From mop selection to the grout nitty-gritty, our how-to on tile care might not make cleaning tile any less of a chore, but it will make your floors a shining example of good housekeeping—literally.
We aren’t saying that you don’t, just reminding you that you should. With your soft-bristle broom (or vacuum with brush attachment) in hand, there’s not a spec of dirt or dust that can stand in the way of you and sparkling tile floors. While we recommend you sweep floors at least once a week, this is most important when you’re prepping the tile for a deep clean. After all, this is your dry run before bringing out the bucket.
Know Your Type of Tile
Before you start pulling out the many miscellaneous cleaning products under the kitchen sink—be sure you know what material you’re dealing with. Some surfaces are more porous than others and could cause absorption and damage if you use the wrong cleaning solution. Know your tile, know your tools.
Cleaning Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
This is not the place for a sponge mop. They push dirty water into the grout and only make it harder to clean. Instead, using a rag or chamois-mop and a bucket of warm water and mild detergent, clean one section of the floor at a time while changing out the water as you go to keep from accidentally “cleaning” with dirty water.
Also, if soap spots or film-like residue become a problem, add lemon juice and/or vinegar to the water and dry up the excess with a quick buff dry using a microfiber or lint-free cloth. Those tiles will gleam for days.
Cleaning Stone Tile
Slate, granite, travertine, and marble require a little more maintenance and a gentler touch. Be careful not to use abrasive solutions or bristles to prevent scratching and use stone-specific cleaning solutions that are pH neutral to avoid permanent streaking or discoloration. We recommend a thorough buff dry all your floors for the best results.
Get into the Grout
Once your tile is looking its best, you’ll want the grout to fall in line. While cleaning grout is slightly more labor-intensive, when done right, it only needs to be done on an “every so often” basis. That’s what we’re going for.
For this job, combine equal amounts baking soda and water until worked into a paste-like consistency, then use a grout brush (or toothbrush) to gently scrub the paste into the grout lines. If stains are especially stubborn, put on rubber gloves (safety) and mix a solution of ¾ bleach ¼ water to use for scrubbing—the ratio for elbow grease is up to you. Step away for 45 minutes, activity up to you, then finish with a sealant to keep each grout line stain-free so you won’t have to do this again for a while.
While these tips should make every floor in your home blindingly clean, if you’d like a fresh start (and grout), we have the home for you. Find the perfect tile and other finishes for your next new home with MileStone Design Studio. Our wide selection of premium, durable, and beautiful materials make your home feel like it.