How to Fix Discoloured Ceramic Tiles and Stone

Table of Contents

You see ceramic tiles and stone materials most often in bathrooms and kitchens. They tend to be exposed to damaging environmental factors like extreme humidity and greasy fumes.

Over time, the tiles and stones in the bathroom and kitchen collect stains and grease, and become dull and yellowed because of discoloration.

Loosened tiles and stones might be due to a combination of factors like inadequate adhesive power of the mortar and prolonged exposure to high humidity.

The cause of discoloration in tiles and stones, however, is quite singular; it is mostly due to environmental factors like extreme humidity, greasy fumes, rust and soap scum.

It is indeed possible to save your discoloured floor tiles and stone countertops. Observe the guidelines below to avoid the common cleaning mistakes in cleaning tiles and stone materials.

What kind of detergent and how to use it?

Gaps between tiles

Dab a brush in stain-removing detergent and scrub the gaps to loosen the stains. Then apply a layer of waterproof solution to stop water absorption and moulding.

Stone materials

Common cleaning detergents and sanitisers often contain highly acidic or alkaline chemicals which damage natural stone materials, causing the colour of the stone surface and the composition of the stone to change.

Most detergents have to be left for 15 minutes after application so that the stain-removing chemicals can work their effects. This actually can cause stone materials to decompose if the detergent has an extreme pH value.

Therefore, for stone materials, always use a detergent with a neutral pH value.

Acidic detergent

Best for removing lime, cement stain, water scale, rust and stubborn urine stain in the bathroom.

Alkaline detergent

Best for removing animal fats, vegetable oils, mechanical grease stains and even floor wax.

The misuse of acidic or alkaline detergents not only harm the surface being cleaned, but also your skin and eyes.


  1. Test the detergent on a small, inconspicuous area before cleaning. Ascertain whether the detergent corrodes the object being cleaned, and follow the dilution ratio as instructed.
  2. When cleaning, always wear gloves, face masks, and even safety googles when necessary. Avoid direct contact with detergent.
  3. Do not leave the detergent on stone or tiled surfaces for too long. Rinse the surfaces with water after cleaning.

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