Here are the best ways to clean tile floors and grout.
In this guide, you'll learn how to clean tile floors properly, and how to leave them looking brand new.
Learning how to clean tile floors is simple and won’t take too much time out of your busy day.
This is the only guide you’ll need to learn how to clean your tile floors, which cleaning products to use, how often to actually clean your floors, and more.
Let’s dive right in!
How To Clean Tile Floors With Vinegar
New statistics show that on average you will pay between $3 and $22 per square foot to install floors.
However, keeping them clean can be a challenging task. Keep reading to learn how to clean your dirty floors.
Vinegar can be used on a variety of flooring, including tile. While it is safe to use on ceramic, laminate, vinyl, and porcelain tile, it is best to use it sparingly.
Your floor's finishes can be dissolved if too much vinegar is used to clean with.
To solve this potential problem, simply mix the vinegar with water (1/2 parts each) to lower the dissolving power of the solution.
Here's how you can clean tile floors with vinegar.
Dish Soap and Vinegar
What You Will Need
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- 4 gallon bucket
- Dish Soap
- Microfiber padded mop
- Optional: You can use a tile floor cleaning machine to clean your tiles floors quickly and efficiently.
- If you need to clean larger buildings, we recommend using a walk behind floor scrubber.
- Fill the 4 gallon bucket with warm water.
- In your spray bottle, mix 2.5 tablespoons of your favorite dish soap with 1 cup of white vinegar. Then, fill the rest of the bucket with warm water.
- With your spray bottle, spray the floor with the dish soap and white vinegar mixture.
- Use your microfiber padded mop to gently scrub the dirty tile. Use a soft bristle brush to scrub away stuck-on stains.
- Finally, after scrubbing the entire tile floor, rinse your mop.
- With clean water, rinse the newly cleaned floor.
Water and Vinegar
A simple way you can clean tile floors is with vinegar and water. For this cleaning method, you'll need:
- 4 gallon bucket
- White Vinegar
- Fill the 4 gallon bucket with 1/2 warm water and 1 cup of white vinegar.
- Make sure your floor is free of any loose dirt or debris.
- Remove any dirt and grime with a broom or vacuum to make your cleaning easier.
- Use your mop and the mixture to mop the floor.
- Make sure to pay special attention to stain areas.
What You’ll Need
How To Clean Kitchen Tiles At Home
Cleaning your kitchen tile floors regularly helps reduce dirt and germs.
Here are a handful of easy kitchen tile cleaning steps to help you get started.
- Clean often because frequently cleaning kitchen tile floors makes them easier to clean and removes daily germs
- Remove loose debris by sweeping or vacuuming
- Mop the floor and follow a path that makes you end at an exit
- Use a rag, not a sponge mop. A sponge mop will push dirty water into grout lines. These grout lines will be made harder to clean.
- Do not use too much cleaning detergent. Ceramic tile floors will start to look hazy if too much detergent is used. Instead, remove the film with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Frequently change the water. Your floors will be looking dirty and cloudy if you mop with dirty water.
- Dry the floor with a clean and lint-free cloth.
How To Steam Clean Tile Floors
Steam cleaning tile floors is easier than it sounds.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to steam clean your tile floors today and leave them looking new.
- Sweep your tile floor to pick up debris and loose dirt that the steam cleaner might not catch.
- Fill the water tank on your steam cleaner with distilled water. Do not add any cleaning products to your steam cleaner's water tank.
- Attach a microfiber cloth to the steam cleaner head. Then, plug your steam cleaner into a wall outlet and turn it on. Squeeze the trigger or pump the handle to release steam through the microfiber cloth.
- Move the steam cleaner's head back and forth over the tile floors. Do this like when you're mopping your floor with water.
- Unplug your steam cleaner from the wall outlet. Change the microfiber cloth or change an attachment if necessary. Plug the steam cleaner back into the wall outlet to heat up the water again.
- Finally, unplug the steam cleaner from the wall outlet and remove the microfiber cloth from your steam cleaner.
- Let your tile floors have 10-20 minutes to dry.
How To Disinfect Tile Floors
Disinfecting tile floors tends to overlap with cleaning tile floors. In this chapter, you'll learn how to clean stained tiles by disinfecting them.
Here are some actionable tile disinfecting tips you need to start using today.
