How to Clean Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Floors?
A clean floor, like everything else, needs proper maintenance. It is basic hygiene to keep the place you live and work in, as clean as possible. If kept unclean for a long time, dwellers could suffer from various health issues due to the unhygienic conditions.
Most people clean their floors regularly. If not cleaned routinely, the floors get cakey and dirty, and then requires a lot of extra work and attention to be clean again.
The factor that determines the type of cleaning process you should employ is the material that you are cleaning. Usually, modern floors are covered in tiles, and cleaning methods vary according to the type of tiles used. For example, the ingredients used to clean vinyl tiles won't work for porcelain or ceramic ones.
So, what do you do when you have to clean your floor urgently but just don’t know the right way to do it? Do you feel confused with all the different cleaning agents and brushes out there and wonder which is the right one for your floors? If you do, then these guidelines will surely be of help to you.
How to Clean Ceramic Tiles?
See Also: How to Clean and Remove Grout from Tile?
Keeping ceramic tiles clean is easy enough if you do it regularly. But if you let dirt and grime build up, then the process becomes a huge hassle. In those cases, you will have to work harder and longer and maybe even use harsh chemicals.
- If you want to clean regularly, a mop is your best bet. It is easy to use and will collect the dirt and dust without any trouble. How often you dust and mop your floors depends on you and the area you live in.
- Some people, who live in highly polluted places, feel the need to dust every single day. You may not have to do that if you live somewhere with minimal dust. You could probably get away with dusting twice a week.
- For this, you can just buy a soft mop or broom, which has an end that can be cleaned. You could also get one with disposable dusters. Those mops are easy to handle, but might not collect dust so well.
- Otherwise, you could invest in a good vacuum cleaner. This will be great for cleaning other things too and won’t have to be changed too often. Try using a soft head attachment, or one that is best for bare floors. Just remember not to use a beater bar because that might cause your flooring to become dull.
- After vacuuming and dusting, it is also smart to use a damped mop for additional cleaning. To do this, get a bucket of clean water and a separate mop to soak in the water. You can sometimes add soap or antiseptic to this water for a more rigorous cleaning.
- If your tiles are unglazed, you must only use plain water and nothing else. Because of this, you will have to dust and mop unglazed tiles much more often than glazed ones.
- When you clean your floor with a wet mop, rinse your mop after every few turns in the bucket to make the cleaning more effective. It is also important that you change the water in the bucket if it starts to look too dirty.
- If you use soap or antiseptic to mop your floor, make sure to wash the floor again with plain water. The soap wash must only be done once a week if the tiles look especially dirty. For regular cleaning, just stick to plain water because soap water might be a bit harsh on the tiles in done too often.
- You do not want your ceramic tiles to be left with water marks or residual dirt, which is something that often happens with unglazed tiles. Dirt molecules get easily pulled into these marks, and cause them to look darker on the floors. So make sure to clean all the residual dirt properly.
- To do this, get a large dry cloth and wipe down the tiles until they are dry. This will get rid of any dirt that has been left behind. Plus, water left by wet mops can be a risk factor too, sometimes, and this extra step will prevent any accidents.
- If dirt builds up on your ceramic tiles, you will have to put in a little more effort to clean it up. There are certain stains that you can’t remove with just a wet mop.
- For a very stubborn stain, use water first. The water will be absorbed by the tile, creating a barrier between any chemical you put on the ceramic.
- To scrub the stain off, get a wide, hard-bristled brush and some dish soap. Leave a few drops of the soap on the stain before you start scrubbing. Then, wet the brush and start scrubbing.
- If the dish soap still does not help take the stain off, you can try an industrial detergent designed to clean ceramic tiles. Once you are done scrubbing, rinse the spot off with plain water once or twice, because prolonged exposure to detergent will ruin the tiles.
- The grout, or the joint between each tile often accumulates a lot of grime. To clean the grout, you will need a small brush, possibly a toothbrush.
- To make a cleaning solution, pour in 28g of Murphy Oil and soap into a bucket. Add ½ a cup of white vinegar and 8L of warm water to the soap. Dip the brush into the solution and scrub the grout.
- Try to avoid touching the tile with your brush as it may be far too harsh for the ceramic. What you can do is test a little corner of the tile, just to make sure that the solution won’t cause any serious damage to the tiles.
Ceramic Tile Maintenance:
- To keep your ceramic tiles clean for a longer time, a little maintenance will always help. The maintenance is very simple and it will help keep your floor durable for much longer.
- First of all, always keep your floor fairly clean. Dust and mop down your tiles regularly and do not let dirt lie around on the floor. Clean it up quickly, before stains set in. Long-term stains are much harder to take off.
- Use mats and carpets to protect your tiles. Place mats in front of your doors so that minimal dirt gets dragged in with people's shoes. This will keep the floor clean for much longer.
- You can also cover up your whole floor with carpets, to protect the tiles from dirt, dust, and corrosion. Even though your floor won't show at all, this will give your tiles the most longevity.
