How To Clean Tile Floors: Ceramic, Stone, Vinyl,

by Aug 31, 2020Cleaning

Tile floors are incredibly durable and are available in different materials, shapes, sizes, patterns, etc. When you get your lovely tile floor laid, you want to keep it as clean and shiny as possible.

Through this article I will teach you:

  • how to protect it,
  • Clean heavy sealant,
  • Everything about the best products to use, as well as tools to keep your tiles looking brilliant.
  • Much more

Let’s get started!

Cleaning routine: How often do you clean your tile floors?

Now that you know how to properly remove dirt, pet urine and successfully clean your tile joints … how often should you do this?

To make your tiles look spotless, it is recommended that you start one regular cleaning routine of wet and dry cleaning.

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When it comes to dry cleaning, it is recommended that you at least sweep or vacuum twice weekly or when you can visualize some waste. This will help your floor to last longer and any sharp dirt will damage it.

You can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle. However, reaching narrow spaces or corners can be challenging. For these rooms you will need a broom and a reliable old dust container.

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When it comes to wet cleaning, you can start a cleaning routine by cleaning your kitchen floors at least once a week, depending on the traffic and use of course.

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Bathroom floors should be washed once a week as bacteria build up more easily in humid areas. As for spout cleaning, do it once Every other month, depending on how you see it.

Basics for cleaning tile floors

It is always a good idea to sweep and vacuum your floors several times during the week.

Any grain or sand can scratch and dull the shiny surface of your tiles. Once the dirt is removed, it is mop time.

The formula that never fails is some warm water and mild detergent. You should apply it with a chamois mop or cloth and try to avoid fungal mops.

Sponge mops will end up pushing dirty water into joints and soiling it. You do not want that.

While moping, make sure you regularly change the water in your bucket and the cleaning solution to make sure you are using a clean mop and not a dirty one.

If you happen to end up with a thick film on the tile floor, you can simply remove it with the universal cleaner of your choice.
However, make sure that it is mild and non-abrasive so that it does not damage your floor or scratch it.

Are you interested in making your cleaner? Easy! Mix either vinegar or lemon juice with warm water. Mop and then wipe with a clean cloth. For this part you can also use a towel.

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See our reviews on the best floor cleaners in 2021.

Step by step on how to clean hard tile floors

how-to-clean-hard-tile floor

A more resistant tile is made of vinyl, cork, linoleum or rubber.

These tiles are perfect if you need a light maintenance-free and comfortable surface to walk on. If you own this floor, here are some great tips for cleaning your beautiful tile floor.


Vinyl is incredibly resilient and is low maintenance.

  1. All you have to do is vacuum or sweep dirt.
  2. Mop with the right vinyl solution or water mixed with vinegar.

It is not recommended to use aggressive cleaning agents or other scrubbing tools. You do not want to scratch this shiny finish.


This tile is often confused with vinyl flooring. It is important to know that these are quite different and require specific cleaning instructions.

  1. When you have finished vacuuming or sweeping, wash this floor with a specific cleaning solution for linoleum floors.
  2. Rinse and dry.
  3. You can further protect the linoleum by applying a wax coat (liquid wax is also good) furbish for a fantastic shine that lasts up to 3-6 months depending on the use.


Cork care usually depends on the finish of your tile.

  1. Most cork floors are sealed with polyurethane, if yours is, then clean with mild detergent and water.
  2. In this case, you can use white vinegar, rinse and dry.
  3. If your cork is waxed or unfinished, follow the instructions for polyurethane cleaning tips. However, apply liquid or solid wax when the tiles are completely dry.

Steam mops are not recommended for any of these tiles. These are not designed to handle excess moisture and extreme heat.

Depth- how to get rid of joints

Do you know the real secret behind a great looking tile floor?

It is a perfectly scrubbed sealant.

Unfortunately, sealant is the most porous and quickly absorbs grease and other substances.

Once you have taken care of your grout, your floors will look immaculate, literally. Follow these quick steps for the perfect looking tile grout.

  1. No need to use commercial cleaners. You can create perfect home solutions for amazing results. How? By combining water and baking powder.
  2. Rub this paste on the stain and let it sit all night. The next day, scrub the stains off with a nylon brush. No metal brushes! This will damage the sealant. Repeat as often as necessary.
  3. Another good solution is to use a silicone sealant. This will automatically repel stains. However, this works best when the sealant has been renewed or newly installed, about ten to fourteen days later.

Mental note: If you have done your fair amount of research, be aware of the debate over using a steam cleaner to clean tile joints.

It’s controversial.

