I love tile floors. They’re low maintenance, easy to clean and last a long time if treated correctly.
Yet, some people despise them because they say they’re hard to clean. In reality, tile floors are great for areas which may receive water.
However, they can become a nightmare if you don’t understand how to clean them properly. Which is why I’m going to walk you through how to clean your tile floors (and grout) properly.
If maintained properly, tile floors will become the new favorite feature around your home.
- Broom or vacuum
- Brush or mop
- Lemon juice
- Baking soda
- Grout sealant
1. Keep Them Clean
Though tile floors are resilient, they should be kept clean. If you track sand or grit like materials onto them, it will cause the finish on the tile to become dull.
This impacts the appearance of the floors. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you sweep or vacuum your tile floors on a regular basis.
If you have a larger amount of traffic in your home, that simply means sweeping daily (as I must do in my home.) If you have less traffic in your home, you might be able to get by with only sweeping the floors once a week.
2. Pull Out the Mr. Clean
You don’t need special cleaners to mop tile floors (in most cases.) If you have more expensive special tile options such as marble or stone, be sure to check with the retailer on how they recommend mopping the floors.
However, if you have traditional tile floors, you can use a gentle cleaner diluted in warm water to mop the floors. I use Mr. Clean to mop my tile floors. I also use apple cider vinegar and water.
It’s all about your preferences and what you have on hand. Be sure to change your mop water when it begins to look dirty because this can cause your floors to appear murky.
In fact, when you have dirty mop water, you’re only smearing dirt over the tiles. Pay close attention to this to make sure you’re doing an effective job at mopping.
Also, be mindful of what style of mop you’re using. You can use a washcloth or brush to mop the floors by hand.
Obviously, if you’re mopping a larger area, you may need a mop. Use any style of soft mop with the exception of a sponge mop.
The sponge mop has a tendency to push the dirt into the corners of the room and also into the grout which makes for a harder job later.
3. No Airy Drying Here
Once the floors are mopped, don’t walk away and allow them to air dry. If you allow the floors to air dry, you may end up with water spots.
To avoid water spots, be sure to use a towel to wipe the floors down. This will dry them and shine them simultaneously.
Also, if you missed a few spots while mopping this will allow you to get anything you may have missed. Ultimately, you should have sparkling floors at this point and feel confident in their cleanliness.
4. Cut Through the Residue
Over time, tile floors may begin to build up a residue. You’ll notice their shine diminishes, and they may even begin to look as though a gungy film is covering them.
When this happens, mop the floor with lemon juice. If you have marble or another higher end tile floor, don’t use this method to remove residue because it can damage the tiles.
Reach out to the retailer to find out how they would recommend removing the film, but if you have traditional tile floors made of actual tile, this method should work fine.
5. Seal the Grout
Grout is the biggest headache when having tile floors in your home because it can suck up grease and other items which can stain the grout.
If the grout looks dirty or stained, the whole floor appears dirty. A good way to stop this before it even happens is to apply a grout sealant 10 days after the grout has been applied to the floor.
When doing a remodel project, if you have to reapply grout to an area, be sure to wait 10 days and apply the grout sealant again as well.
The sealant will stop the grout from absorbing things which are dropped on the floor.
6. Clean the Grout
If you didn’t apply a grout sealant when it was originally applied, you can still clean the grout and remove any stains.
It’s a simple process. Make a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply the mixture to the grout and let it stand for 12 to 24 hours.
After the mixture has rested on the grout, go back over it with a toothbrush and work the mixture into the grout to remove the stains. Wipe the grout clean with water.
You can do this as regularly as needed. Otherwise, you can clean the grout and apply sealant to it. This should help the grout stay clean. Be sure to follow the instructions of the grout sealant when applying.
7. Know Your Floors
The most important part about cleaning tile floors is to know what type of tiles you have. If you have traditional tile floors which are made of tile, they’re more resilient and can use basic cleaning methods to keep them clean.
However, if you have tile made of marble, stone, or granite please be aware of everything you put on them because they can be damaged.
Be sure to reach out to your retailer about what you should use to properly clean, dry, remove residue, or even what should be used to clean the grout between the tiles.
It’s a good idea to do your research when working with tile made of different materials.
Well, you now know how to clean your tile, remove any build-up they may have accrued, and also how to keep the grout clean.