How to Make Tile Floor Shine Without Wax

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how to make tile floor shine without wax

If your tile floors have lost their shine, don’t worry. It’s pretty easy to restore them to their former glory.

Usually, all you need to do is give your tiles a good cleaning and then add polish if you’d like. (And if you’re not familiar, adding polish is as simple as mopping.)

Here’s how to make tile floor shine without wax.

What’s the Best Way to Make Your Tile Floor Shine Without Wax?

The best way to make your tile floor shiny is to thoroughly clean it and then seal it with a polish. To clean your floor, consider using a steam mop or a vinegar solution to remove stuck-on dirt. Then mop your floor with polish and allow it to dry.

Top Four Ways to Make Your Tile Floors Shine (No Wax Required)

top 4 ways to make your tile floors shine

Steam Mop Them

No, seriously. You probably didn’t think that getting your floors shiny would be as simple as mopping them, but it can be.

When tiles lose their luster, it’s often because of built-up grime and left-over cleaner residue. The steam from a steam mop will loosen the years’ worth of built-up dirt and wipe it away.

But there is a caveat –  you should only steam mop ceramic and porcelain tiles. Do not try this method if your tiles are a natural stone like slate or marble.

You can check out our top recommended steam mops for tile here.

Cut Through Dirt with Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic, so you can use it to cut through built-up dirt. Vinegar is an excellent alternative if you don’t have a steam mop.

Here’s what to do:

  • Mix half white distilled vinegar and half water
  • Mop your floors with it
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub super dirty areas

Again, since vinegar is acidic, you won’t want to use this on delicate tiles, like slate. 

Treat Them with a Baking Soda Paste

Another way to remove grime is to use a baking soda paste. Baking soda is abrasive enough to remove stains without being so abrasive that it will damage your tile.

For this method, combine equal parts of baking soda and water until a thick paste forms. Now, using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub all of your tiles.

After you’ve finished scrubbing, allow the baking soda paste to sit for an extra ten minutes. Then, use a dampened sponge to remove the paste and rinse your floors with water.

Use a Tile Polish

To make your floors super shiny and add a layer of protection, you can add polish to the floor. Before you start, your tiles should be swept, mopped, and very clean.

You can use a product like Bona Hard Surface Floor Polish or Quick Shine Floor Finish. Both of these products can fill in scratches and add a protectant, shiny seal to your floor.

While you need to follow the directions on the product, applying is normally as simple as mopping the floor with the polish.

*These products are not ideal if you previously used wax on your tiles.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to make tile floor shine without wax

How do you make tiles glossy?

The best way to make tiles glossy is to thoroughly clean them and then polish them. You can find polishes in a variety of finishes, including high gloss. Be sure whatever polish you use won’t make your tiles slippery when wet.

Will vinegar shine floors?

While vinegar won’t add a gloss to your floors, it can help restore their shine by cutting through built-up dirt and grime. Because vinegar is acidic, it cuts through dirt better than many other cleaners. But, it’s not something you use daily.

Is It good to paint tiles?

If you’re having trouble restoring your old tiles but aren’t ready to splurge on new ones, you can change their look by painting them. For this project to last, you’ll need to use epoxy paint or one for tile.

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how to make tile floor shine without wax, start by giving your floors a heavy-duty cleaning. Treat your floors with a polish if they don’t shine after cleaning.

Applying a polish is very easy and can fill in scratches, add shine, and protect your flooring. Just be sure to use a product formulated for tiles.

Photo of author


Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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