for some reason, the floor is shinier in the kitchen area and the water beads even more so. Weird! I tried to explain this to them, but I am not sure they understand. To remove it totally would mean, I guess, hiring someone who has those huge scrubber machines. And even then I suspect the floor would look uneven in many areas since huge scrubbers do not do tight corners well.
I told them that if they wanted I could bring my steam mop and try to get some of it that way. They are not sure. The other option is to just let it be because over time that wax build up will go away.

I have a strong feeling I am going to lose these customers. Much of the problem is, I think, that more than one person has input into what I do. That can be confusing. No one stands out as THE person who makes the decisions. These are very nice people and I dont want to lose them over something this dumb.

I have also learned from this mess. In the future, if water beads on a tile floor, I will KNOW wax has been used. And if that happens, never try to remove it! LOL! In my deep desire to give them a truly clean floor, I may have lost a good account.

Life goes on anyway. Any suggestions would truly be appreciated.
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post #9 of Old 08-08-2018, 03:44 PM
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I think your best bet might be to visit or call a local tile business and ask them for a recommendation. Make sure you aren't getting in over your head with trying to correct the situation. As much as I hate that Mop n Glo stuff... have you considered maybe reapplying that stuff and then just letting the floor be....maybe test a small area, although I admit I'd be very nervous doing that. I sure hope they are not expecting you to strip the entire floor. Ugh!!! Sorry this has happened.
Also.... check truckmountfourms.com. It's a pretty active group ... I know they have a subset of hard surface installation and care, some one over there may be able to give you professional advice!
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post #10 of Old 08-09-2018, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!! That is good advice.

If I lose this account it actually will not be because of anything I did. It will be those three people not agreeing on what they want done. If I follow one persons suggestion, the other two may not be happy. Its currently a no win situation.

I highly doubt that the one person would want me to re-apply Mop and Glo. She was the person who said she thought that was what had been used in the past and she very much dislikes Mop and Glo, just as I do! But of course, I could suggest this in the form of a question.

Thanks again.A thoughtful reply is always welcome with me.
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post #11 of Old 08-10-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Got a short email from the main character in this drama. She said she is "pleased with what I did this past Monday. And I should continue doing what I did. But she got the product name wrong and now I still do not know what I should do with their darn tile floor!

I also got a wonderful email from a customer that I have cleaned for for over 2 years. She and I have talked about personal matters, things we share in Life's Travels. Se was SO grateful for being able to talk with me and even more grateful for the good job of cleaning her home that I do every other week. This email made my whole week worth it. I feel appreciated, something many house cleaners do not get.

Annie, sweating it out in Florida. Hell on Earth.
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post #12 of Old 08-13-2018, 02:43 PM
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Magic Erasers canNOT be pressed hard! I even clean my car with them but if you press too hard, it dulls the finish. Same with wood and tile floors and also some laminate countertops. I learned the hard way and there is a warning on the box I do believe. (?)

In time, they were less noticeable but that was due to getting used to it. :( I was more sick about it than the homeowner so when they finally replaced the floors with wood, I was extremely grateful!

Last edited by gayelynn; 08-13-2018 at 02:51 PM.
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post #13 of Old 08-13-2018, 02:45 PM
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No! Magic Erasers are not at ALL abrasive but they do take the finish off if pressed to hard.
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post #14 of Old 08-13-2018, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Gayelynn,
I no longer use ME's on shiny tile floors! LOL! The only thing I use is a damp foam sponge. This particular floor obviously had some sort of waxy stuff put on it in the past. It is much worse in the kitchen. What I am seeing is this:
I mop a small area. The water beads up a lot more than normal (this indicates a wax build up). The spills people make in their normal day of living always show up very obviously...small round dullish areas. When I mop those places, the water beads up and no matter what the heck I do, there are small dullish areas left. And I know the damn floor is CLEAN but it doesnt LOOK nice. The owners are being fairly flexible about this. Today I cleaned the entire home. 3 bathrooms, two bedrooms and a helluva lot of floors. Some of the floors are high quality laminate. That is easy but that doggone kitchen floor has me baffled and frustrated. The mother and I have discussed it and we have sort of a working plan. Over time, that wax build up will go away, since I wont use a wax product on it EXCEPT in that one area I ME'd clean. It is very frustrating to mop a floor TWICE - and KNOW it is clean but it still does not LOOK good! I know you well enough to know you understand my aggravation.

