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How To Clean Tile Floors In Easy Way (Pro Tips)

With a gentle touch and a few smart cleaning techniques, you can keep your tiles and grout looking new. How to clean tile floors, how to clean tile grout, what cleaning products and tools to use, and how often you should clean your floors.

If you haven’t scrubbed the floors in your kitchen or bathroom, they aren’t truly clean. While you don’t have to wipe your tile floors every time you wipe down the countertops, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of dirt or grime.

A hazy film or dirty grout both indicate that your floors require more than a cursory sweep. It is important that you use a cleaning method that is appropriate for your tile flooring, as cleaning products and mops vary based on material. Regardless of the material of your tile floors, these are the most effective cleaning methods.

How to Clean Tile Floors of All Types

You wouldn’t wash a stainless-steel refrigerator with a cleaner meant for enamel. Your tile follows the same principle. Even though tile floors are incredibly durable, certain kinds of tile require special maintenance. While ceramic and porcelain tiles require relatively little maintenance, coarse tiles such as slate, marble, granite, or limestone require specialized cleaning.

How to Clean Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Floors

Ceramic and porcelain tiles can be kept looking beautiful with a few simple cleaning tips. Follow these simple steps to clean ceramic and porcelain tiles:

  1. Clean up loose debris: Sweep or vacuum your tile floors regularly to prevent them from becoming dull. The glazed surfaces of ceramic tiles may be resistant to dirt, but sand and grit can dull them.
  2. When cleaning tile, use a chamois-type mop or rag instead of a sponge mop. A mop like this is best for cleaning tile because sponge mops tend to push dirty water into the grout lines, making them harder to clean. When mopping, change the water frequently. Dirty water equals a cloudy floor.
  3. Watch out for tile stains: If you find a stain, first determine what type of substance caused it. For the best results, use the right cleaner for the stain.
  4. If your tiles still look hazy after cleaning, you may have soapy residue on them. Remove the film with an all-purpose cleaner that is nonabrasive. Alternatively, you could use a homemade cleaner containing mild acid (such as fresh lemon juice) on ceramic or porcelain tiles (but never on stone tiles).
  5. Drying your glazed tile floors air-drying will cause water spots to form. After washing your floor, dry it with a lint-free cloth.
  6. Linoleum is often mistaken for vinyl flooring, but it’s a very different material that needs specific cleaning. Rinse the linoleum tiles with linoleum flooring cleaning solution or Borax detergent and water after sweeping or vacuuming. Let the floor dry after rinsing. Every three to six months, apply a coat of wax or liquid wax to your linoleum floors and buff them to a shine.

How to Clean Stone Tile Floors

When dealing with natural stone tiles like slate, granite, or marble, take care. Traditional cleaners can damage the surface of these materials. Clean your stone tiles instead with cleaners made specifically for natural stone.

  • As long as it does not contain acidic properties, such as lemon or vinegar, you can also use a mild detergent on slate tiles. If your slate tile is coated, dry it right away with a soft towel to avoid water spots.
  • Marble tiles are beautiful, but they also require a lot of maintenance. PH acidic substances should never be used to clean marble tile. Lemon or vinegar-based cleaners should be avoided, as they can etch the tile. Stay away from anything that may scratch the marble, such as brushes with hard bristles or scouring powders.
  • As with slate and marble tile, granite tile needs to be cleaned with a mild detergent that is pH-neutral. If you use a harsh cleaner, you risk leaving streaks discoloration on the tile. You may also want to buff a polished granite floor to keep it shiny and clean.

How to Clean Resilient Tile Floors

Featuring linoleum, vinyl, cork, and rubber materials, resilient tiles are a great option if you want a surface that’s easy on the feet and requires little maintenance. When cleaning resilient tile floors, keep these tips in mind:

  • In addition to being super resilient, vinyl tiles are also easy to maintain. Clean up debris with a vacuum or mop with a vinyl cleaning solution or vinegar and water. Vinyl can be scratched by abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools.
  • Linoleum is often mistaken for vinyl flooring, but it’s a very different material that needs specific cleaning. Rinse the linoleum tiles with linoleum flooring cleaning solution or Borax detergent and water after sweeping or vacuuming. Let the floor dry after rinsing. Every three to six months, apply a coat of wax or liquid wax to your linoleum floors and buff them to a shine.
  • Depending on the finish on your cork tiles, your cleaning care will vary. Cork surfaces sealed with polyurethane (most cork floors are) should be cleaned with water and mild detergent or white vinegar, then rinsing well. Follow the cleaning instructions for polyurethane but apply solid or liquid wax after the tile is dry if the cork is unfinished or waxed.
  • It does not contain acidic properties, such as lemon or vinegar, you can also use a mild detergent on slate tiles. If your slate tile is coated, dry it right away with a soft towel to avoid water spots.

How to Clean Tile Grout

To keep tile floors looking good, make sure the grout is clean. Grout is porous and absorbs grease and other stains, making it difficult to clean. Here’s how to make your grout look like new:

  1. DIY grout cleaner: Instead of using commercial cleaners, make a paste of baking soda and water.
  2. Grout stain: Rub it on the stain, let it sit overnight, then scrub the stain with a stiff nylon brush in the morning (a metal brush will damage the grout). Repeat as needed.
  3. Seal grout with silicone-based sealer to prevent future stains. It works best when done 10-14 days after the grout has been installed or renewed.

There is much debate over whether you should use a steam cleaner to “deep clean” tile grout. While some say it’s a great way to revive dingy tile, others say it’s a long-term risk. If your grout is in good condition and sealed, a steam mop shouldn’t harm it, but if your floor is older or if the grout is damaged, the steam could accelerate the process and cause pitting and discoloration over time. You could also suffer damage from frequent use.

How Often to Clean Tile Floors

Maintain your tile’s appearance by regularly cleaning both dry and wet.

  • Clean dry: Vacuum or sweep at least once a week or whenever you see (or feel) debris. On tile floors of any type, a soft-bristle vacuum attachment can be used, but it may be difficult to fit into tight corners. Finish the job with a hand broom and dustpan.
  • Mop your kitchen tile floor once every two weeks, and your bathroom tile floor once a week (bathrooms tend to build up germs). Spot clean your grout once every few months or whenever it looks dingy.

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