Tile floors are a great addition to any home and if taken care of the right way, they will stay in like new condition for many years to come. No one likes to spend a whole day cleaning floors, and thankfully, tile floors are not difficult to clean and generally, all you need is a little warm water, a mop or soft cloth and a mild cleaning product to take care of them.
Tile floors, regardless of the type of tile, should be mopped at least every two weeks and it’s a good idea to sweep or vacuum at least a couple times every week. This will prevent dirt and grime from building up and will also ensure no food crumbs are left to stick to the floor. Proper cleaning also helps keep the floors from looking dingy and dull.
Items You Should Have On Hand:
- Swiffer or Microfiber Duster
- Soft Cleaning Cloth
- Strong Nitrile Gloves for hand protection
- Mop Bucket
- Warm Water
- Cleaning Solution (Or Vinegar)
Different Tile Needs Different Cleaning Tools
You can generally keep ceramic, porcelain or stone tile clean by sweeping or vacuuming, but the tools you use for mopping, including the cleaning solution may vary from one to another.
Linoleum and Vinyl Flooring
Linoleum and vinyl flooring are both low cost materials to use for flooring and they are both easy to clean.
For linoleum, sweep the floor twice a week and then mop with a wet mop once weekly. You can use a solution of dish detergent and water or linoleum cleaner.
Vinyl can be swept twice weekly and then wet mopped with a mixture of vinegar and water or a mild cleanser.
For best results, never use a steam mop as it can melt the material.
Ceramic Tile and Porcelain Tile
Ceramic and porcelain are the easiest tiles to keep clean and with just a little effort, they will remain in great condition for many years. It’s important to keep this type of tile clean as it will harbor germs even in a short period of time.
To keep this tile clean, you can simply use a Swiffer or microfiber duster to pick up dirt and dust between the weeks you mop with a wet mop. You can also use a vacuum to clean up dirt, crumbs and pet hair that has landed on the floor.
Every couple of weeks, be sure to use a microfiber mop like a Swiffer or other reusable mop with a little warm water and a mild floor cleaner. For a mild cleaner, you can mix 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and 1 2/3 cup of baking soda along with a half a cup dish detergent and a half a cup of water to clean the floor. To keep your skin from getting dry from the cleaning solution, be sure to wear a pair of strong nitrile gloves when mopping.
Stone and Marble Flooring
Stone and marble are not difficult to clean, but you should take a little precaution to be gentle when cleaning. For instance, instead of using a hard plastic or straw broom, use one with soft bristles to avoid scratching the floor. You may also prefer to use a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom on stone and marble flooring.
Never use vinegar on marble tiles or on slate tiles. For best results, use a mild floor cleaner made for stone or a mild cleanser that does not contain vinegar, bleach or peroxide as those can discolor stone and marble. You will also want to use a microfiber mop.
Many people suggest using vinegar or harsh cleaning products for cleaning grout, and both should be avoided as they will cause the grout to break down faster than it should. For best results with cleaning grout and preventing it from staining, baking soda works well. A mixture of baking soda and enough water to make a paste will work well.
- Apply the paste to the grout and allow it to sit for up to 12 hours.
- Gently scrub the grout with a soft nylon brush and warm water. A toothbrush works well.
- Gently mop with warm water to remove the paste.
Cleaning floors is not something that everyone enjoys, but ensuring you stay on top of it will help keep your flooring shining for many years to come.