Tile Cleaning 101: The Best Way to Clean Tile Floors
Looking for the best way to keep tile floors clean? Take a look at this helpful tile cleaning guide to keep your tiles looking clean and new.
Tile flooring is one of the most common flooring types used in building and renovations. Is it any wonder, considering the versatility and beauty of natural tile?
If you have tile floors, you understand the importance of keeping them clean. Regular tile cleaning keeps your floors looking new for years to come.
Keep reading and we'll guide you through the top tips on how to clean tile floors.
Let’s Start With the Basics
You can take care of your shiny tile floors with smart cleaning techniques that will keep your tile floors looking brand new.
Be sure to clean your tile floors regularly to avoid filmy tiles and dirty grout.
Make sure to vacuum or sweep your kitchen floor and mop at least every two weeks. If you have tiles in your bathroom, make sure to vacuum or sweep and mop every week to keep the floor sanitary.
As with any floor in your home, you want to make sure you perform regular cleaning to ensure you are eliminating any dirt or grime that has formed on the tile or grout. You may need to clean more often if you have kids and pets running around the house as they can track dirt inside.
You can also ask us about our tips on cleaning services, our team is here to answer any questions you may have about your floor type.
Tile Cleaning by Type
Next, we're going to walk through cleaning tips for each type of tile. Keep in mind that certain tile floor types require different cleaning products to avoid any lasting damage.
Ceramic and Porcelain:
These types of tile are long-lasting and tough.
A few cleaning tips include:
- Sweep or vacuum first to get rid of loose dirt, debris and to keep these glittering tiles from getting dirty and dull. Even dirt-resistant ceramic tiles can be dulled by sand and grit.
- A microfiber or chamois-type mop is more efficient for cleaning these types of floors because sponge mops push dirty water into the grout lines, and this makes it harder to clean. Make sure to change the water often while mopping because dirty water leads to a dirty floor.
- If you see anything that looks discolored, examine the stain to see what could have made it. Then, find the right cleaning solution to get rid of the stain.
- If your tiles look hazy after cleaning, you may be seeing soap residue. Remove the film with an all-purpose cleaner. You could also use a homemade cleaner with a mild acid (or freshly squeezed lemon juice).
- Don’t let the floors air-dry as water will form water spots. Dry the floor with a clean cloth after you finish washing.
Pro-tip: attach the fabric to the bottom of your shoe for a painless drying process.
Dealing with stubborn or set-in stains? See a list of common stains and how to remove them.
Be extra careful when cleaning stone materials like marble, granite, or slate. Chemicals in traditional cleaning sprays and liquids can damage the surface of these materials. Use specific cleaners made for natural stone tiles to preserve your flooring.
Natural stone tile tips:
- Slate: The best cleaner for slate is a mild detergent with no acidic ingredients. Make sure they don't include lemon or vinegar. Avoid water spots if your slate tile is coated by drying right away with a towel attached to your shoe (our pro-tip above).
- Marble: Marble is the most high-maintenance material of the group and there can’t be any acidic PH level in the cleaner you use. You also have to stay away from anything that might scratch the marble. Avoid brushes with rough bristles or scouring powder like AJAX.
- Granite: Similar to marble, you can’t clean granite with anything containing acidic ingredients. A harsh cleaner that isn’t PH-neutral may leave streaks or discolor the tile. You may want to use a buffer to polish your granite floor to keep that fresh, shiny look.
Resilient tile floors include linoleum, vinyl, cork, and rubber. These require minimal tile cleaning maintenance.
Resilient tile tips:
- Vinyl: Start by sweeping or vacuuming up debris and mop with a vinyl cleaning solution. You can also mix water and vinegar to wash. Never use an intense cleaner or scrubbing tool to avoid scratches on the surface of your floor.
- Linoleum: Start again with sweeping and vacuuming then wash with a linoleum cleaning solution or Borax detergent and water. You can let the floor air-dry. To fully protect your floors, put a coat of wax or liquid wax and buff to create that glisten every 3 to 6 months.
- Cork: This tile is all based around the finish. If the cork surface is lead with polyurethane (which is common), clean with water and mild detergent or white vinegar and then rinse. If the cork is unfinished or waxed, follow the same cleaning instructions, but apply solid or liquid wax once the tile is dry.
Keep Your Tiles Clean and Beautiful
Use our above tips to start a regular tile cleaning and maintenance schedule. Makes sure to carefully follow instructions on cleaners so you don't damage your tile floors.
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