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How to clean floor tiles of any type: top tips from Plenty
Everyone loves the sleek, swish look of a new tile floor. As well as looking lovely, they’re durable and perfect for rooms which see a lot of moisture. But after a while, grit can scratch the surface if not cleaned properly, and cause permanent damage. Build-up of dirt over time can also mean discolouration and make the whole room look grimy.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a few cleaning tips to help you keep your tiles looking spick-and-span. Read on to learn how to clean tile floors like a pro, whether you’re dealing with ceramic, porcelain or stone.
How often to clean a tile floor
Ideally, a tile floor should be swept or vacuumed at least twice a week. This is to get rid of any gritty debris that can dull the tiles and keep them from looking their shiniest. Mop a tile floor in the kitchen every two weeks and a bathroom tile floor once a week and clean the grout every two months or so.
The best way to clean tile floors without chemicals
If there are children or in your house, or anyone particularly sensitive to harsh chemicals, then you might prefer to use a homemade solution to clean your tile floors. The best way to clean tile floors without using chemicals is to combine water, baking soda, and white wine vinegar. Spray the solution onto the tiles and wait a few minutes before mopping up.
Vinegar is a great laminate, ceramic or porcelain tile cleaner. A word of caution: always make sure you cut vinegar with water and rinse completely, so the acid doesn’t erode the finish on your floor. Avoid using vinegar on stone tile floors, as it can dull their surfaces.
What you’ll need
- • Industrial chemical resistant cleaning gloves
- • An old toothbrush
- • A specialist grout cleaner (or homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture)
- • A specialist floor tile cleaner (or homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture)
- • Microfiber cloth or duster
- • Extra-absorbent Plenty paper towels
- • Dust pan and brush or vacuum cleaner
- • Rag or cloth-headed chamois mop and bucket
How to clean porcelain and ceramic tile floors
- Ceramic or porcelain are the most common tile floors and easiest to clean. Before mopping the tiles, sweep or vacuum the floor to remove residue dust and dirt. Use a microfiber cloth or duster to easily pick up any leftover dust or pesky hairs.
- Mix the floor tile cleaner or homemade solution with warm water in a bucket.
- Dip the rag or mop into the solution and squeeze out any excess water. A chamois mop is the best mop for tile floors, rather than a sponge mop. Wipe the floor using long gentle strokes, starting at the far side of the room and working towards the door.
- Make sure you empty and refill the bucket regularly to avoid leaving any grimy streaks from dirty water.
- Put your feet up and relax while the cleaner does its magic. When the floor is mostly dry, wipe off any excess water with a paper towel, and buff the tiles with a dry microfiber cloth.
How to clean stone tile floors
The process for cleaning slate, granite and marble tile floors is almost the same as for ceramic and porcelain tiles, but with a few important rules:
- Stay clear of abrasive cleaners and acidic substances, such as lemon juice or vinegar, as these can spoil the surface. Ammonia-based cleaners are also ones to avoid.
- Use soft materials when sweeping or wiping your stone tile floor. Rough materials like scrub pads and scrapers may scratch the stone.
- Be extra gentle when scrubbing your stone tile floor, as they scratch more easily than ceramic and porcelain.
- Check that you’re using the right type of cleaner that’s compatible with your floor to avoid damaging the finish, for example, granite tiles need a pH-neutral cleaner to avoid discolouration.
How to clean grout from floor tiles
Cleaning the grout is just as important as the rest of the floor, as no matter how sparkling your tiles are, mouldy or discoloured grout can ruin the whole look.
For tips and advice on the best way to clean tile grout, visit our article on how to clean grout with or without scrubbing.
Hopefully we’ve given you all the info you need to keep your tile floors looking brand new! For more tile cleaning advice, check out our article on how to clean bathroom tiles.