Different tile types require different cleaning methods.
In summary, grimy ceramic and porcelain tiles can be wiped down with a wet rag or mop with mild soap and water. You can also add vinegar to the mixture to tackle tough dirt.
Whereas, natural stone tiles, including slate, marble, and granite, are best cleaned with a pH-neutral cleaning solution to prevent unexpected damage and stains.
The following sections will provide step-by-step cleaning guides for these various tile types. Plus, we’ll answer some FAQs about tile cleaning!
How do I clean ceramic or porcelain tiles?
Below are the steps for effectively cleaning your ceramic or porcelain tiling:
- Remove loose particles – To make cleaning straightforward, first, vacuum or sweep the tile surface of dust and debris.
- Create a cleaning mixture – Mix 1/2 tablespoon dish detergent, 1/2 cup vinegar, and warm water in a bucket with your clean mop.
- Wipe the tiles with a rag or chamois mop – You can now start wiping down the tiles with a rag or chamois mop.
Do not use a sponge mop since it tends to hold dirty water, which is easily released onto the grout surface, making it dirtier and harder to clean.
- Treat the stains – You can observe stains or yellowing on the tiles from food, oil, or other things. To clean them, use the right type of gentle cleaning solution.
- Rinse the tiles with clean water – Next, rinse the tiles with clean water to get rid of the soap residues which can attract more dirt from shoes, spills, or pet paws.
For this, you can use a mop, which would make the work easier, or also a clean wet rag, but this would be more effortful to do.
Speaking of which, one technique for cleaning the tiles is to put your foot on the rag and slide it over the surface—instead of going down on your knees and bending to clean them.
If the floor has become a bit dirty due to soap residue, remedy it with a mild homemade cleaner, preferably one with citrus juice to freshen up the floor even more.
- Dry out the tiles – Don’t let the floor dry out on its own because the small pools of water can dry into the floor to form wavy or line spots.
Rather, direct a fan toward the wet floor or dry it using a clean lint-free rag.
How do I clean stone tiles?
If you have stone tiles, here’s what you have to do to clean them:
- Cleaning Slate Tiles
Cleaning wonderfully textured slate tiles is about the same as cleaning glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles, except that you shouldn’t add acidic elements to the cleaner like vinegar or lemon, for instance.
Other than that, simply follow the same steps for cleaning a ceramic tile, rinse, and let the slate dry completely by wiping it with a cloth.
- Cleaning Granite Tiles
For this type of tile, use a gentle solution that’s not alkaline or acidic in any way. Otherwise, it can damage your granite floor and make it streaked or stained.
Afterward, you can also polish your granite tile to make it look shiny and pristine.
- Cleaning Marble Tiles
Since marble tiles are very sensitive, you should not use acidic solutions and hard bristles or scouring powders, lest you scratch them.
Clean or mop it with a mild solution gently from one end to another. And then, dip your mop in the bucket to clear the dirty water from your last use.
How do I clean tile grout?
Here’s how to clean tile grout in addition to tile flooring:
- Create a DIY grout cleaner – Mix baking soda and water to create a baking soda paste solution.
- Apply the paste on the dirty grout – With a rag, rub the paste on the grout and leave it there for the duration of the night.
- Scrub the dirty grout – In the morning, scrub out the grimed-down grout in between the tiles thoroughly with a stiff nylon brush.
Tip: Don’t use a metal brush since this can scratch or damage the floor grout.
- Seal the grout – Get a silicone grout sealer and put it in the gaps between the floor. This will help to protect and keep the grout free of stains, dirt, and dust.
How often should I clean my floor tiles?
For most homes, cleaning the floor tiles once a week would suffice. But this can change depending on how dirty they are.
Concerning the office, tile and grout cleaning should be done more frequently, as the floor gets more foot traffic, food crumbs, spills, and waste.
But the key to keeping the tile floor clean and hygienic is to do both dry and wet cleaning.
Here are their differences:
- Dry Cleaning – We advise sweeping or vacuuming the tiles of dust and debris every week and whenever you see some dirt or debris.
Doing this makes deep cleaning your floor tiles easier and more efficient.
- Wet Cleaning – Wet cleaning, the one we have been discussing, can be done once or twice a week for tiling in living areas.
Since there’s a host of bacteria breeding in the kitchen and bathroom, you can clean the tiles with a mop and cleaning solution every day or every other day.
FAQs about Floor Tile Cleaning
- What do professional cleaners use to clean tile and grout?
Oftentimes, pro cleaners use equal amounts of white vinegar and water to clean tile and grout.
This acidic combination is effective enough to take out lingering dirt and stains on porcelain and ceramic tiles but not for stone tiles. Plus it’s natural and only mild compared to commercial cleaners.
- How do I make my tile flooring shine?
Tile flooring will naturally shine when you wash it with warm, soapy water. You can freely use baking soda, white vinegar, or dish soap for superb cleaning results!
Baking soda will help to deodorize the floor, white vinegar will eliminate viruses and bacteria, and dish soap makes the floor stain-free and shiny!
- Will vinegar damage ceramic tiles?
No, vinegar will not subject ceramic or porcelain tiles to staining, corrosion, or other forms of damage. Glazed or unglazed versions of these tiles can be cleaned safely with it.
For cleaning marble, stone, or terracotta tiles, however, using a pH-neutral cleaner, for instance, water and dish soap, is strongly advised to prevent unwanted damage.