How To Clean Tile Floors in Your Home

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Dry mop on tile floor

Tile floors are an incredibly low-maintenance but highly durable option. They are competitively priced and easy to clean, but they also need a good scrubbing time and again. That’s because after a while, dirt can build up on your tiles, manifesting as stained grout and hazy films. This can cause discoloration and stain your floors, which distracts from its beauty and your home’s décor. What you need is a smart floor cleaning technique and effective cleaning equipment that leaves you with  spotless and sparkling floors. You must also tailor your cleaning method to the tile type. Mops also vary between different flooring materials, so keep that in mind.

Discussed below are some tips to keep your tiles spotless and splatter free.

How Often Should You Clean Tile Floors?

I would recommend both dry and wet cleaning your floors regularly. Regular cleaning minimizes discoloration from spills and splatters that are synonymous with tiled floors.

For dry cleaning, you’ll need a:

  • Soft-bristle vacuum
  • Hand broom
  • Dustpan

Sweep your tiled floor at least once a week with a broom. You can also sweep whenever you feel dirt or debris under your feet or when you can easily see it. As you step on built-up debris, they grind on the tiles, damaging the finish and ruining the shine. Soft-bristle brushes are suitable for all types of tiles, but you’ll need a hand broom to clean narrow spaces and corners. Busy and messy areas of the home like kitchens may need more frequent dry cleaning.

For wet cleaning, you’ll need a:

  • Mop
  • Cleaning solution
  • Toothbrush

Wet floors like your bathroom are suitable breeding grounds for germs that build up quickly. Untamed, the bacteria can quickly spread to other areas of the house. For this reason, it’s best to clean your bathroom once a week and wet clean the rest of the house once every two weeks. You must first dry-clean your floors, sweep away the dirt thoroughly, and then wet clean the tiles. Most mops work great with the exception of sponge mops that may push dirty water into the grout and cause more damage to the floor. If you prefer flat mops, choose those with cotton or microfiber heads that you can easily squeeze. Put away the mop and grab a cleaning cloth for smaller areas like half baths. Make sure to give special attention to the corners where dirt can quickly build up.

What is the Best Thing to Clean Tile Floors With?

Clean your tiles with warm water or a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent or dish soap. Dish soap is a versatile cleaning agent that can be used to clean floors or shower surfaces.

To clean tile floors with a home-made cleaning solution:

  • Mix a cup of liquid dish soap with warm water. You can also add vinegar to create a stronger cleaning solution
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. You can also use a bucket and spin mop if you prefer
  • Spray your floor with the mixture and let it sit for a few minutes
  • Rinse the floor with warm water

You can also make other cleaning solutions at home, including the ones discussed below.

DIY Tile Cleaning Solutions

1. Baking Soda Solution

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. dish soap
  • 2 gallons of warm water
  • Add some drops of a preferred essential oil (optional)

Mix all the products in a container and use it to mop your floors and remove tough stains.

2. White Vinegar Solution

This diligent solution will help keep your tile floors bright and spotless. White vinegar kills mold and mildew too, so you have an added benefit. 

  • Mix water and white vinegar in a container in equal parts
  • Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle
  • Spray the mixture over your tiles and let it soak for a few minutes
  • Scrub the tiles and then wipe them clean

This white vinegar solution can also be used on ceramic tiles. White vinegar cuts through all kinds of dirt, leaving behind spectacular results.

3. Minty Wash

  • Mix rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and water in equal parts
  • Add ½ tbsp. of liquid soap to the solution
  • Add up a drop or two of your preferred essential oil, e.g., lavender, peppermint, aloe vera, etc. (optional),
  •  Choose what works for you: a spray bottle or a mop.

Peppermint oil works great for repelling mice and ants, keeping your house pest free.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has the acidity of white vinegar but without the strong smell associated with vinegar.

  • Combine lemon juice and baking soda in equal parts.
  • Dip a toothbrush into the paste and use it to scribe your floor
  • Rinse the area with warm water 

The lemon juice and baking soda solution leaves sinks, tiles, grout, and bathtubs spotless and smelling fresh.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture

This heavy-duty mixture is suitable for tough stains and stained grout.

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide with white flour and stir it up to a thick paste
  • Spread a thin layer of paste over the stubborn stains  
  • Place a plastic wrap over the stains and let it stay overnight
  • Wipe the paste and rinse it with cold water the next day
  • You can use this mixture on your tiles and grout to clean them simultaneously

How To Clean the Tiles

  • Use long, smooth strokes. Start from a corner of the room and move slowly towards the exit.
  • Refill your bucket and rinse off the mop where necessary. Clean water/fresh cleaning solution reduces streaks helping you avoid murky floors.
  • Dry off the floor. If you want the floor to be spotlessly clean, go the extra mile and use a clean towel when drying.

Your grout may pick up dirt over time and look messy, even after wet cleaning. In that case, you’ll need a toothbrush and grout cleaner to remove the stains.

  • Mix baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and mild soap in a container.
  • Dip the toothbrush in the mixture, then use it to scrub the grout.
  • Alternatively, vinegar can clean the grout and create a polished look.

How to Maintain Your Tiled Floors

You may sweep and clean your tiles regularly, but that’s not enough to maintain the sparkle. Tiled floors need extra care to keep up their luster. Consider doing the following:

  • Clean up spills and splatter immediately. This is the best way to avoid tile and grout discoloration.
  • Sweep your tiles regularly to remove dirt and debris. Foot traffic can grind the debris into the floor, destroying the finish.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly to remove detergent or other cleaning solutions left after cleaning.
  • Minimize use of harsh chemicals like bleach which can damage the finish and sealant.  
  • Always rinse bath tiles after a shower to prevent the build-up of dirt and molds/mildew. 

Tile Floors So Clean You Could Eat off of Them

We all love the feeling of clean floors and the sense of achievement after cleaning our house, particularly the floors, sinks, and bathrooms. So, if you loved this article and learned something from it, then maybe friends and family will love it too. Please share this article and all the tips you learned on how to clean tile floors so they can have a spotless floor just like yours.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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