- Move all furniture and household items out of the way
- Sweep floors with a lightweight broom to remove loose dirt and debris
- Disinfect thoughtfully by starting at the farthest corner and working backwards toward the door (We recommended the best antibacterial wipes in our recent review)
- Prepare disinfectant by pouring disinfecting bleach into a bucket of water
- Mop the tile floor with the bleach solution you prepared
- Wait 5-10 minutes for the disinfecting solution to do its job
- Rinse the tile floor thoroughly with warm water to remove chemicals leftover
- Let the floor air dry for 15-20 minutes
- Remove and prepare all cleaning items to be put away
- Move furniture and household items back in their places
- Optional: You can also use electrostatic sprayers to disinfect your tile floors
- Optional: You might want to use UV lights for disinfecting your tile floors
Tile floors are great for areas with lots of foot traffic, dirt, and debris. Your tile might need a bit of elbow grease to get back to its original state of shine.
Dirty grout or even a hazy film are indicators that your tile floors need a thorough clean. Before you begin cleaning, remove all shoes, rugs, furniture, and other objects that will get in your way during the clean.
How To Get Paint Off Tile
In this chapter, you'll learn how to remove paint from tile.
You'll need a utility knife, heat gun, clean rag, plastic scraper, citrus-based paint stripper, rubber gloves, and safety goggles. If you are removing lead paint, make sure to wear a dust mask.
Scrape The Paint Off Tile
The first way to get paint off tile is to scrape it off. While scraping, make sure to wear a dust mask.
Step 1: Hold a utility knife at a 45-degree angle and carefully scrape the paint off the tile.
Do this in short, firm, and gentle stroke. If paint comes up without harming the floor, continue to scrape. However, if you notice any glaze from the floor cracking or coming off, stop scraping, and move on to the 2nd method.
Step 2: Dampen a clean rag with water and wipe the the floor clean.
Heat and Scrape The Paint
In this method, you'll be using a heat gun to help loosen the dried paint on your tile floor.
Wear a dust mask to keep your lungs save from the paint you will be removing.
Step 1: In a small area of about 1-2 square feet at a time, heat the tile floor while constantly moving the heat gun.
Do this to avoid scorching and overheating your tile floor. Continue this until the paint feels soft.
Step 2: Starting from an outside edge while working your way in, hold a plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle and carefully remove the paint.
It is important that you stay patient in this step, since the paint will frequently lift off in strips. In corners, stay patient and work slowly to make sure all of the paint is removed.
Step 3: Wipe the surface clean with a dampened clean rag. Until all paint is removed, repeat the process mentioned above.
How To Get Wax Off Tile
Getting wax off of your tile floor isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are tried and tested techniques to get wax off tile.
What You'll Need
- Scraper (look at image below)
- An old credit card
- Candle wax remover
First, scrape the wax off the tile with a plastic card. An old credit or debit card works great for this technique.
Angle the card so it doesn't scratch the tile surface. Finally, apply candle wax remover to the scraped area to lift and easily dissolve the wax residue.
How Often To Clean Tile Floors
Keeping your floor tile clean is possible only by regularly having dry and wet cleaning.
For a dry clean, vacuum or sweep at least once every week.
This will ensure that your floors that are constantly getting stepped on are staying clean.
Vacuums usually have a soft-bristle attachment that will work on any type of tile floor. These soft-bristle attachments tend to be difficult to fit into tight spaces, but do a great job overall. To finish this weekly cleaning job, use a broom and dustpan.
For a wet clean, mop your kitchen tile floor 1 time every two weeks. Your bathroom tile floor should be mopped once a week because germs build up much quicker.
This shouldn’t just be a weekly or biweekly process. Whenever you spot grout that’s looking dingy or dirty, take the time to spot clean it, or hire professionals.
How To Clean Ceramic Tile Floors
Wash bathroom tiles weekly to ensure the best results. For kitchen tiles, you should wash them once every 2 weeks. To prevent sponge mops from pushing dirty water into grout lines, use a flat mop to apply the solution.
Use warm water or a combination of warm water and mild dish soap to clean ceramic tile floors. Replace the water you’re using as soon as it gets dirty or dull, resulting in a better clean. You should frequently add fresh water to avoid spreading more dirt on the tile.
We found that washing and drying one section of the tile floor at a time works best because it ensures that you’re completely removing all of the gunk and bacteria.
Avoid getting hurt. Since ceramic tile can be very slick when wet, make sure to thoroughly dry the tile floor with a clean towel to avoid any slips and dangerous accidents.
Pick up daily spills. Everyday messes like spilled juice and mud from outside should be cleaned up as soon as possible. If you don’t notice them or aren’t home at the time of the stain forming, the tile can permanently stain.
But don’t worry, cleaning these daily stains isn't a big pain. Simply dampen a cloth or mop with warm water, add mild dish detergent, then swipe it up. If you’re unsure of how to use a mop, then our in-depth mopping guide is a great read.
Seal tile seams. Grout is prone to getting dull which is why you should seal the grout once the tile has been installed. You should also do this 1-2 times a year afterward. When installing new tile, consider choosing darker grout because it hides dirt and has a modern look and feel.
