How to Clean Ceramic + Porcelain Tile Floors

Make your tile floor look like new with these easy and inexpensive DIY cleaning tips.

Tile floors are popular because they’re durable and come in a slew of color and styles. But like all floors, they need care and cleaning. Here are some smart tips on how to clean tile floors.

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Sweep or vacuum your tile floors a couple of times a week. Sand and grit can dull and scratch the surface. Once you’ve removed the dirt, you’re ready to mop. Mix a mild detergent with hot water and apply with a rag or chamois mop instead of a sponge mop. A sponge mop pushes dirty water into the grout and soils it. Change the bucket of cleaning solution often so you won’t have a dirty mop that leaves a cloudy film of dirt on the floor. If you do end up with a hazy film on your tile floor, remove it with an all-purpose cleaner. Make sure it’s non-abrasive so it won’t scratch the floor.

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You can also make your own cleaner by mixing lemon juice or vinegar with hot water. Apply it to the floor and then buff dry with a clean cloth. Use a towel on the floor, and push it around with your foot to make it easier.

For a deeper clean, scrub your tile floor with an electric floor washer or polisher-scrubber. The thorough cleaning action should brighten the tile and joints. Use a solution of 1/4 cup low-sudsing detergent, or 1-2 tablespoons of either washing soda or tri-sodium phosphate or commercial floor cleaning powder in 1 gallon of water. Rinse well.

How to Clean Grout

One of the most important things in knowing how to clean tile floors is keeping the grout clean. Dirty grout equals dingy-looking floors. Grout is porous and easily absorbs dirt, grease and other materials. Spray the grout with a commercially prepared grout cleaner. You can also use a mild bleach solution. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when using these types of products. For deep stains, allow the cleaner to sit for 10 minutes. Use a toothbrush or other small scrub brush to scrub the grout, then mop the floor, rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.

For stubborn grout stains, mix a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain, let it sit overnight and then scrub with a nylon brush. Don’t use a metal brush as it will scratch the tile. Let the grout air dry, then put on a silicone-based grout sealer to resist future stains and dirt.

How to Clean Stains on Tile

  • For coffee, tea or juice stains, wash the tile surface with hot water and detergent, then blot with hydrogen peroxide.
  • For grease stains, wash with club soda and water, or a commercial floor cleaner.
  • For ink stains, soak a cloth in diluted bleach and lay it on top of the stain. Leave the cloth until the stain is gone. Rinse thoroughly when done.

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