How to Clean Tile Floors
Why do I need to clean tile floors? What products should you use to keep it clean? What techniques will return its shine? It is important to keep tile floors clean for a variety of reasons. If your tile floors are porous, then dirt and debris can be easily embedded into the surface of the tile. If not regularly cleaned and maintained, dirt, grime, and other particles can build up on the tiles, leading to an unpleasant appearance.
What is the best way to clean tile floors? We will take you through the steps and process of cleaning tile floors and you will soon be on your way to having the tile floors you can eat off of!
What is Your Tile Floor Made of?
Before putting any cleaning product on your floors, know what tile you are cleaning. Using the wrong cleaning solution on your tile can ruin your tile and lead to floors that are unsatisfying to look at. Different types of tiles require different cleaning products and methods of cleaning. Let's get to know what tile you have.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Ceramic and porcelain tile is widely used for flooring, countertops, and wall coverings in homes due to its remarkable strength, durability, and resistance to staining.
Ceramic tile is typically made from a combination of heated clay, silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide, and other minerals, giving them superior properties for resisting scratches and maintaining their color over time.
Porcelain tile takes the idea of ceramic one step further by using a unique dust-pressed method that generates even higher densities as well as different textures and finishes.
Natural Stone Tiles
Natural stone tiles are growing in popularity due to their distinctive texture and color. Made from rocks such as slate, granite, marble, travertine, and limestone, these tiles come in a variety of structures that can range from large flat slabs or pavers to mosaic styles.
Many homeowners are also attracted to the durability of natural stone tiles which will last a lifetime if properly maintained. In addition to lasting longer than many other types of flooring, natural stone tile is porous.
If you want your natural stone to last long then it is recommended for them to be sealed and treated with a protective layer that helps prevent damage caused by spills and stains while allowing breathability to slightly absorb moisture.
Cleaning Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles
Sweep or Vacuum
The first step in cleaning ceramic or porcelain tile floors is to sweep or vacuum the floor to remove any dirt and debris. This will help ensure that no particles get stuck between the tiles when you are mopping or scrubbing them later on. It also helps reduce the amount of dust and allergens that can accumulate over time if left unchecked. This is a dry clean.
Warm Water and Cleaning Solutions
The simplest way to attack your dirty ceramic or porcelain tiles is warm water and mild detergent or dish soap with a brush or a clean cloth. Start by mixing the water and soap into a solution and using it to mop the tiles or you can use a clean microfiber cloth. This would be called a wet clean.
Wipe down the floors starting from the farthest point from where you plan on exiting or finishing to ensure that your tile floor keeps clean - this is effective for everyday dirt and dust.
Dirt Build Up or Stubborn Stains
If it has been a while since you have cleaned your porcelain or ceramic tile floors, there might be some dirt build-up that is hard to remove or stains that you may have forgotten about. These scenarios require a bit more work.
For a deep clean, combine warm water with white vinegar and use a little bit of elbow grease to remove dirt. Use a scrub brush to scrub away harder stains with a baking soda paste made from water and baking soda, before you rinse everything off with warm water. Keep in mind that ammonia-based cleaners can dull the finish of your tiles so avoid using them.
To finish, rinse with clean water to remove any soapy residue and dirty water. Use a towel, sponge, or any absorbent material to soak up leftover water. Allow your tile floors to air dry afterward and admire your clean ceramic tile floors or clean porcelain tile floors.
Cleaning Natural Stone Tile
Sweep or Vacuum
The first step of the process is to remove loose dirt or debris from the surface of the tile with a vacuum cleaner or broom. This will help make the process of cleaning the tile easier.
Cleaning the Tile
For regular cleaning, light detergents or stone soaps are gentle and effective to use on stone tiles. Using a clean cloth or a light brush, gently clean the tile by wiping it down to remove dust and dirt.
This is where ceramic and porcelain tile differs from natural stone tile. Since natural stone tends to be a porous material, it is important to stay away from abrasive cleaners (acidic cleaners).
Cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice, or anything with a high acidity will strip off wax seals and possibly damage the stone if used frequently. It is important to use a pH-neutral cleaner or a cleaner that will not corrode the sealant that has been applied to the tile.
Use a soft-bristled brush or broom to clean them and ensure a thorough clean without causing any scratches or scuffs
To finish, rinse with fresh water to remove any soapy residue and dirty water. Use a towel, sponge, or any absorbent material to soak up leftover water. Allow your tile to air dry afterward and admire your clean tile floors.
Homeowners find that not only their tile gets dirty but their grout as well. Grout is used to fill in the spaces between tiles and seal them in place, providing a long-lasting bond. It is possible for your grout to get dirty due to its porous nature and cleaning your dirty grout will make a big difference in the appearance of your tile floor.
Sweep or Vacuum
The first step in cleaning your grout lines is to sweep or vacuum your floor to get the loose dirt and debris off of the ground. This will make it easier to see the dirt you need to scrub off of the grout.
The next step in cleaning grout lines is to use an old toothbrush or other stiff nylon brush to scrub away any dirt or debris from the surface of the tile and grout. This will loosen up any stuck-on residue that might have built up over time. This is good for regular cleaning that could be done once a week if needed to keep the grout clean.
There will be stubborn and tough stains or dirt that will build up if your grout has not been taken care of. To deep clean, use a grout cleaner and a scrub brush to tackle the dirt and grime that is in the grout.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great solution for cleaning grout and will even whiten your grout.
Rinse with water and wipe any excess water with a sponge or cloth. Allow your clean tile floors to air dry and continue to maintain your beautiful floor.
We hope that we have helped you today have cleaner tile floors. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us!