Cleaning tile floors can become a tedious chore without the right tools and proper know-how. Tile floors are very durable with regular cleaning and maintenance checks. Read on below for a simple step-by-step guide and tips for efficient cleaning of tile floors, regardless of the material they're made of.
A tile floor should be swept or vacuumed, at least twice a week to get rid of the gritty debris that can quickly ruin the sparkly finish of the tiles. You should clean, or mop, your kitchen tile floor every two weeks and those in your bathroom, once a week. Spot-clean the grout once every two to three months.
Fortunately, tiles are fairly easy to clean and maintain depending on type and your knowledge. All you need to keep your tile floors or slabs clean and shining is warm water, a bit of soap or cleaning product, and a chamois mop or rag.
This can be done using nearly any type of cleaner because tiles don't scratch or lose their shine easily. Here's a simplified guide you can return to every time:
1. Sweep the tile
Begin by sweeping or vacuuming the tiles and make sure to reach the corners where dirt has most possibly piled up.
2. Mix the cleaner with warm water
Make a soapy solution and dip a rag or chamois mop into it. Squeeze out the excess water so that the tiles only get damp and not soaked.
3. Run the mop over the floor in even, gentle strokes
Follow a pattern as you move through the room, so that you don't miss any inch of the floor.
4. Change the rinsing water regularly
As you rinse out the rag or mop, the water gets cloudier, so it's important to constantly discard the dirty water and refill regularly to avoid leaving a streak of grime on the tile.
If you forgot to do this or didn't change the water quickly enough then you need to create a mixture of white vinegar and hot water and run a damp rag over the film to get rid of it.
5. Clean the grout
The grout also requires attention like the tiles. For proper cleaning, spray the grout with a cleaner made specifically for grout, or make a bleach solution — don't forget to exercise necessary precautions. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, before rinsing off.
6. Dry the floor using a clean cloth
This step must be done immediately after mopping the tiles clean to prevent unsightly water spots on the tiles.
Marble, slate, or granite tile floors can be cleaned in nearly the same manner as porcelain and ceramic tiles, but with a few differences:
Although vinyl and linoleum floors are cheaper alternatives to the aforementioned tiles, their upkeep is just as important. The key to cleaning these tile types is to avoid applying extreme heat and moisture.
Vinyl: Begin by sweeping the tiles and then mop with a manufacturer-recommended cleaning solution or a mixture of water and vinegar. Don't use abrasive cleaners, that can ruin the finish of the flooring.
Linoleum: After sweeping, clean with a solution that's meant for linoleum flooring or a mixture of borax and water. Every three to six months, apply a coat of wax and buff to maintain the floor's shine.