Cleaning your tile floors is an incredibly simple task, if done right. We’ve done extensive research on this subject, and tested some of the most popular methods out there, to see which methods are the best and safest options for most types of tiled floors.
Before getting started: This guide applies to ceramic or porcelain tiles. Tiles made from natural stone, including (but not limited to) marble, granite, slate or similar, needs special care and can’t necessarily be cleaned the same way. During the description of methods, we’ll mention the alternatives for natural stone tiles.
Method 1: Everyday Care for Tile Floors
To make everything easier for yourself, you should make a regular cleaning schedule for any task around the household. Keeping your tile floors neat and clean doesn’t take much, yet it’s highly beneficial because you don’t have to spend hours when deep cleaning them.
Here’s what you want to do:
1. Vacuum your tile floors daily
Vacuuming your tile floors daily, or at least every time you vacuum the rest of your house, removes dust and grime before it starts to accumulate and stick to the surface. You can use a soft roller brush for this task, but a parquet attachment works too.
For natural stone tiles: You should never vacuum tile floors made from natural stone, as they scratch easily. Use a soft-bristled broom instead, and sweep the tile floor.
2. Mop your tile floors regularly
The more often you mop your tile floors, the easier and quicker it is to do it. When cleaning your tiles, you want to use a mild mixture of water and a bit of all purpose cleaner.
For natural stone tiles: Make sure the all purpose cleaner is suitable for the type of tile you have.
Method 2: Thorough Cleaning of Tile Floors
This method is meant for deeper and more thorough cleaning of tile floors. It is recommended to thoroughly clean your tile floors at least once a month, to prevent buildup of grime, grease, mildew, and similar.
Here’s what you want to do:
1. Vacuum your tile floors thoroughly
Vacuuming your tile floors removes all types of loose dirt, debris, and dust. When you vacuum your tile floors first, you don’t have to wipe them as much to get them clean. Use a soft roller brush, or a simple parquet attachment. Also make sure you get into all corners, for example by using a crevice tool.
For natural stone tiles: Sweep your stone tiles instead of vacuuming them, to avoid scratches. You could use a smaller brush for corners.
2. Clean grout lines with a special paste
Grout lines are cement-based, and have a rough surface, where grime, mildew, and grease easily embeds itself. If you want to maintain a nice inviting look in your bathroom, kitchen or any room with tiled floors and walls, you’ll have to clean the tiling grout too.
It takes a bit of effort to clean grout, but it will make your bathroom look significantly cleaner when they’re kept clean.
The special paste consists of:
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 tsp dish soap
Apply the above solution to your tile grout, and let it sit for up to 15 minutes. The solution will work its magic during this time.
After waiting up to 15 minutes, bring out a grout brush, scrub sponge or tooth brush, and scrub the grout lines in circular motions AND in both directions.
Rinse the paste off with a bucket of hot water and a few drops of dish soap. Use a cloth, or a floor mop.
For natural stone tiles: It is recommended to buy a cleaning product specifically made for the type of stone tiles you have. Apply the product instead of the above mentioned paste, and follow the directions mentioned on the product.
3. Clean the silicone caulking
Most tile floors have silicone caulking along the edges. They need a bit of regular cleaning too if you want to avoid discoloring, mildew, or grime buildup from soap residue, grease, and dust.
Fortunately they are very easy to keep clean.
Just fill a bucket with water, and add a bit of dish soap. Use the same brush or sponge used for cleaning the grout lines, and scrub carefully in both directions. You might need to apply a bit of pressure on areas with tough stains, but you should also be careful not to damage the silicone caulking. Most types of silicone caulking is very durable, and won’t take damage from this type of cleaning.
For natural stone tiles: Make sure the dish soap is suitable for the type of stone tiling you have, or buy a product specifically suitable for your type of tile floor.
4. Mop your tile floors
Now that you’ve cleaned the grout lines and silicone caulking, it’s time to mop the floor tiling.
Mix a bucket of hot water with a few drops of dish soap. The dish soap will remove most types of stains from the floor, including grease. Don’t add too much soap, and ALWAYS add it after filling the bucket with water. Otherwise it will foam up and be difficult to clean properly.
Mop your floors as you normally do, and consider mopping the floors a second time, depending on how dirty they are.
Empty the bucket, and fill it with nothing but hot water. Mop the floor tiling once again, to wash off any excess soap. Otherwise there’s a chance of the soap creating a sticky surface, that attracts dust and makes it difficult to clean.
For natural stone tiles: Make sure the dish soap is suitable for the type of natural stone tiles you have, or buy a product specifically made to clean your type of stone tiling.
5. Enjoy the result
After all the scrubbing, washing, and mopping, it’s time to lean back and enjoy the result. Your tiles are most likely shining right now, so make sure you enjoy it before someone decides to step in and make them dirty once again…