How to Clean Your Tile Floors

Tile floors are often a choice for warmer climates or as a sturdy alternative to hardwood flooring. They are extremely easy to maintain if you have a proactive and quick reactive stance on cleaning. There are a few factors to keep in mind before cleaning your floors.


What Type of Tile Do You Have?
  • There are different types of tiles and each type has its own needs for cleaning. Is your tile porcelain? Natural stone? Painted? These are all very important to know because some chemicals (such as Bar Keepers Friend) are not friendly for all types of tile. Knowing what you have to work with is the most important part of tile cleaning!


Is Your Tile Sealed or Needs to be Sealed?
  • Sealant isn’t part of cleaning, so we suggest going to a hardware store or asking the manufacturer about if your tile is pre-sealed or needs to be sealed. If it’s pre-sealed, make sure to ask the manufacturer if there are any types of chemicals you cannot use on your tile. If you need to seal your tile yourself, make sure to check the container on what chemicals they suggest using to clean your floor after the sealant sets.


What About Your Grout?
  • Grout is used between tiles to keep dust and dirt from getting in-between tiles and then under, which can cause tiles to come loose and/or get damaged. It is important that your tile is grouted (unless it is specifically made to be a grout-less tile) and that your grout is clean and maintained. Sealing your grout is also important maintenance, but LL&CS only covers cleaning grout. Please make sure to go to your local hardware store to get information on what to use and how to grout your tile. It is important to have sealed grout for easier cleaning/maintenance later on.


Vacuuming/Dry Mops
  • Because of the nature of tile and its usually porous state, most tiles need to be vacuumed or dry mopped twice a week to keep the surface clear of dust, hair, and dirt.
  • You can place rugs in areas where there is a lot of traffic to help keep dirt off the tile floors. Just remember to clean the rugs when they get dirty.
  • Recommended products include:
    • Swiffer dry mop
    • Stick vacuums (Corded/Cordless)
    • Full sized vacuums with hard floor attachments


Spot Cleaning
  • When a spill occurs, it is best to clean it up right away with a damp rag. Soap shouldn’t be needed, unless the substance spilled is sticky and/or greasy. Use warm to hot water and a microfiber rag for best results.


  • There are many different mops that many LL&CS users suggest and have had success with. For general mopping, use hot water and a mild cleaning solution combined with one of the following products:
    • Shark Steamer (no cleaning solution needed, just water)
    • Spin mop
    • Rag mop
    • Hoover FloorMate
    • Swifter WetJet
    • Bona Cleaning System
  • Make sure to always mop with clean water – dirty water leads to cloudy floors!


Deep Cleaning/Grout Cleaning
  • Once a year you should deep clean your tiles and grout. This is usually when most people also reseal their floors, if needed. The following steps should be taken to deep clean tile floors.
    1. Vacuum floor thoroughly.
    2. Mop floor.
    3. Wet floor with a soaking solution, such as warm water and Oxiclean. Let set for 5-15 minutes.
    4. Scrub tile surface and grout lines with a soft bristle scrub brush.Using a hand brush can be hard, so you can get a broom brush, a brush attachment for your power towels, or go the easy route and rent an orbital floor machine to deep clean your floors first.
    5. Wipe floor with a clean damp rag to get solution off floor.
    6. Mop with water.
    7. Repeat steps 3-6 until clean or until satisfied with level of cleanliness.
    8. Seal floors for easy cleaning the rest of the year.
  • Make sure to NOT use abrasive chemicals on your tile floors! It can scratch or discolor them.
  • You should only use chemicals that are approved by both your tile manufacturer and your product manufacturer. Do not use acidic or ammonia based solutions on your tile.




By Jessica Carroll