How to Clean Ceramic Tile

Clean tile wall in bathroom

Tile floors may be durable and a cinch to maintain, but sand and grit can scratch the surface if not removed. If you don’t clean your tile floors, they may suffer permanent damage. What’s more, dirty tile can make an otherwise clean room look dirty, especially because the grout darkens over time as it absorbs dirt.

How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors

Before you begin, remove all shoes, rugs, furniture and anything else that might get in your way while you clean. Then follow these steps:

  1. Remove loose dirt, sand and other debris with a vacuum cleaner or broom.
  2. Use an old credit card or a plastic putty knife to scrape any sticky residue on the tiles.
  3. Fill a bucket with hot water, a half cup of vinegar and a half tablespoon of dish soap. Don’t use too much soap, or the soapy residue will make your floors look dull.
  4. Before you mop, rinse out the mophead under hot running water to remove any debris from last time you used it.
  5. Mop the tile floors with the soapy water. Once you’re finished, follow up by mopping with plain hot water.
  6. You can allow the floor to air-dry, but drying it with a clean cloth or towel will remove even more dirt and prevent water spots.

How to Clean Ceramic Tile Grout

Your ceramic tile floors will only look as good as the grout that holds them together. Homeowners can rent grout-cleaning machines from hardware stores that use hot steam to clean the grout thoroughly. If you want a DIY method, however, the best way to clean grout is detailed below:

  1. Mix a bucket of water with powdered oxygen bleach according to the directions on the bottle. This effective type of bleach has a different chemical compound from chlorine bleach and is non-toxic and color-safe. You can usually find it in the cleaning aisle at any grocery or hardware store.
  2. Apply your solution to the grout lines with either a spray bottle or a scrub brush. For grout that is extra dirty, we prefer to use both methods of application.
  3. Let the solution sit on the grout for at least 30 minutes. The longer you wait, the better. The oxygen ions in the bleach solution continue to work for up to six hours.
  4. Once the bleach solution has soaked in, use a stiff nylon brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the grout lines. Scrub a small area of grout at a time, and sop up the dirty water with a towel as you go.
  5. Once all the grout lines are clean, rinse the area with fresh water, and dry it with a clean cloth.
  6. Once you’re finished and the floor is dry, use a grout sealant to keep the grout clean.

You can substitute the oxygen bleach with a mixture of white vinegar and either lemon juice or baking soda which you likely already have on hand. Based on our experience, the bleach solution requires the least amount of scrubbing and is the most effective for removing stains.

Professional Cleaning Services

Many homes today have more than one type of floor. We also provide tips on how to clean hardwood floors, baseboards and other surfaces. Keeping a home clean is a lot of work, and your time is valuable. If you’d rather spend time doing what you love, Molly Maid is here to help. Learn more about our home cleaning services.

Share Article name