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How to Clean Tile
Floors Like a Pro

May 25, 2022

We love tile floors, and we know many of our readers and customers love them too. It’s no wonder tile floors have been a favorite floor covering for thousands of years. Tile is beautiful, durable, and competitively priced. There’s a lot to love about ceramic and porcelain tile floors, and at the top of the list is definitely how easy they are to keep clean. Once you know the best way to clean tile floors, you can keep them looking great with minimal effort.

You also don’t need to worry about getting tile floors too wet when you’re cleaning them because yet another desirable feature of tile is water resistance. As long as your tile floor is sealed correctly, you can get things a little messy if you must.

Read on to find out how to clean tile floors made with porcelain and ceramic tiles, how to know which kind you have, and the best tile floor cleaner for each. For all your other floor coverings, check out our handy cleaning guides for carpet and hardwood floors.

The Best Way to Clean Tile Floors Depends on the Tile

Tile flooring is usually ceramic or porcelain, and you’ll want to know which tile you’re dealing with before you choose the best tile floor cleaner. Don’t worry; you won’t have to take a sample out of your floor or chip out a piece of tile. There are less drastic ways to identify whether you have ceramic or porcelain flooring.

Porcelain tile is often used in bathrooms and kitchens because of its beauty, smooth finish, and water resistance. Porcelain is also denser and less porous than ceramic, making it more resistant to stains and making bathroom cleanup easier. The surface of porcelain feels smooth and will often have a sheen from the final glaze, which makes learning how to clean bathroom floor tiles fairly easy.

Ceramic tile may be used in bathrooms, but it is better suited to dry areas because it is more porous than porcelain. You’ll typically find ceramic tile floors in entryways and other high-traffic areas. Because the finish on ceramic tile is bumpy or coarse to the touch, the rough finish is advantageous in these parts of your home.

You can also identify tile by finding a chip or deep scratch. Porcelain is solid all the way through, so the color beneath the damage will match the surface. If the colors vary, you have ceramic tiles. Now that you’ve identified the type of tile, it’s time to learn how to clean tile floors and make them shine.

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How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors

It’s hard to beat ceramic tile for beauty, versatility, and durability. Perfect for high traffic areas like entryways, ceramic tile can be found in backsplashes, countertops, and more. Even though ceramic is highly durable, it is slightly softer than porcelain, so it can get scratched. But with the right tools and knowledge, it’s simple to learn the best way to clean tile floors made with ceramic.

Sweep your ceramic tile floors daily to prevent buildup and abrasive dirt and debris. Mop your ceramic tile weekly, but choose your mop wisely. Sponge mops and other traditional mop alternatives can have plastic and metal parts that can scratch the ceramic tile. If you want to know how to mop tile floors like a pro, ditch the fancy sponge mops and use a good old-fashioned string or strip mop instead.

  • Mop the floor using a real mop and a bucket of hot water with a few drops of dish soap
  • Remove dirt from the grout using white vinegar and an old toothbrush if needed
  • Mop up the soap residue using a fresh bucket of hot water (no soap)
  • Wring the mop out frequently to get the best finish
  • Let the floor air dry and enjoy your good as new tile floor

It’s simple to keep your ceramic looking its best week after week when you know how to clean tile floors in just a few steps. To make keeping a tile floor clean even easier, clean up spills, mud, and debris immediately when you spot them.

Nevertheless, even when you know how to clean tile floors like a pro, ceramic tile can lose its luster from dirt and dust over the years. To bring back the shine after your tile is clean and dry, buff the floor by hand with a microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Porcelain Tile Floors

Learning how to clean kitchen floor tiles made from porcelain will help your kitchen shine again. Porcelain is ideal for traditional and contemporary bathrooms and kitchens, and it’s durable enough to stand up to years of water, dirt, and grease. Porcelain tile is tougher than ceramic tile, so you can put some muscle behind your cleaning when you need to tackle grease and grime.

Like ceramic floors, porcelain floors should be swept often to keep dust and dirt to a minimum. A daily sweep is often all you need to keep porcelain shining, so invest in a good broom and enjoy the easy work. You won’t have to worry too much about scratching, so use whichever mop you prefer to give your porcelain tile floor a good cleaning.

  • Fill a bucket with hot water and a cup of distilled white vinegar
  • Mop the floor and wring out your mop frequently
  • Tackle dingy grout using an old toothbrush and baking soda
  • Mop rinse the floor with clean hot water
  • Allow the floor to air dry and watch the shine slowly emerge

Knowing how to clean tile floors helps keep one of the largest surfaces in your home nice and clean, so the rest of your home will benefit too. Get up spills and debris right away to make floor cleaning more manageable, and give your porcelain floor a good buffing once in a while with a dry microfiber mop. These mops give you a one-two punch because they remove dust while they bring back a beautiful shine.

About That Grout

Knowing how to clean tile floors is a valuable skill, but you’ll never get the brilliant results you long for if you don’t do something about that grout. While ceramic and porcelain tiles come with a built-in protective barrier, grout is sealed when it’s installed, and that sealant can fail. Plan on resealing grout every year if you want to keep those lines looking as clean and sharp as your tile.

If your grout looks less than inspiring even after a good scrubbing, you may need to have it resealed. But first, you need to clean it. Grout is porous and often light-colored, so it’s not designed to withstand much dirt or moisture, which is where the sealant comes in. When grout sealant wears thin, dirt and germs find their way into the porous grout, turning it grey or even black.

To get down into the porous material and whiten the grout, use hydrogen peroxide right out of your medicine cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe all-natural stain remover, as well as an excellent grout renewer. You may have to use a stiff nylon brush to get down into the porous material, but it’s important to get the grout as clean as possible before you reseal it.

What Do You Want to Clean Next?

We hope our guide for the best way to clean tile floors makes floor care in your home more manageable. While the methods described here work wonderfully for ceramic and porcelain tile, other types of tile require different approaches to keep it clean. Slate, granite, and marble don’t react well to vinegar, so skip this housekeeping staple for these stones.

Now that you know the best way to clean tile floors, what’s next on your list? Whether you want to add new housekeeping skills to your repertoire or you just need a helpful hint, we’ve got you covered with our handy how-to guides. From getting rid of stains and odors to saving money on cleaning supplies, we’ve got you covered with proven tips and tricks.

No matter if you’re an avid DIYer who enjoys house cleaning or you could use some help around the house, The Maids can help. Find out how affordable residential cleaning services can help you enjoy a clean home more often without all the work. Get a free online estimate today, and we’ll create a customized cleaning plan for your home. And with our 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose but a cleaner, healthier home to gain!

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