How to Mop your Tile Floor Without Just Spreading Dirt Around

Mopping seems simple, but there's a right way to do it.

Pick the right cleaner

Use a cleaner with an alkaline or neutral pH. Avoid anything that is acidic, because that can cause premature wear to your grout, causing it to crack. Use as much cleaner as you need, but as little as possible. Also avoid cleaners that say “shine”. These types of cleaners will leave a residue on your tile that can yellow over time.

Pick the right tool

Ceramic tile and grout will usually have texture, bumps, and grooves, so a “Swiffer” style, sponge, or any other flat mop will not work as well as a string mop.

Sweep or vacuum any dust and dry soil

The more dirt you can remove before mopping, the better. If you skip this step, all that dust and dirt will turn into mud once it gets in contact with water.

Use two water buckets

Use one bucket for your cleaner, and one bucket for clean rinse water. Make both as hot as you can, as hot water cleans better than cold. If you haven’t mopped in awhile, you may want to change out your rinse water several times (if you’re really OCD, drop a quarter in the bottom of the bucket and make sure you can see the quarter through the rinse water).


You need enough water on the floor to clean, but wring your mop before you start cleaning. You don’t want to send forever rinsing or waiting for the floor to dry.

Rinse thoroughly

Use as much cleaner as you need to get the floors looking good, but then make sure you don’t leave any behind by rinsing well. Otherwise you’ll leave behind a residue that will attract dirt to your freshly cleaned floor. If you’re still seeing suds coming up in your rinse water, you know you have more rinsing to do.

Be careful

Watch what shoes you wear and how quickly you move. Telling people you broke your wrist mopping the floor is an especially embarrassing story.

Need more than a maintenance tile cleaning? We're here to help.

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