Monday morning to Vienna, on Wednesday to Berlin, on to Hamburg and back to Weikersheim in the Franconian north-east of Baden-Württemberg – not every week of Markus Körner looks that stressful. But for the boss of the tiling company Fliesen Fischer, it is part of the job to travel right across Germany and Austria to carry out or supervise the final cleaning of buildings in newly built branches of the Müller drugstore chain. Read here his tips from practice to remove dirt and stains on tiles.
Müller is opening around 60 to 80 new branches in Germany, and in around a third of these, responsibility for laying the tiles and the final cleaning of the building will be placed in the hands of Fliesen Fischer. “The floor has to be spotlessly clean before the shopfitters arrive and put up the first shelves,” says Markus Körner.
The master tiling company, which employs up to 25 tilers, has laid more than 250 stores with a total of over 400,000 square metres in the past 20 years – so it has gathered a wealth of experience. But after the initial cleaning, “the job” is not done, Körner knows. It happens again and again that a quarter of a year after the first basic cleaning, someone from Müller gets in touch who had previously received complaints from the branch manager: inferior tiles had been laid, it had been noticed that “stains were coming through from below.”
Markus Körner then goes on site and looks at the spot with the stain and determines: “95% of the time, the stain is in the cosmetics department and is caused by a dropped lipstick or kohl pencil. Körner then grabs the stain remover from haid-tec, sprays it on the stain, lets the agent take effect and then wipes over it with a MelaminPlusPad. The bystanders then blush and quickly revise their opinion that “the stain came through the tiles from below,” Körner says with amusement.
For stain removal – whether it’s an oil-like stain or rust stain, as in this case – he also has an important tip at the ready: “Give the agent the time it needs to work its magic. “The best thing is to go for a coffee. Afterwards, the stain can be removed without any problems!”
If “all at once” strange stains appear on the tiles, in the least cases this has to do with the nature of the tiles, but is due to the fact that cleaners do not know which agent to use to clean the floor. The expert from Weikersheim has a second very clear example to report.
For Markus Körner, it is an everyday occurrence that he is called out because porcelain stoneware tiles simply do not get clean. This was also the case in a property where Fliesen Fischer had tiled a few years ago and had carried out the initial cleaning on the floor area of about 850 square metres. The tiles were now covered with a kind of bacon film, he learns. At the property, they assumed it was because of the tiles. The cleaning teams do not succeed in making them as bright as they were in the beginning.
According to Körner, the problem is simply that the cleaning companies do not use the cleaning agents actually recommended by Müller – namely those from haid-tec. And that becomes noticeable after some time. “The employees of the contracted cleaning companies are often just spreading the dirt, basically,” Körner said, explaining further:
The tiles for the Müller stores are purchased in Italy and then treated with the haid-tec process, a purely mechanical micro-blasting process, to make them slip-resistant. During this special treatment, small depressions are made in the surface – but these are almost invisible to the naked eye. If a cheap maintenance cleaner is constantly used that contains silicone oils, soaps or waxes, or other ingredients that leave residues on the ceramic tiles, then over time a kind of bacon film will form. The dirt is spread out and gets stuck in the tiny depressions. Then also the slip resistance is no longer given and customers and employees slip easily.
The result: After a few months, the store manager calls and complains that the tiles are not getting clean. Markus Körner then goes on site after receiving the complaint (has MelaminPlusPads and the maintenance cleaner from haid-tec in his luggage), demonstrates on one square metre of the tiles how to do it properly and Voilà: The floor looks like new.
After all, porcelain stoneware tile is actually the ideal floor covering for drugstores, and it usually stays beautiful for a long time and shows no signs of wear – as long as you clean it properly. And according to Körner, the simple secret is to use the right cleaning agent that won’t leave a residue on the non-slip ceramic tile.
Even though the team at Fliesen Fischer is always hired for final construction cleaning, it is cement haze removal that makes up 90 percent of their cleaning business. The tiler can already do something about this during the laying so that the removal of the cement haze does not become time-consuming later. “To wipe off the remains of the grout, it’s better to wash over it twice with clear water – 90% of the cement residue has already been removed,” Körner knows. If you don’t wash off the floor so carefully immediately after grouting, you’ll have to use a scrubber-dryer more often later, he says. He stresses that the quality of the grout also plays a role: “If you use cheaper grout, more will stick to the tiles and you’ll have to struggle more.”
Using a cheaper cleaning agent that may contain hydrochloric acid is not worth it, according to Körner. The math, he says, is simple: “One of our employees usually goes over the area twice with the scrubber-dryer when removing cement haze. If you use an inferior cleaner, you have to go over each square meter four times, and it takes the cleaner twice as long.”
And the expert from Fliesen Fischer has another tip up his sleeve:
With over 3,000 objects walked on and over 5 million square metres of floor area, David Haid is a proven expert in the cleaning of porcelain stoneware floor coverings. As an author in our haid-tec magazine „BODEN-ständig“, he shares his expertise from over 15 years of professional experience with you and provides valuable tips, especially for challenging cleaning projects.
If you have any questions, he will be happy to help you at any time and can be reached via the following channels.