Floors come in a myriad of choices, but tile remains an attractive choice among homeowners. Unlike hardwood floors, tile floors are durable, waterproof, easy to install and available in an array of styles. Most importantly, they don’t require as much maintenance as carpets do. However, if you want your tile floors looking like new for years, you should know how to clean them properly. Below are the best ways to clean tile floors, whether they are ceramic, vinyl or stone.
Clean Your Tile Floors Regularly
Don’t wait until your tile floors get really dirty, as you may want to avoid using strong chemicals that will degrade your tiles in the long run. Plus, who wants to spend hours kneeling on the floor just to scrub away stubborn stains? To prevent these problems, you should learn how to clean tile floors on a frequent basis. Cleaning tile floors routinely or even daily may sound tiresome. But, it’s not as hard as you think. You just need to follow these simple steps.
1. Sweep your tile floors daily with a fluffy dust mop or vacuum to remove loose dust and dirt. Remember, you should never use a straw broom to replace either the dust mop or vacuum because that will scratch your tiles.
2. Believe it or not, mopping the floor with warm water once a week will help your tiles stay nice and shiny. If you are looking to hire a cleaning pro to take care of your tile floors, you can see how much it will cost in your area through our house cleaning cost guide.
3. Dry the floor right after damp mopping to avoid new dirt from quickly setting in wet areas and becoming hard-to-remove grimes.
4. Wipe up spills, including water, immediately by using absorbent cloths. However, for those dirtier spills like pet accidents or dropped raw meat, you have to clean them with a cleanser or disinfectant. Since strong chemicals may dull your tiles, try to only spray the area where spills occurred.
5. Put a doormat both outside and inside your home to eliminate tracking mud or water on your tile floors. This step is especially important during rain and snow seasons.
Apply Deep Cleaning Solutions From Time to Time
Does your tile floor look nasty no matter how often you mop? Try a stronger cleaning solution. These different deep-cleaning solutions will remove greasy residues and stains without damaging your tiles.
1. Mop the floor with a mix of ½ cup white vinegar and a gallon of warm water. The acidity in vinegar can work as a natural grease-remover that makes this approach especially useful for kitchens. You can also use ½ cup of plain rubbing alcohol as a substitute for vinegar.
2. Mix fresh water and dish detergent and mop it on the floor to remove hard grease.
3. Spot-clean stains with a mixture of half scouring powder and half warm water. Spread the mixture onto a stain by using a clean cloth and let it sit on the tile for 5-10 minutes. Then, scrub the area with a soft brush and thoroughly rinse the tile with warm water and a cloth. Repeat the process until you remove the stain.
Please note that acids like vinegar and some other cleaning products will erode natural stone tiles. Therefore, you should only use special pH neutral cleaners to safely clean your stone tile floors. Gentle dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch and baking soda, for example, are good natural cleaning options.
Don’t Forget Grout Cleaning
Never overlook the importance of tile grout, as bright grout will make your tile floors look great and new. Before you go with commercial cleaners, try to clean your grout with a mixture of baking soda and water. The steps are simple:
1. Saturate the dirty grout with the paste.
2. Let the paste sit for a while or even overnight, depending on how dirty your grout is.
3. Scrub the grout with an old toothbrush.
4. Wash the paste out with warm water.
If your grout doesn’t look as bright as you would like, you can use a non-toxic cleaner like oxygen bleach. Add water to the bleach powder based on the product’s instructions and rub the solution on the grout with the edge of a sponge. Repeat as necessary. Finally, rinse the floor with warm water to remove the residue.
Whether you decide to use baking soda or oxygen bleach, after you are done cleaning, you should apply a sealer to the grout, keeping the dirt away in the future.
Like other areas of the home, the best maintenance is always precautionary rather than reactionary. If you follow these steps and regularly clean your tile floors, they will look as good as new for years to come.