How to Clean Porcelain Tiles?
Cleaning regularly always helps maintain good tile quality for a long period. Keeping your porcelain tiled floors clean is pretty straightforward, but if stubborn stains or year-long grime accumulates, then the whole process becomes slightly more complicated.
However, there are always ways to remedy any damage done to porcelain floors.
- Every type of porcelain tile requires a unique method of cleaning that best suits its needs. Some types are more porous, so they need milder techniques, but with others, you can use a few harsh chemicals.
- As a preliminary step, use a dusting mop to get rid of any large dirt particles and dust on the floor. You can also use a broom or vacuum cleaner for this step.
- This is a step you can repeat every day, or around twice a week, depending on how dusty your floor becomes. When buying brooms, try to choose the ones that have soft bristles, as those are least likely to damage the porcelain.
- If you get any dirt or stains on the floor, you might want to use a little more force to remove it. This is where the use of small nylon brushes could be a good idea. And even an old toothbrush will do.
- Just wet the floor with some plain water and leave it on the tiles for a few minutes. Then go ahead and scrub the dirty area with your brush, until the stain comes off. Make sure not to scrub porcelain floors when dry, to avoid putting scratches on the surface.
- If the stains on your floor are very persistent and refuse to come off even after all the scrubbing, then you can use a cleaning agent. Just get a mop and a good cleaning solution that will be gentle enough to preserve the quality of the tiles.
- If you want to make a cleaning solution at home, all you will need are two gallons of warm water and ¼ cup of white vinegar. Combine these in a bucket, dip your mop, and clean the floor. You can let the solution sit on the tiles for a few minutes before you mop again. Rinse out with plain water once the stain is off.
- Deciding to use a professional cleaning solution will call for a trip to the nearby hardware or grocery store. Floor cleaning agents are usually quite easy to find and use. Just follow the instructions on the bottle of the solution to clean your tiles.
- Additionally, you can also use baking soda to clean stains, which is an ingredient you should have right at home. Just sprinkle some of it on to the stained area, and scrub it off with a damp cloth. This method works best for coffee stains.
- Whichever cleaning technique you go for, make sure to mop up the floor with plain water in the final step, in order to remove any residual dirt or soap. You must also remember to dry your floor, as otherwise, you will be left with water marks.
- Unglazed or unpolished tiles require more care, as they tend to be more prone to damage. Thus, milder cleaning techniques must be opted for to make sure that your tiles retain their quality for a longer period.
- Regular cleaning is needed for these types of tiles as well. Try to dust your floor with a soft, dry dusting mop, at least twice a week. Just this process, if practiced routinely, could help maintain the quality of your tiles. This can also work as a preliminary step for further cleaning.
- If you have any stain or dirt stuck to your floor that is hard to get off, you can always go for a mild cleaning solution, either professional or homemade. Try not to use anything too strong, as you will risk damaging your tiles.
- You can buy suitable tile or floor cleaners in the supermarket. If you want a good homemade cleaning solution, just mix ¼ cup of vinegar and two gallons of water in a bucket.
- You can scrub the dirty area with a soft nylon brush or tooth brush, or just use a mop, dip it in the solution, and clean up the mess. You can also let the solution sit for a while before you start scrubbing. Once the stain is off, just mop everything up with some plain warm water.
- Always keep your floors dry. It is not just about cleaning the tiles, the porcelain can absorb a lot of the water and get permanent marks. This will eventually damage the look and feel of the tiles. So, just remember to get a good cotton cloth and soak up all the water after you are done.
Textured Porcelain Tiles:
- Like any other type of tiles, you must sweep and dust textured porcelain tiles with a soft broom. But there is a special technique, which will help keep textured tiles clean for longer.
- Sweep your broom in both directions, so the maximum amount of the dirt is cleaned picked. This may seem like double the regular amount of work, but it will help clean up your floor thoroughly. You can also vacuum your textured tiles, which might be a better option.
- If you want a slightly more heavy-duty cleaning process, you can use the 0a cleaning solution. Make sure it is mild, as you will have to preserve the quality of your tiles. You can find mild floor cleaners at the supermarket too.
- Mop up the floor, apply the cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, mop it all up again with warm plain water. If there some stains on the tiles, you can scrub them off with a soft nylon brush. Afterward, rinse everything off with plain water.
- This is a step that you should go for once or twice a month, or if your floor has gotten very dirty. Repeating this too often might damage your textured tiles.
- What you can regularly do to maintain the overall cleanliness of your floor, is to sweep or vacuum consistently. You should also mop up the floor with plain water, the regularity of which will depend on the amount of dust in the area that live in.
At the end of the day, no matter how much you clean your floors, if you don't do it often, your tiles won't be very durable. Preserving and maintaining the quality and polish of any type of tile is of the greatest importance.
For this, be wary of very strong, reactive cleaning agents like ammonia and bleach. Sweep and vacuum regularly, so that dust and debris don’t ruin the surface of your tiles. And invest in some good cleaning solutions, which you should just use once in a while.