Some people say that it is a great way to revive your dingy tiles, while others confirm that this process can damage the entire grout as time goes on.

So yes, steam mops can cause damage over time, it is best to stick to homemade solutions and other tile safe tools.

Clean tile floors depending on type

Would you like to clean a stainless steel refrigerator with a multifunctional detergent that works on enamel surfaces? That would not look too good when you are done, right?

Well, the same goes for cleaning your tile floors.

Tile floors are incredibly durable, that’s a fact.

However, there are individual tiles that require special care. Take porcelain and ceramic floor tiles, which are easy to maintain.

On the other hand, you have rough tiles like granite, marble, slate or limestone that require a completely different cleaning routine and specific cleaning agents.

Tips for cleaning porcelain and ceramic tile floors

If you want to keep your porcelain and ceramic floors looking great, there are a few simple ways to achieve this.

Follow these tips for a great looking ceramic and porcelain flooring:

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  • First, sweep or vacuum the loose debris. This will help you maintain the shine of your tile floors. Ceramics are super resistant to dirt, but sharper dirt such as dirt or sand can dull the radiant surface.
  • Grab the best mop for your tile floor. You can easily clean your tiles with fresh water and mild detergent. You do not need a sponge mop, it just creates more mess and gets more dirt into the grout. The best tools are chamois-style mops or cloths. While mopping, change the water regularly to avoid a cloudy floor.
  • Stains? If you are going to find discoloration in your tiles, do not flip out yet. You can remove them by using a specific cleaner for the type of fabric the stain is made of. You can do some research in relation to this.
  • Soap residues. If you notice that the tiles look cloudy, it is likely that there is soap residue. You can simply remove it by using an all-purpose abrasive cleaner. If you want to try a homemade mixture, combine lemon juice and a little water. You can use this on porcelain or ceramic tile, not on stone.
  • Dry your tiles. Most of us are used to letting floors air dry. However, this is not recommended as it creates water stains. Spend a few extra minutes wiping your floors with a lint-free cloth when you have finished washing.

When drying tiles, simply use your foot to move the cloth across the floors.

Tips for cleaning stone tile floors

You need to be extra careful when cleaning granite, marble or slate, which are considered natural stone tiles.

Any abrasive chemicals in ordinary floor cleaners can easily damage the surface. For these, you need to have specific cleaning agents made for the care of natural stone.

Let’s take a look at the tile types and how you can fit them:

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  • Slate: Do not use acids when cleaning slate tiles. Use a mild detergent, but be sure to read the ingredients to avoid acidic chemicals for coated slate tiles, dry as soon as you finish washing with a soft towel to prevent water stains.
  • Marble: Marble is fantastic but very maintenance intensive. To avoid damaging it, do not use cleaners with acidic PH levels. As with slate, acids can damage the floor and corrode the surface. No detergents with vinegar or lemon. Also avoid materials that can scratch the surface of the marble. This means no aggressive brushes, brushes or powders for polishing.
  • Granite: Like marble and slate, granite must also be cleaned with non-abrasive detergent and pH-neutral. Any aggressive cleaning agents will leave discolorations and streaks on the surface. In terms of gloss, use a buff for a polished and clean look.
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Tips for dirty sealant

Dirty joints are a nightmare. They quickly absorb grease, dirt, joints and all sorts of things, creating a dirty floor.

Even if you just cleaned your heart out.

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To solve this, apply a specific grout to the grout or mild strand. Wear gloves for safety.

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Let the cleaner sit for about ten minutes. Then use a small brush or toothbrush to scrub the grout. This should do the trick.

Nevertheless, you can avoid having to do this once a month by keeping a strict cleaning routine by sweeping and moping.

But of course, no matter how much you sweep, cleaning joints will of course happen.

Now that I have researched some of the basic things, I will teach you how to clean tile floors depending on the type you own. There are many types, materials and also ways you can clean your floors.

Concluding thoughts

Tile floors are beautiful to look at, durable and comfortable to have at home. Like everything else good, these floors require maintenance and care to keep them protected from losing their luster and keeping them clean and disinfected.

Your cleaning routine will always depend on the amount of traffic and lifestyle you lead, but it is helpful to keep in mind specific tips that will help you keep your tile floors looking spotless like these!

By following this guide you will be left with nothing but radiant, clean tile floors for a long time. Now sit back and look at your work.

About the author

Gladys K. Connelly

As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips on housekeeping for Thehousewire audiences. She is a household specialist with only 9 years of experience to boast of. That, combined with seven years of previous teaching experience, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.

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