Are you 100% sure that your floor is clean? Your floors are often the most overlooked surface in any home. If not properly cleaned, you may end up sick from who knows what!
Tile flooring is an elegant addition to any home. They’re durable and withstand a lot of wear and tear.
They are relatively low maintenance compared to wood flooring. You won’t have to worry about termites eating away at your polished tiles.
However, no matter how low-maintenance tiles are, they still need the occasional love and care. If you’re looking for tile floor cleaning tips, you’ve come to the right page. Read our step-by-step guide on how to clean tile floors!
1. Initial Cleaning
Before hitting the tile with that scrubber and detergent action, do some preliminary cleaning. Dry mopping is when you use a dry mop or a broom to pick up the three D’s: dust, dirt, and debris.
Dry mopping removes loose material instead of dissolving it in your cleaning solution. Just like in a chemistry class, cleaning also has your limiting reagent and excess reagent.
Given two reactants, with one acting on the other, the entire reaction relies on the limiting reagent.
When you consume all quantities of the limiting reagent, what’s left is the excess reagent. When cleaning, your limiting reagent is your cleaning solution, and the excess is all the dirt and grime it has to get rid of.
By dry-mopping, you reduce the dust, dirt, and debris your cleaning agents have to finish off, allowing a more thorough cleanse.
Dry mop your floors with either a literal dry mop or a broom to whisk away any debris. For more stubborn and adherent debris, try scraping them off with an old credit card or expired membership cards. Don’t let them go to waste!
2. Dissolve that Dirt
We’ve come a long way from classic aggressive scrubbing. Chemicals from cleaning agents help you break down the mess and lessen your workload. Here are some cleaning agents, starting with the most recommended cleaning solution.
Trusty old vinegar is still the most reliable cleanser. However, it’s acidic, so make sure to dilute it in a one-to-one ratio with water.
This gentle cleaner preserves your tiles and gives them a squeaky clean sheen.
Baking soda does magic, especially to grout. Create a baking soda paste with water. Be careful, though, and do a spot test. Some tiles are too sensitive to the abrasive action of baking soda.
Commercial Cleaning Solution
Sometimes you don’t want to go through the DIY route. You’ll find a wide assortment of commercial cleaning agents in your local supermarket.
They typically include bleach blends, detergents, or oil-based cleaners. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these cleaners.
Bleach is an excellent disinfectant, but be careful what you mix it with. This solution works well on non-porous tile and grout.
Bleach solution is a powerhouse against tough mold and mildew when vinegar fails.
More intense cleaners like muriatic acid are excellent for killing stubborn mold and mildew. Choose this method if you want minimal scrubbing.
A diluted 1:10 solution packs a punch against grime and microorganisms. This agent is beneficial for intense build-up. However, use with caution as muriatic acid can damage grout.
To avoid drastic measures, don’t let grime build up on your tiles! Check out these services. They provide professional floor cleaning, warehouse floor cleaning, COVID disinfection, and more!
3. Wait a While
Give your tile floor cleaners time to act on all the grime.
Scrub your vinegar solution onto the tile with a soft bristle brush and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Baking soda needs about 30 minutes before you go back and scrub it away. Contrary to popular belief, mixing vinegar and baking soda actually weakens its cleaning power. You’re better off using them separately.
Let the bleach solution sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it away with warm water. Remember not to let the bleach sit too long on your tiles, as bleach can discolor them over time.
Muriatic acid is one aggressive cleaning solution. Only let the solution sit on tiles for two to three minutes to preserve color and grout.
4. Mechanical Maneuvers
Cleaning agents take care of the chemical dissolution of grime. Now it’s time for the elbow grease.
After letting your agents act on your floors, scrub the loosened-up debris with a soft-bristled brush. When you’re satisfied with the lifted dirt, rinse the dirt and cleaner it off with warm water.
Grout might need a bit more tough love. Grout is often more porous than the tile it surrounds. This means either a scrub brush or a toothbrush.
You can choose to clean your grout before or after cleaning your tiles. When using different cleaning agents, just make sure that the reactants are compatible with each other. This is especially important if you’re just learning how to clean tile floors.
Depending on your cleaning agent, like muriatic acid, you might not have much scrubbing to do. Other milder, more tile-friendly solutions like vinegar require a little more effort. However, it’s more forgiving, and preserving your tile and grout is worth it.
5. Remove the Residue
After rinsing away the dirt and debris with warm water, wipe your floors dry and clean with a cloth. Opt for a chamois cloth that is soft and gentle on your floors.
This step is crucial for commercial cleaners that are oil-based due to the slippery residue they may leave on your floors.
A bonus tip and the final touch, let’s talk grout. Unlike tile, which is impermeable, grout tends to be more porous. Grout takes in mold, grease, and dirt more, especially when grout remains unsealed.
It’s never too late to seal your grout! Once you restore your grout to its former glory, consider sealing it if it isn’t yet.
Now You Know How to Clean Tile Floors!
Learning how to clean tile floors is an invaluable skill in maintaining a household. Dry mop your floors before the grueling process of dirt destruction and dissolution. Choose the right cleaning solution for your tiles, wait, scrub, rinse, and dry.
Thank you for reading our article! We have more articles on household cleaning and maintenance in our blog posts. So keep your floors sanitary and sparkly with only the best tile floor cleaning tips!