I would vastly prefer to work with animals, not humans!!! LOL!
Annie
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post #15 of Old 08-13-2018, 06:46 PM
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Yes, that would be VERY frustrating! I can't even suggest anything as I'm baffled too. Maybe try a wax remover? Then go from there.
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post #16 of Old 08-14-2018, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Well, things went fine yesterday. What I did in the kitchen is this: I first mopped it with an all purpose. Then put the Shine stuff on the area that I removed the wax. Family seemed fine with the results. I have a suspicion that other things were troubling the Mom that day when she was so upset about the floor. And took it out on me, I guess. No big deal, or at least for now. She and her son seem to understand what I have been trying to tell them. The thing that frustrates me about their floor is that no matter what I do, it never looks good! And that is because the wax stuff someone was using has built up. Anywhere someone spills something acidic, like coffe, it leaves a dull spot. And if you have made the mistake of using a wax product on your own floor (I have!) you know how grubby the floor will be. My kitchen floor turned sort of yellow, and I had the very same issues as this floor does. My kitchen is small, so removing it wasnt too hard. But this house is maybe 3200 SF! and the tile is everywhere except two bedrooms.
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post #17 of Old 08-15-2018, 09:59 AM
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I had the exact same problem in my Kitchen.

It was infact a thin wax layer on the tiles that the sellers must put on shortly before listing.

Did you ever figure out how to get the shine back? As it was my own home I am ok without having the shine, but it would be a nice to have.

Have a mold problem? Check out my blog: LookMold.com

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post #18 of Old 08-15-2018, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I went to Lowes and looked at a lot of products. One promised to add a shine to hard floors. I bought the darn stuff. And used it. It does work, but it, too, is adding yet another layer of "product" (probably waxy too) on top of that floor.
I explained this carefully to the owners. They have several options. Over time, ordinary cleaning products will gradually get up the wax used previously. But this means there may be spotty areas which look dull and others will still look shiny. For the moment, they want to proceed with my doing normal cleaning but apllying the Shine product to that one small area I used a sponge on. Its only about 12 inches X 12 inches. But it is in an obvious spot.

If your tile did not have a "built in shine" do not try to put one on. Waxy products will do that but then you wont be able to have really clean floors! You will just be sealing in the dirt with the waxy product.
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post #19 of Old 08-18-2018, 08:42 AM
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missannienow Mop and Glo is some kind of awful sticky stuff!

Regular floor wax like they use on large commercial retail spaces is an acylic polymer wax (water based)

If you apply a small amount to a dull area with a rayon mop (preferably) it will create a shine that will eventually wear off

Small amount here is key.Also acrylic polymer wax comes in different shine levels. Depending on what you are waxing and if it's shiny

but not glaringly so then go for a more matte wax.

You can buy this standard wax at any janitorial supply.

NOTE:If you are trying to repair a dull spot then use a regular small sponge. Wet the sponge first and wring it out TIGHT! then dip it in the wax and apply it to the area and a little past the specific area to blend.

If you dip your fingertips in this stuff you have nice shiny fingernails : )

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post #20 of Old 08-18-2018, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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LOL! I once used Mop& Glow on my floor. What a yellow mess that was. Never again. I have a feeling that the product I used to get the shine back on that one spot was a polymer based thing too. Only a guess. The bottle says to remove it you have to use another of their products to remove it. I told the owners this, so they know what they are getting into. This has to be THEIR decision, not mine.
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