Have your ceramic tile floors been looking a little hazy lately? Do you remember the way they shined after installation? Want that shine back? Fortunately, it's not difficult to properly clean ceramic tile floors. With the proper technique and cleaning products, you can get your floor sparkling again in a snap.
Basic Instructions for Cleaning Ceramic Floors
Ceramic flooring is so popular because it is low maintenance and resistant to dirt. However, it can get a little hazy over time. Getting that shine back only takes a few simple supplies and ingredients.
- Broom/dust pan or vacuum
- Baking soda
- Detergent or mild dish soap
- 5-gallon bucket
- Microfiber towel
- Lemon juice optional
- Use the broom and dustpan or vacuum to clear the floor of as much dirt and debris as possible.
- Fill the bucket with warm water.
- Add a squirt or two of mild detergent or dish soap. Note: You are looking to cut the scum or grease on the floor but avoid leaving behind a soap residue. Therefore, a little goes a long way.
- Dip the mop in the water and use it to mop the floor. The point isn't to get it too wet, but to simply remove the dirt.
- Using the microfiber towel, dry and buff the floor. This will help to avoid water spots and streaks.
Tip: If used a little too much soap, the floor may appear hazy. If so, just dampen your towel with lemon juice and go over the tiles. Try to avoid the grout because the acid of the lemon juice might react with the grout, according to The Council of North America (TCNA).
Removing Stubborn Stains From Ceramic Floors
If you have stubborn stains, then you might need to take a different approach. Here you'll need:
- Baking soda
- Microfiber towel
- Mix the baking soda and water to create a paste. You want this to be a little on the thick side.
- Apply the mixture to the soiled area. Let it sit for a minute or two to absorb the stain.
- Use the microfiber towel to creating gentle scrubbing circles on the tile, moving the baking soda mixture around and gently scrubbing the area.
- Thoroughly rinse with water. Rinse thoroughly, because baking soda can leave a film.
- Using a dry towel, buff the area.
Tip: You can also use this technique for spot cleaning.
Best Mops for Ceramic Tile
When you are mopping ceramic tile, it's best to use a spin, rag, or chamois mop. These work the best to keep dirt from seeping into the grout.
- A sponge mop should be avoided if possible. This leaves dirt behind in the grout giving it a dull appearance.
- Rubber mops also leave dirt in the grout. Therefore, they aren't a great option for this type of flooring.
- A towel can also work well to clean ceramic tile. However, a towel is not ideal for floors because it will require scrubbing on your hands and knees. For floors, a rag mop works the same as a towel, but will save your knees. When cleaning ceramic tile in a shower, a towel is the way to go.
Cleaning Product Considerations
If you choose to use a professional cleaning product when mopping your ceramic tile, select a product that is alkaline rather than acidic, according to TCNA. Acidic cleaners, like Pine-Sol, could attack the grout and break it down. Therefore, alkaline cleaners, like Mr. Clean floor cleaner, work best for this type of flooring. (Note: Acidic products are the ones you might use to clean rust or calcium deposits.)
Now that you know how to clean your ceramic floor and what to use, use these tips to help keep your floors shining.
- Change your water often. This will avoid streaks and smudges from muddy water being added back to the floor.
- To avoid residue, you can simply use water to mop the floor if it isn't very dirty. Just spot clean with baking soda as needed.
- Less is more as far as cleaners go. Using the least possible to get the clean you want will ensure you don't leave a residue behind.
- Avoid oily cleaners when cleaning a ceramic floor. These will make the floor super-slick and leave a residue that is hard to remove.
If you are looking to clean your ceramic flooring, there are a few methods you can use. You might just choose to sweep the floor and use water or try a cleaning product. Whatever, method you use, remember that less is more if you don't want to leave a hazy residue.