Besides their outstanding beauty and versatility, tile floors have the advantage of being very low-maintenance. Tiles are mainly made of natural components that are shaped and fired in a kiln at very high temperatures.
This process creates resiliency and durability that is incomparable to most other flooring finishes.
When glazed, they also have a preventive barrier from dirt, water, stains, and chemicals, making them even more impervious to the components.
Take care of your tile floors with some gentle cleaning products and a few smart and acute cleaning methods that will keep your floors looking like new. After reading this article, you get some ideas about the cleaning process of your tile floors and which cleaning products and tools to use.
Cleaning Process and Products of Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Floors
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are long-lasting, and a few easy cleaning tips can keep these types of floors looking sparkling and brand new. Follow this simple process and use products and tools that are given below to clean ceramic and porcelain tile:
- Clean up loose debris: Mop or vacuum your tile floors regularly to keep them from getting dull and dirty. Ceramic tiles may be impenetrable to dirt, but sand, grit, and other grime can dull the glazed finishes.
- Choose the right floor mop: Clean tile floors with a mild detergent or cleaning chemical and clean water using a rag or Chamois-kind mop rather than a sponge mop. These mops are perfect for cleaning tile because sponge mops tend to push dirty water into the grout lines. So it makes the cleaning process harder. Be sure to change the water again and again while mopping because dirty water equals dirty surfaces.
- Be on the look for tile discoloration: If you notice discoloration, try to determine what type of material made the stain. Use the correct cleaner for the stain for the most fruitful clean.
- Watch for soap residue: Even after cleaning, if your tiles look hazy and dull, you might be dealing with soapy residue. Remove the film with a non-abrasive cleaner. You can also use a homemade cleaner with gentle acidic products (ex: fresh lemon juice) on ceramic or porcelain tile floors.
- Dry the tiles: Don’t let your glossy tile floors air-dry. Because sitting water will form water spots or stains, manage that by drying the floor with a clean cloth or lint-free cloth immediately after washing.
Cleaning Process and Products of Stone Tile Floors
Be careful when working with stone tiles, such as slate, granite, or marble. Chemicals in regular cleaners can damage the surface of these flooring materials. Alternatively, clean your stone tile floors with cleaners made specifically for natural stone tile floors.
- Slate Tile: You can also use a mild detergent on slate tiles, as long as it doesn’t contain acidic components, for example, vinegar or lemon. If your slate tile floor is coated, avoid water stains by drying the tile right away with a soft towel or clean cloth.
- Marble Tile: Marble makes marvelous tile, but it’s also high-maintenance. Avoid cleaning this tile with anything that contains an acidic PH level. You should also avoid cleaners that contain lemon or vinegar, as they can etch the tile’s surface. Stay away from the products that may scratch the marble, like brushes with hard bristles or scouring powders.
- Granite Tile: Granite tile also needs to be cleaned with a pH-neutral mild detergent, like marble or slate tiles. A harsh cleaner is not suitable for this tile. They may leave streaks or discoloration on the tile. You also may want to shine a polished granite floor to keep it looking smooth and clean.
Cleaning Process and Products of Resilient Tile Floors
Made from substances such as linoleum, vinyl, cork, and rubber, resilient tile is an excellent choice if you want a floor that’s easy on the feet and needs easy maintenance. However, try to follow the tips that are given below when cleaning your resilient tile floor:
- Vinyl Tile: These super resilient flooring tiles are also very easy to maintain. With proper vinyl installation and care, it can last for up to 20 years. Sweep or vacuum up debris or dirt and mop with a vinyl cleaning product or vinegar and water. Never use a harsh cleaner or scrubbing tool on vinyl tile floors. It may scratch the surface.
- Linoleum Tile: Though it’s often mistaken for vinyl flooring, linoleum is a very different material with specific cleaning requirements. After sweeping or vacuuming, clean the linoleum tile with linoleum flooring cleaning solution or detergent and water. Rinse clean and let the surfaces dry. To protect your linoleum floors, use a wax coat or liquid wax and rub to a shine every three to six months.
- Cork Tile: The cleaning care the cork tile requires will differ based on your tile’s finish. If the cork surface is sealed or coated with polyurethane (most cork floors), clean with water and less acidic detergent or white vinegar. Then rinse well. If the cork is unfinished or waxed, maintain the cleaning directions for polyurethane but use solid or liquid wax after the tile is dry.
Cleaning Process and Products of tile Grout
The actual secret to an attractive tile floor is clean grout. Grout is porous and absorbs stains, grease, and other dirt. It can be difficult to keep clean. Here’s how to get your grout to look like new:
- Make a DIY grout cleaner: Avoid commercial cleaners. Instead, make a cleaning solution with baking soda and water.
- Scrub grout: Rub it on the stain and spot. Let it sit overnight. After that, scrub the stain in the morning with cleaning floor scrubbers. Repeat the process as necessary.
- Seal grout: Use a silicone-based sealer to the grout to repel future stains. This step works best when done 10-14 days after the grout is placed or renewed.
Note: There are so many debates about whether you should use a steam cleaner to “deep clean” your tile grout. Some say it’s the best method to revive dull tile, while others say it can harm your grout in the long run. A steam mop usually won’t damage grout that’s in good shape and sealed, but if your grout is older or damaged in any way, the steam could accelerate the damage and may cause pitting and discoloration over time. Repeated use could also increase the risk of damage.
However, the best way to keep your tile and grout clean is to remove dirt regularly through sweeping or mopping. Debris or dirt that sits on top of the tiles can cause scratches and abrasions.