Get grime and gunk out of your floors. Using a stiff brush and hot water to clean your grout will work wonders. If it’s tough to remove with just a stiff brush and hot water, then using vinegar, baking soda, or even a hydrogen peroxide solution will get the tougher cleaning job done. Before scrubbing away with the brush, allow 5-10 minutes of time for the dirt and gunk to be removed. Then, simply rinse the remaining debris away.
You could also use a HEPA vacuum to clean your ceramic tile floors.
How To Use A Steam Mop On Tiles
If the stain you’re trying to remove is very stubborn, then we recommend steam cleaning it with a powerful steam mop. Once the grout is cleaned, a simple spray-down with a vinegar and water solution will prevent new stains from settling in.
How To Clean Porcelain Tile
Porcelain tile is one of the easiest types of flooring to clean. Simply sweep or vacuum your porcelain tile floors 1-2 times a week.
You can use a damp sponge mop and a solution with ¼ white vinegar and ¾ fresh water. Here’s a simple procedure to clean porcelain tile flooring.
Here's a great video on how to clean porcelain tile:
Clean Unpolished Porcelain Tile
Remove loose dirt: Sweep or vacuum any loose dirt. If you happen to be cleaning in a commercial space, I recommend using a powerful sweeper vacuum.
Wash: Use a tile & grout cleaner of your choice and apply it on the floor. Stir it and let it stay on the floor for 5-10 minutes.
Scrub: For small areas, scrub the cleaning solution with a scrub brush. For tougher stains, use a floor cleaner built with a powerful stiff-bristle brush.
Wipe & Dry: Now, it’s time to wipe away all of the dirty cleaning solution. After it’s all gone, rinse the surface of the porcelain tile floor with clean water. Then, simply allow the floor to dry for 1-2 hours.
Clean Polished Porcelain Tile
For polished tile floors, simply remove the loose dirt, wash, rinse, and wipe dry.
Remove loose dirt: Sweep or vacuum away any loose dirt and dust. Instead of using a broom, use a dry dust mop.
Wash: Next, mop the floor with a mild cleaning solution of your choice. The solution you use should be significantly less concentrated than the solution used on an unpolished porcelain tile floor.
Rinse & Dry: With clear water, thoroughly rinse the tile floor until it is clean. Finally, dry the floor to improve look and to prevent water spots.
How To Clean Tile Floors With Vinegar And Baking Soda
There are many toxic and harmful chemicals you could use to clean tile floors, but is there a more natural way?
Yes, and with vinegar and baking soda, cleaning dirty tile can be easy.
Here's a short video showing how to clean tile grout with baking soda and vinegar:
Safety Measures & Damage Prevention
To ensure your porcelain tile floors will stay in tip top shape, follow these rules:
- Don’t clean porcelain tile floors with ammonia or cleaners that contain any bleach. Cleaners with acid and ammonia may change the color of the floor.
- Do not use any solutions that contain dyes or colors on unglazed porcelain tile
- Never use any oil-based cleaning solutions, sealants, or wax cleaners.
- Use rugs at every outdoor entrance to prevent any dirt or bacteria from being brought onto the tile floors and into your home.
- Never use any steel wool pads. The loose steel particles can cause rust stains on your grout.
How To Clean Floor Grout Without Scrubbing
Cleaning floor grout without scrubbing is easy when you use the best cleaner.
Here are easy floor grout cleaning tips you can use today without any scrubbing.
- Clean the grout lining with hot water. This will eliminate dirt and grime
- Make a cleaning solution with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water into a spray bottle
- Spray this solution on the dirty grout
- Let this solution rest for 10 minutes
- Remove the solution with an electric toothbrush
- When you finish, rinse the clean grout with hot water
And that's it! Cleaning floor grout without scrubbing is easier than what most make it to be. If you follow these simple steps, then you'll be walking on clean floors in no time.
Best Tools To Clean Tile Floors
We reviewed all kinds of cleaning products that work effectively on tile floors.
Maintain All Of Your Floors
One of the most important steps to have clean tile floors is to maintain them on a consistent basis. We recommend doing these next steps at least once a week; but, depending on your situation, you might need to do it more or less often.
Sweep the tile and grout with a soft bristle broom to remove any dirt or dust. Then, vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any remaining dust and debris.
Before mopping the tile floor, you should also do a thorough sweep to ensure that there aren’t any loose dirt or particles left behind.
Final Tile Cleaning Verdict
Keeping your tile floors clean is critical to having a clean environment.
Make sure to maintain your floors, use the best tools, and let the cleaners do the dirty work for you.
If you would prefer to hire a house cleaning service to clean your tile floors, we can help.
Use our interactive house cleaning calculator below to determine an estimated cost of hiring a cleaning service today.