7 Easy tips on how to clean ceramic tile floors

How to clean ceramic tile floors

A lot of time and effort goes into cleaning floors and house maintenance. More specifically, ceramic floors can be a tough part of the cleaning process. Stylistically a great choice to have in your home although, the real hassle comes when you don’t know how to clean ceramic tile floors.

It seems that there is general disagreement on how to clean ceramic floors the fastest way possible. With a bunch of choices to make, it may be hard picking the right method to keep your ceramic tiles clean.

The good news is that the multiple ways to go about cleaning a ceramic tile floor are all pretty simple. This is because ceramic tiles do not generally need much maintenance. They have a safety barrier that rejects dirt, stains, water, and chemicals. This is what makes ceramic floors easy to maintain and a great choice that most people have in their houses.

However, there are certain ways to keep ceramic tile floors in the best condition when it comes to cleanliness. Below we have listed some tips that can help you make sure your ceramic tile floors are always sparkling and clean.

Vacuuming and Sweeping

How to clean ceramic tile floor
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The first tip when it comes to keeping ceramic tiles clean has to do with routine. It is important to sweep or vacuum your ceramic floors often enough to pick up any larger dirt particles that might get in the way of further and deeper cleaning.

Optimally, you should go about sweeping or vacuuming your floors twice a week. If you simply do not have the time, consider at least vacuuming once a week in order to keep a base level of cleanliness for your ceramic floors. Ideally, you should be using a dry mop or a vacuum.

A broom will also work just fine whenever you might be in a hurry. When it comes to vacuuming your ceramic floors, keep in mind not to use a beater bar. This can generally damage your floor by scratching it or dulling the tiles.

Though ceramic tiles are easily cleaned and look nice, they are not indestructible. Instead, try a soft head or a bare floor attachment. Mops that have fluffy and washable mop heads are a better bet than more expensive mops with disposable dusters.

Glazed tiles vs. Unglazed Tiles

You also might have to adjust your cleaning habits to the quality of your ceramic floor. For example, if your ceramic tiles are unglazed, it is best to go over it with a wet mop every day. This is because unglazed ceramic floors tend to get dirty a lot easier.

After filling a bucket with lukewarm water, go over the tiles while rinsing the mop whenever the water looks dirty. When considering what mop to use, it is best to stay away from sponge mops as they can drive a great portion of the dirty water into gout. Because unglazed tile can only be cleaned with water, it requires a larger cleaning frequency than glazed tiles if you want to avoid stubborn stains.
 
Glazed tiles are another story when it comes to cleaning. Because they are generally more protected from grime and dirt, glazed tiles should be mopped once weekly. Instead of just using a bucket of lukewarm water, add a drop of dish soap if your tiles are dirty. Also, remember to rinse the floors with plain water if you previously used dish soap.

After you are done cleaning your tiles, the next step is to use a clean towel to wipe up the floor. This will help you pick up any leftover dirt, prevent any water spots that might form from leaving your tiles wet, and give your flooring a better shine. Drying the floor with towels is especially important if you have unglazed tiles. This is because unglazed tiles are more porous than glazed tiles and if you leave them wet, they may accumulate organic straining from mildew or mold.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew is another substance that can get in the way of you keeping your tiles as clean as possible. This specific substance may require specific treatment for optimal cleaning. Most cases of mold and mildew can be cleaned up with warm water and a few extra drops of dish soap.

When scrubbing your floor with this solution you should use a nylon brush or a natural bristle brush. Depending on the amount of the mold, you may want to leave the solution on the floor for ten to fifteen minutes. Just make sure the solution does not dry on the tile before you scrub it out.

Grout

After vacuuming and sweeping up larger particles of dirt you can go on to another tip that could greatly help you keep your ceramic tiles clean. Although dirt and sand get in the way of the surface, the true secret to keeping ceramic tile floors perfect is cleaning and maintaining the grout. The crevices or gaps between your ceramic tiles are filled with this pasty substance.

How to clean ceramic tile floors
Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

Grout generally absorbs dirt, sand, and grease. This is exactly why making sure the grout in between your ceramic tiles is clean can lead to a better-looking floor. When it comes to cleaning grout, your best bet is using a commercially prepared grout cleaner or if you do have to clean your ceramic floor regularly, consider buying a scrubber (you can check our best picks here). Be sure to read the instructions when it comes to these products as they can vary when it comes to application.

Some people also opt for a mild bleach solution. By allowing the cleaner to sit for ten minutes, you will be able to scrub out most deep stains later with a small scrub brush or a toothbrush.

Some grout stains can be incredibly stubborn, however, to solve this problem, mix baking soda and water into a fine paste. Apply this to the grout and let it sit overnight. Afterward, use a nylon brush to scrub out the stains as a metal brush can damage the tiles. If you are open to investing more into your ceramic floor, you might also want to consider a silicone-based grout sealer in order to prevent dirt and stains in the future.

Testing ceramic floors

One mistake people make when it comes to attempting to clean their ceramic tile floors is forgetting to test them. Before applying any type of chemical or acid cleaner, it is very important to test your floors before fully applying the cleaner.

This is because not all acid cleaners or chemicals are good for ceramic floors. If the cleaner is advertised as abrasive you can end up damaging the design or texture of your tiles.

In fact, the only time you should consider using acid-based cleaner is when you need to remove lime or cement mortar straining. When using these types of cleaners, make a small test spot on a tile. Be sure to use this type of cleaner with caution and follow the exact manufacturer’s instructions. Some of these cleaners will even have a warning if they damage ceramic floors. After thoroughly wetting the floor, make sure to rinse it afterward.

Stain types

Another way for you to maximize cleanliness when it comes to ceramic tile floors is to know how to clean all the different types of stains. Depending on the type of stain, you might want to use a different method for tidying up your ceramic floor.

Liquids like tea, coffee or juice require hot water and a little detergent. You can also add a little hydrogen peroxide to go that extra mile if the stain persists. However, grease stains are a little different. Use club soda and water or a commercial cleaner to wash them out. When it comes to ink stains, the best choice would be soaking a cloth in diluted bleach before laying it on top of the stain. Once the stain comes off, you can discard the cloth and rinse it thoroughly after you are finished.

Generally, liquids and these stain types should be easy to clean even if your ceramic floors are unglazed.

Mess prevention

Next to cleaning your ceramic floors, you can also take precautions in maintaining them after you’re finished cleaning them. This way, you can keep them from getting dirty altogether.

To minimize tracked-in dirt, consider keeping a doormat near exterior doors. You can also use an extra mat for shoes. If you have a pet, remember to wipe its feet after it comes in after being out in wet weather. If any spill occurs, try to clean it up as soon as you can. Some stains might form if ceramic tile is exposed to certain liquids over a longer period.

You might also want to consider keeping absorbent clothes near your tile floors. By wetting a cloth with warm water you can wipe away tracked-in dirt whenever it occurs. Ultimately this will lead to you preventing messes and dirt before it ever even occurs. You also may want to consider sealing your tiles to protect them from dirt buildup in the future.

So now that you know how to clean ceramic tile floors, you can keep your house clean and shining as no stain or dirt is a troublemaker for you!

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