Best Way to Clean Tile Floors [Quick 3 Step Guide]

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way to clean tile floorsWe know that tile floors are made of tougher stuff than other floorings, but you may not the best way to keep them clean.

The solid nature of tiled floors makes them excellent for vacuuming and brooms.

Mopping regularly stops grime from marring their surfaces, but when dealing with the grout between your tiles, using a good chemical dissolvent and a brush will be more effective than anything you can do with a mop and bucket.

Here is how you clean tile floors the proper way:

Hard Surfaces Mean Bristles

clean tile floors using a broomTile floors are hard, so the chances that you tear at them with brooms or vacuums are low. The best way to clean tile floors is to use a simple broom or bristle vacuum. This can easily lift any dry or dirty material from your tile floor with minimal chance of scratching it, but it often leaves behind crumbs or specks of dust these devices simply weren’t able to lift.

Tile doesn’t absorb mud or dirt tracked in from the outside the way other floor materials do. This is both a blessing and a curse because while other floors might take longer to look dirty, vacuuming tile removes far more dirt since there’s nothing to cling on to. That said, the best way to slow down your need to clean is to have a no shoe policy, or to install a doormat for people to kick off the excessive mud.

When you’re done sweeping the room with a vacuum, you should mop your tile floor next. Mix a bucket of water with a cleaning product of your choice, and give your tiled floor a thorough scrubbing with a mop. Like the vacuum before it, a mop is excellent at finishing the job on surface materials on your floor but may push small bits of dirt towards the cracks in between.

Reach Between The Cracks

reach between the cracksOne exception is a steam mop, which applies heat before pulling up dirt to more effectively clean any cracks and narrow spaces it passes over. It also allows your floor to dry more quickly, which prevents the chance of streaks or blemishes forming on your tiles. This allows your floor to have a clearer shine when you’re finished, and can prevent you from having to take a hands-on approach to your grout.

We know that’s not always an option though. The grout, or bonding agent between your tiles, is the lowest point on your floor. As such sweeping and mopping may push dirt that then falls into these large creases. The best answer is to apply a strong dissolvent to the build-up and give it a while to take effect. The grout between tiles is incredibly sturdy, so there’s almost no cleaner you can apply that will damage your flooring.

When you come back, use a washcloth to scrub between the tiles. Or even better, use a broom or brush with strong bristles to scrape between them. Dirt can sit tightly between the bumps and cracks in the grout, but you don’t have to worry about digging out the grout, so a tool with strong bristles can dig in deeply and remove even the most sunken in filth with a little elbow grease.

Give It A Hard Finish

using bleach to clean tiles Bleach is also an acceptable tool for cleaning both the tiles and the grout. Your tile floor is likely the most resistant flooring in your home, which means using a stronger chemical on difficult stains or grime can solve your hardest problems. Just remember to rinse the floor afterward with hot water and then dry it, to avoid making skin contact with the bleach that could cause skin irritation.

For long-term cleaning, remember to polish your tiles. Tile flooring is an especially smooth surface, and a lot of its benefits come from the lack of grain or pours for substances to sink into. Without proper polishing, these things can begin to form inside even tile surfaces. You should polish your tile floor about every four months to slow the wear and tear on your room’s floor.

If you have a large area to cover or lots of grout between the tiles, consider getting a steam mop for tile or a steam cleaner to help you out.

Steam cleaners work by creating very hot steam that can get tough stains out. The steam cleaners can be a bit tougher on surfaces, which makes them great for stable surfaces like tile. They are also great for grout.

Dedicated steam mops on the other hand are a bit faster to use, and work perfectly on tile floors. A regular steam mop should be enough for removing grout and is the most effective way of cleaning a tile floor.

Here is a list of the best steam mops for tile.

In Conclusion

That’s our recommendation for cleaning tile floors. Don’t worry about scratching the surface, and use brooms or vacuums that have a fair amount of digging power. Follow it up with a mop that can wipe away grime on your tiles, and use cleaners that’ll give them some extra shine. Finally, using baking soda or other dissolvent on the cracks, wait for them to loosen the remaining gunk, and then use a brush or cloth to wipe it all away with minimum effort.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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