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How to Clean Floor Tile

Whether you moved into to a new place or your home has had it built-up for a long time, it maybe time to clean your tile floors.

If this is the case, there are several approaches you can use to successfully get your flooring to look its best and cleanest again.

For the sake of this post, the specific tiles I am referring to are ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone as well as grout. Vinyl, laminate, and real wood floors require a different cleaning system.

Depending on how severe or light of a cleaning your tiles need will determine how and what you can approach making them look new again. In this post, I will break it down by light/ everyday cleaning, deep cleaning, and finally hard to remove stains.

Be aware that when you clean tiles, ONLY use recommended cleaners for tiles. Some products may not even clean, but only seal or coat. These won't solve your problem and can usually make things even worse. 

Light/Everyday Cleaning

If you do routine maintenance to a well sealed tile floor, the easier it will be clean it. For any tile flooring, I always recommend to use a sponge mop with a non-acidic tile cleaner to get the job done for large floors.

Always work in small areas (about 3 foot by 3 foot sections) at a time to ensure the cleaner is working at its best. For corner or hard to reach areas, clean the tiles with a hand-held sponge. After the floor is clean, you can do a last pass with the dampened mop with just water and allow to dry.

One of the best basic cleaners for floor tiles are shown below and is linked here.

Using an everyday cleaner like this rated for tiles can reduce the chances of having to do a more intense cleaning method...which is what we will now discuss.

Deep Cleaning

So maybe your tile floors need a bit more cleaning than a simple everyday cleaning product. 

No worries, for most stains and layers of grime, there are tougher cleaners if you've tried other products. 

Depending on what is on top of the tile/grout can determine how you can remove it. For example, any dried grout haze and layers of dirt can almost always be removed with sulfamic acid cleaner.

This type of acid doesn't have as low of pH as other versions, making it safe to use on tiles and grout. Best of all, the crystallized form can be mixed to a stronger or diluted amount to give you the right amount to effectively clean not just excessive grout, but accumulated grime as well.

Below is the image of the product, and you can read more about it by clicking here.

If the idea of cleaning with a mild acid isn't for you, there are also other great cleaners available we sell. 

Consider this abrasive cleaner shown below. It works great for those tough to remove layers of accumulated grime and dirt. 

No matter which heavy duty cleaner you choose, be sure to wear gloves and use proper materials to really get the floors clean again. Always work in small sections, and knee pads may be required for some stubborn spots that require you to get a closer scrub.

For example, using a soft bristle brush made of nylon works wonders for effectively scrubbing your tile floors.

If your grout lines are stubbornly resisting to be cleaned, consider using a bit more cleaner alongside a grout brush to clean in those grout spaces.

For any heavy-duty and everyday tile cleaners, be sure to take off any remaining cleaner with the sponge mop dampened with just water. This will remove any leftover spots that still may have cleaning residue.

Hard to Remove Stains

Accidents happen. Stains can constantly affect tiles, especially in kitchen and living room areas. It may even be in your bathroom, in the form of water deposit buildup.

Even after you clean your tiles, they can only repel stains from food and drink if they are sealed properly first. 

If they aren't, stains can and will penetrate the tile and grout. For natural stone tiles especially, it can be next to impossible to remove difficult stains with basic cleaners. 

For instances such as this, using a poultice based stain remover should be the last product you use only after heavy-duty cleaners have failed. Poultices draw out the stains, thereby giving you the best chance of the floor looking like it never was damaged.

One type that we carry is shown below and linked here.

As stated earlier, the absolute best way to prevent stains and having to do a lot of heavy cleaning is to make sure the tile and grout are sealed properly. This can be done routinely after cleaning, and can prevent you from having to use poultices and acid cleaners.

To read more about sealing your tile and grout, please click here. These tips can also work for vertical surfaces as well, like a kitchen backsplash. Also, every product shown here can be found online or at your local Home Depot's tile aisle in the flooring department.

Let us know if you have any further questions regarding cleaning your tiles.


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Posted 2015-06-10T14:32:31+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL Joseph_HD_ATL
Great product recommendations for removing dirt and stains from grout, tile, or stone Joe!

But, when cleaning simply doesn't refresh to your expectation, it is time to:

Posted 2015-06-18T17:56:28+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question