How to Clean Tile Floors
If you want your tile floors to stay looking fresh, you need to sweep or vacuum regularly and wet clean (mop) them at least once a week. While there are many specialty floor cleaners available, you can also make a highly effective and inexpensive cleaning solution from items already in your home. Check this out!
Vacuuming is a great way to remove loose dirt and debris from tile floors. A good quality vacuum that’s designed for hard floors is ideal. Look for a canister or upright vacuum cleaner with a hard floor setting that turns off the brush roll to spare your tiles from any potential scratches.
When you’re ready to wet-clean, prepare a cleaning solution using a mixture of 14-cup vinegar for every quart of water (except for linoleum tile floors; vinegar is acidic and can damage them). Dip your sponge or chamois mop in the solution and wring it out to avoid making your tiles too saturated. Start at one end of the room and work your way back, changing out the mop water as needed.
Grout is the dirtiest part of tile flooring, but a few quick sprays with a commercially prepared grout cleaner can keep your tile looking fresh and new. Rinse and wipe dry as you go.
In addition to sweeping, it’s generally recommended that tile floors be mopped at least once each week. This frequency may be influenced by the number of people and pets living in the home, and the amount of moisture in the room (more frequent cleanings in areas like bathrooms will help prevent mold and mildew).
To mop your floor, start by making your cleaning solution (a mixture of 1/4 cup of white vinegar for every quart of water is a good option). Fill your bucket and begin mopping. When your bucket begins to look cloudy, dump it and refill it with fresh clean water. Make sure to dry the floor after mopping, preferably with a microfiber cloth, to prevent water spots. If you notice stubborn stains on your tile, try scrubbing them with a grout brush before cleaning. If you still can’t lift them, blot them with hydrogen peroxide or a commercially prepared grout cleaner and rinse thoroughly. Then, re-mop your floor.
If you don’t have time to mop, a quick spraying of your tile floors with water mixed with mild cleaner can do the trick. It’s especially effective for wiping up everyday messes like spilled juice, dried food debris, and marker ink.
Use a natural product that’s safe for kids and pets, such as vinegar or a castile soap diluted with water. Avoid harsh chemical cleansers, which may damage your tiles and leave a residue.
If you have a hard-to-clean area, such as the floor by the back door, place a mat and make it a daily habit to remove dirt before it tracks into your home. Similarly, cleaning up daily spills and sweeping or vacuuming regularly helps prevent stains on tile floors. Regularly sealing tile floors is another easy way to protect them from deep stains. It also makes them easier to wipe down.
While ceramic and porcelain tiles are relatively forgiving and easy to keep clean, their grout lines can become grimy quickly. A regular routine of sweeping and damp mopping keeps them looking great.
To get rid of stubborn stains on tile floors, experts recommend applying a commercial stain remover that’s compatible with your type of floor and following the manufacturer’s instructions for use. You can also make your own cleaner from common household items, such as vinegar or baking soda.
Mix a cleaning solution with warm water, using a bucket that holds enough to cover your entire floor. Dip your mop, which should be a chamois or microfiber mop, in the cleaning solution and wring it out so that it’s damp but not dripping wet. Work on a small section of the floor at a time, using a figure-eight motion to ensure you’re covering every surface of the tile. When the mop gets dirty, switch it out for a fresh one and rinse the floors. Definitely worth checking out!