Tile floors are durable and ideal for areas with frequent traffic. There are different types of tile floors, and each of them requires careful handling and cleaning to keep them looking like new. Knowing which tools to use and what tile products work best is vital when learning how to clean tile floors.
Don’t forget, in addition to cleaning the tiles, you also have to pay attention to the grout to have immaculate results.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Floors
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are common and preferred because of their durability. Keeping them clean takes a few minutes, and the process is easy.
1. Clean up loose debris
Using a broom to sweep loose debris might not work very well on tiles. It’s best to use a dust mop or a vacuum cleaner. This will take care of all the dirt and dust. The dry mopping or vacuuming has to be done regularly.
Ceramic tiles resist dirt and stains with ease. However, if you let sand and grit sit too long on the surface, the surface of the tile can be scratched and lose its shine.
When mopping, you will need to start by choosing the right mop. Sponge mops don’t work very well for tile floors. If you don’t have a mop, you can also use a rag. A simple mixture of mild detergent and clean water is enough when wet mopping tiles.
When using a mop, change the water frequently. Mops will often push the dirty water into the grout lines, which causes staining, and the stains can be harder to remove. Changing the water frequently also ensures you don’t end up with a cloudy floor after cleaning.
3. Cleaning up stains
Tiles hold up quite well against stains. That is not to say that you will not find stains. Most stains on tiles are identified as a patch of discoloration. The first step to getting rid of the stain is knowing what caused it so you can use the right cleaner to remove it.
- Lipstick, paint, ink, and crayon stains – apply rubbing alcohol to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe away with a sponge.
- Dried-on food spills – make a paste using baking soda and water. Apply it to the dried mess and rub it using a damp towel.
- Scuff marks – spray some WD-40 on a cloth and use it rub the scuff away.
4. Soapy residue
If the tiles have a hazy look even after cleaning, soap residue could be the problem. All you need to do is to remove the film using a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner. You can also make your cleaner using fresh lemon juice. However, the lemon juice cleaner should not be used on stone tiles.
5. Dry the tiles
The sitting water on the tiles will form spots if you let the floor air dry. The best approach is to use a rag to dry the tiles for that polished and shiny look. Make sure the cloth you use is lint-free.
Cleaning other Types of Tiles
1. Stone tiles
There are different types of stone tiles. The most delicate of the bunch are natural stone tiles like granite, marble, or slate tiles. Chemicals easily damage Their surface in traditional cleaners, so you have to take extra care when cleaning them.
2. Slate tiles
Use a mild detergent that doesn’t contain any acids. For coated slate tiles, make sure you dry the tile immediately after cleaning to avoid water spots.
3. Marble Tile
Marble tiles are magnificent to look at but also require extra care. Marble tiles shouldn’t be cleaned with products that contain any ounce of acid in them because they etch the surface.
4. Granite tiles
Granite tiles should also be cleaned using pH-neutral cleaners. Harsh cleaners will discolor the tile and leave streaks on the surface. A buff after cleaning will also keep the granite floor looking shiny and clean.
How to Clean Tile Grout
Tile grout is often forgotten when cleaning tiles. The result is a nasty looking grout plagued by stains. To clean tile grout, mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the grout and leave it overnight, then scrub off the stains in the morning.
You can also use commercial cleaners, but these could also affect the tiles. Once the grout is clean, you can use a silicone-based sealer to repel future stains and keep the grout looking neat.
You can dry mop or wet mop your tiles. You don’t always have to use water to clean them. Knowing when to do either will ensure you save time and keep your tiles looking their best.
Don’t forget to use appropriate products when cleaning tiles. As hardy as they are, using the wrong products can damage the surface and finish of the tile.