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The Best Ways to Clean Tile Floors

Updated September 21, 2020 4.6k votes 1.3k voters 221.4k views20 items

The best ways to clean tile floors are the top methods to safely, effectively, and easily clean ceramic tile, faux tile, vinyl tile, and marble tile floors and other surfaces. Like cleaning anything, following the proper processes to clean tile and knowing what not to do can be the difference between making a filthy tile floor sparkle and completely ruining your floor. Follow these tips for removing dirt, stains, and other unsightly blemishes from your tile floors.

Before taking on any tile cleaning project, knowing what kind of tile is really important. Cleaning ceramic tile is different from cleaning vinyl tile as it is from cleaning marble, making knowing the type of tile and the corresponding proper cleaning methods key to success. Once you have a plan, start small and then build toward deeper cleaning methods as needed.

Routine cleaning of flooring with sweeping and damp mopping can help keep tile floors looking the best and can prolong the life of floors. From there, use escalating cleaning methods to deal with what needs to be cleaned or removed from the floor. Spot cleaning follows routine cleaning, followed by wet mopping, deep cleaning, and stain or rust removal. Of course, preventing dirt and stains from touching tile floors in the first place can eliminate the need for extensive cleaning.

  • According to Vintage Restyled, you can just use a simple recipe to clean your grout: 2 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar, and 3 tablespoons baking soda. Be prepared - the vinegar and baking soda will bubble all over the place, so you might want to mix the water and vinegar and then just spread the baking soda on the grout.

    Let it react, and then use a scrub brush to clean.

  • Photo: Amazon

    A microfiber mop is perfect for quick dusting tile floors. It's gentle enough to not harm the tile, but also effective enough to pick up any dust or dirt.

  • Whether you’re cleaning ceramic tile, faux tile, or peel-and-stick tile, there are a few things that are not recommended, regardless of the stain or dirt you need to clean.

    • Don’t use abrasive cleaners like steel wool or scouring pads. It’s tempting to use these to remove stuck-on stains, but these methods can easily scratch tile permanently.

    • Be careful with bleach. Bleach is great for whitening things but in cases where you have colored grout, bleach is an enemy to fear. Only use bleach on things you want to turn or return to white. For getting deep cleans on things that bleach is too strong for, turn to specialized cleaners like Formula 409.

    • Don’t scrape. If you’re dealing with a sticky bit of dirt or gum, pulling out a metal scraper to remove it seems like an effective cleaning method, but metal can easily scratch tile. Opt for a plastic scraper, like an old credit card, instead.

    • Treat marble floors very carefully. It's really easy to ruin marble tile with improper cleaning methods, using ammonia included, so when in doubt, hire a pro to do the job safely and effectively. 

  • Photo: Amazon

    As Neelam’s blog advises, all you have to do is spray Resolve carpet cleaner on grout, wait five minutes, and scrub with a brush. Then you just wipe it away with a cloth.