How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floor to Make Them Look Brand New

How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floor to Make Them Look Brand New

Cleaning
Flooring
By Alex Mikayelyan November 18, 2021

Ceramic tiles are a great material to use as flooring. They are durable, very easy to maintain, water-resistant, and also quite affordable considering that they come with all these advantages. One weakness that ceramic tiles do have, however, is discoloration. Now, while everyday ceramic tile maintenance is pretty simple as all you have to do is wipe off the smooth surface with some water, deeper cleaning can be a little more complicated.

But there is a kind of dirt that sits on the surface of ceramic tiles which you cannot clean up with a mop and may require something more specialized. There are plenty of companies out there that provide a professional tile cleaning service, leaving them looking as good as new. However, if you are looking to do it yourself, there are certain products you can use and even concoct yourself to help you bring back that shiny exterior to your ceramic tiles.

Initial Dust and Dirt Cleanup

The Initial Steps of Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

The Initial Steps of Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

Even before you apply any chemical solutions, the cleaning process has already begun and you need to ensure that the superficial dirt has been swept away. This includes dirt, dried-up mud, dust, lint, and other particles that are sweepable and that you can clean up with a sweeper or vacuum cleaner.

This is a very important part of the process as it sets the stage for how effective your tile cleaning is going to be. If you leave behind plenty of dirt and dust on the floor, it’s going to mix with the cleaning solution and leave behind a lot of particles and dirty spots when the solution dries up. It’s super important to ensure that the floor is clear of any dust or other particles, so skimping on this step will make your work harder throughout the process.

Know Your Mops

Which Mops to Use for Ceramic Tile and Why

Which Mops to Use for Ceramic Tile and Why

At first, mops seem like a no-brainer. It’s a stick with a special fabric at the end which allows you to sweep up dust and other loose particles that are on the floor. However, you may end up doing more harm than good when washing ceramic tile floors using the wrong mop or one that is old. While it would be difficult to point out the best mop for ceramic tile floors, it’s certainly not going to be the ones leaving strands of fabric behind.

This is why it is generally advisable to replace your mop after a couple of months, depending on how long it is supposed to last. Some only last for two to three months, while others may last you indefinitely. Alternatively, you can also invest in a steam mop, which does wonders on tile flooring, as it is not only able to sweep up any dust and debris, but can also give your tile a light wash. While this certainly may not be enough to restore discolored tiles or get rid of the yellowness that white ceramic tiles develop over time, it can still get the tile flooring squeaky clean before you apply the solution. 

The Cleaning Solution

The Cleaning Solutions You Can Use for Ceramic Tiles

The Cleaning Solutions You Can Use for Ceramic Tiles

Speaking of the solution, what exactly does one use to clean their tiles and bring back their pristine color? Well, restoring the color of your tiles to their original look is not impossible, but it’s quite hard to do without specialized equipment and methodology. You can, however, get quite close to how the ceramic tile flooring looked when it was first installed.

There are plenty of potent ceramic tile cleaning solutions designed to handle hard surfaces. They work wonders on various kinds of materials and especially ceramic tiles, which they can clean quite well without causing any damage whatsoever. You can purchase these from any department store or you can order them online. With a few capfuls mixed into warm water, the cleaning solution will restore the glossy shine to your ceramic flooring.

There are also other DIY cleaning solutions you can concoct yourself which also work very well. Cleaning ceramic tiles with vinegar requires a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar, as well as a little tree oil. Alternatively, you can also wash your ceramic floor with hot soapy water that can be mixed using detergent and then finish things off with hydrogen peroxide. For ceramic tile stain remover around the oven caused by grease and hot oil drippings, you can also use club soda mixed with water. Finally, for ink and marker stains that refuse to come off, the best solution is putting a bit of diluted bleach on a cloth, applying it over the stain, and leaving it there for a while. Keep in mind that it has to be diluted since bleach on ceramic tile could irreversibly stain the surface.

Important Tips On Picking the Right Cleaning Solution for Ceramic Flooring

Important Tips On Picking the Right Cleaning Solution for Ceramic Flooring

After these solutions have been applied, left to dry, and have cleaned up the stains on your ceramic flooring, give the floor one more thorough wash to get rid of the residue chemicals. With this conclusive wash, you should already see a floor that is far more glossy and sparkling than it was before. Ceramic tiles are quite durable and withstand a lot of damage but if you apply the wrong chemical, it may actually deteriorate the surface of the tiles. So make sure that, before you apply any kind of corrosive or acidic chemical onto the surface of your ceramic tiles, it has been approved by a professional tiler. This way, you won’t end up damaging the glossy exterior.

A final pro tip that will help you clean your ceramic flooring without any leftover stains is to follow the formula closely. For example, if you use too much soap, it may end up leaving water spots on ceramic tile flooring and will require another cleaning. So remember to follow the guidelines to a tee and try not to experiment with any of the chemicals. 

Restoring the Grout

Why and How You Should Keep Your Grout Clean and Whole

Why and How You Should Keep Your Grout Clean and Whole

Grout is another tricky part of cleaning the tiles. While the tiles themselves may only slightly lose their color and might have a few grease stains strewn about, the grout takes a lot of damage over the years and is prone to significant discoloration. The grout itself is the substance between each tile that is responsible for holding them in place. While you can have a ceramic tile set where the grout is not as visible, most ceramic tile walls will have the grout out in the open where it can crack, flake, chip, and discolor. If it has cracked and flaked beyond repair and a mere cleaning will not be enough, removing grout from ceramic tile may be a more viable option. However, if it needs a little freshening up, then there are some very convenient solutions for that.

There are several ways to clean out grout. The easiest way to go about this is to purchase a specialized grout cleaner that can clean out all the residue dirt, water stains, and other imperfections from the grout, leaving it spotless and looking as good as new. But as with the tiles, you should first understand what kind of grout you have so as to not damage it with a corrosive chemical that should not come into contact with that particular material.

What’s even more important than cleaning your grout is keeping it that way for as long as possible. While grout cleaner is meant to be as safe for the grout as possible, using it too much could corrode the weaker areas and cause them to get flaky and fall apart. This is why you need proper protection in the form of a grout sealer. Functioning similarly to a wood finish, a grout sealer is designed to create a coating over the grout and protect it from impact, water damage, and dirt.

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Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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