If you only clean your tile floors when they get very dirty, you may have to use strong chemicals that might ruin your tiles over time. To avoid this, you should do lighter cleanings more often. It might sound dull and tiresome to clean tile floors this much, but it’s really not so bad. Just follow these tips:
- Use a fluffy dust mop to sweep your floors daily (or just vacuum) to remove loose dirt and dust. Don’t use a broom made of straw because it can cause scratches.
- Keep your tiles shiny by mopping them weekly with warm water.
- When you wet-mop, immediately dry the floor afterwards to stop new dirt from settling in wet areas and turning into grime that is hard to get rid of.
- Wipe up any spills immediately with an absorbent cloth. For dirtier spills, use a cleanser or a disinfectant. Try to only spray them on the area where the spill occurred, otherwise your tiles might be dulled by these strong chemicals.
- Place doormats inside and outside your home so that you avoid tracking mud or water across your tiles, particularly during rainy and snowy weather.
For porcelain tiles that are unpolished or unglazed, do the following:
- Remove dirt from the floor by sweeping or vacuuming.
- Use a mop to saturate a small area of the floor at a time with a mixture of mild cleaning solution and hot water, then allow it to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t allow the cleaning solution to dry.
- Scrub stubborn stains with a scrub brush.
- Use a mop and clean, clear water to wipe away the dirty cleaning solution and rinse the surface.
- Allow the area to dry before walking on it.
For porcelain tiles that are polished or glazed, do this:
- Vacuum or sweep the floor. If sweeping, don’t use a broom, but rather use an untreated, dry dust mop.
- Use a mild (50% of the concentration that you would use on unpolished tile) cleaning solution to mop the floor.
- Rinse thoroughly with clear, clean water.
- Dry the area carefully to prevent water spots and to increase the shine.
Textured porcelain tiles won’t be effectively cleaned just by wet mopping, so some extra cleaning procedures may be required. You also may be required to clean more frequently. Here are the instructions:
- Vacuum or sweep away dust and debris. Use a soft bristle broom for sweeping, and sweep in two directions: first in the direction of the tile, then diagonally.
- Mix a neutral cleaning solution with hot water and saturate the surface. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Scrub the floor with a brush, again in two directions.
- Rinse the floor with clean, clear water.
You should also scrub the floor in highly-trafficked locations once daily and clean it regularly with a wet mop.
If your floor looks dirty regardless of your mopping frequency, you may need to clean them more heavily. You need to be careful not to damage your tiles, however – try these various deep cleaning solutions to help remove stains and greasy residues without ruining your kitchen.
- Use a mixture of a half cup of white wine vinegar to a gallon of warm water to mop the floor. Vinegar’s acidity can naturally remove grease, which is particularly useful in kitchens. Half a cup of plain rubbing alcohol can also be used as a vinegar substitute.
- To remove hard grease, mix dish detergent and fresh water and mop the floor with that.
- A mixture of half warm water and half scouring powder can be used to spot-clean stubborn stains. Apply the mixture to a stain with a clean cloth and leave it on the tile for between 5 and 10 minutes. Then, use a soft brush to scrub the area and rinse the tile thoroughly with a cloth and warm water. Repeat this until the stain is removed.
Bright, clean grout can make your tile floors look brand new. Try using a paste of baking soda and water before you use a commercial cleaner on your grout, as follows:
- Use the paste to saturate the dirty grout.
- Depending on how dirty the grout is, let the paste sit anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout.
- Use warm water to wash the paste out.
- If the baking soda paste doesn’t do the trick, try using a nontoxic cleaner like oxygen bleach. Follow the product’s instructions to add water to the bleach powder, and use the edge of a sponge to rub the mixture on the grout, repeating as necessary, then rinse the floor with warm water.
- After you are done cleaning, apply a sealer to the grout to make sure that the dirt stays away in the future.