A lot of people prefer tile flooring because it is much easier to maintain and more impervious to stains and water damage.
But without proper care, tile floors can get unsightly. The grout – the space between individual tiles – can get especially dirty and discoloured as it accumulates dirt and grime.
What’s the best way to clean tile floors and grout? Here some tips for cleaning tile floors and grout.
Regular Vacuuming And Mopping
Just like any other kind of floor, tile requires regular vacuuming and mopping.
If you leave dirt and food particles to accumulate on the floor, they could quickly turn into hard-to-clean grime. The build-up especially happens in the grout causing it to get dirty and stained.
You should vacuum as often as is necessary to keep the floor clean. If you have pets and kids, you probably have to vacuum everyday if not several times a day.
If you have pets that shed a lot, I recommend a robot vacuum cleaner. There are some pretty good and affordable ones nowadays that can pick up everything from pet hair to fine dust.
You can even set the robot on a schedule to clean automatically when you are not at home.
In addition to vacuuming it’s also important to mop with a good quality spray mop. This gets rid of stuck dirt and oils.
Unlike hardwood floors, tiles don’t always need a special commercial cleaner. A bucket of warm water is enough to get rid of most of the dirt.
You can add some vinegar for a deeper clean and some essential oil for a nice fragrance.
Make sure you leave the tiles completely dry to prevent anyone from slipping and to avoid attracting more dust.
Note: Some robot vacuum cleaners can also mop. You just need to add some water to a reservoir and the robot moves around on the floor mopping with a removable mop cloth.
Use A Commercial Or Homemade Grout Cleaner
The grout needs some extra cleaning to avoid that ugly discoloured look they take on after a while.
First make sure you follow the first tip above. Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly. Do not let any dirt and particles build up in the grout lines. They’ll be more difficult to get rid of later.
Then every once in a while scrub the grout lines clean using a homemade cleaner or a commercial grout cleaner.
It’s a lot of work since you have to do it line by line while on all fours but it will keep your floor looking great.
If you use a commercial cleaner, follow the instructions on the label.
If you’d rather use a homemade cleaner, there are several ones that work great. The best is a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
First sprinkle the baking soda on the grout lines. You can also make a paste using baking soda and water and then use a gloved hand to apply it along the lines.
Then spray with hydrogen peroxide. You should see some bubbles.
When the bubbles disappear, scrub with a nylon brush or toothbrush and then mop the floor with water.
Removing Spots And Stains
Hydrogen peroxide also works great for stains on the tiles. Just dab at the stain with a rag soaked in hydrogen peroxide.
If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide around, diluted bleach can also work. Just lay a cloth soaked in the bleach solution over the stain until it fades.
But before you try these harsher chemicals, check whether some dishwashing soap and warm water will work. If you get to a stain in time before it soaks into the tile, you don’t need bleach or baking soda.
Basic Care Tips
- Do not leave spills and messes uncleaned. As soon as you spot a spill or a mess, clean it up immediately. This will prevent staining and dirt build-up. Sugary liquids like orange juice tend to get sticky if left on the floor for too long.
- Have a designated place for shoes outside on the porch. This prevents dust and debris from getting tracked into the house.
- Don’t forget the corners where dirt tends to hide. If you have a vacuum with an attachment for small spaces, use it to clear dust and food crumbs from the corners.
- For pet accidents and messes made by foods like meat, spray a disinfectant around that spot after cleaning.