How to floor cleaning

Tile flooring is a durable choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the home that might get wet from time to time. With the proper care, tile flooring can look like new for years. Learn basic tile flooring care, deep cleaning techniques, and how to clean stained grout. These techniques are appropriate for both ceramic and faux tile flooring. However, don’t over clean or use too much soap, which can cause streaking or soap film on your tiles.[1]

Method One of Three:
Basic Tile Flooring Care

  1. 1Sweep or vacuum the floor daily. This removes loose dirt, food crumbs and other pieces of debris that can accumulate on tile floors. Dirt that is allowed to sit in wet areas can quickly turn into hard-to-remove grime.
    • You should also sweep or vacuum the floor before mopping or cleaning it.
    • Run a dry cloth duster or dust mop over the floors after they have been swept.
    • If you have marble or natural stone flooring, make sure you use a soft broom for sweeping. A rough broom can scratch natural flooring.[2]
  2. 2Mop the floor with warm water. If the floor cleaning service doesn’t have stains or require heavy cleaning, running a damp mop over the floor will be sufficient to keep it clean. Cleanse the mop in fresh warm water after mopping one section of the room, and repeat until the entire floor is mopped.[3]
    • You may opt to add a small amount of dish soap to the mix to pick up everyday dust and debris.
    • For everyday shine, simply run a clean damp dusting cloth over the floor, or consider using a dry mop such as a Swiffer.
  3. 3Dry the floor. Whether you use water or water mixed with detergent, run a dry mop over the floor in small sections as you work across the room with your mop. This will prevent new dirt from quickly accumulating and staining the grout.
  4. 4Clean up spills promptly. If you drop a glass of juice or even water, clean it up right away. The longer it sits, the more time it will have to soak into the grout. Dried orange juice and other sugary liquids also tend to become annoyingly sticky.[4]
  5. 5Clean the dirtier spills with disinfectant. If your pet has an accident or you drop raw meat on the floor, spray a disinfectant directly over the spot and wipe it up right away.
    • If possible, limit the disinfectant to the area where the spill occurred. Strong chemicals may degrade or stain tile flooring.Advertisement

Method Two of Three:
Deep Cleaning Techniques

  1. 1Mop the floor with warm water and a vinegar solution. Mix 1/2 cup vinegar with a gallon of water and proceed to mop as usual. If the floor still doesn’t look as clean as you would like, mop the floor again using fresh water and detergent.[5]
    • Rinse the floor with clean warm water after you are done washing it. It is important to remove all residual soap from the tiles so it doesn’t remain on the floor to attract and hold dirt.
    • Do not use vinegar or chemicals on marble flooring. See How to Clean Marble for information on safely cleaning stone floors.
  2. 2Remove stains from tile floors. Prepare a paste using a 50/50 mixture of scouring powder and warm water. Rub the paste on the stain using a clean cloth, and then allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes. Scrub the area with a soft brush, then wash the area with warm water and a cloth to remove all remains of the paste.[6]
    • Repeat the process if the stain is still visible.
    • If a spill is left to sit for awhile, it can stain your tile floor.
  3. 3Clean mildew from tile floors. Prepare a 50/50 solution of water and ammonia. Scrub the area using a soft brush and the ammonia solution. Rinse the floor with clean water after the mildew is gone.[7]
    • Tile floors in bathrooms tend to get mildew sometimes. The best prevention method is to air out the room after you’ve showered and keep the floors dry.
    • If mildew does accumulate, an ammonia solution should take care of it.
    • Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. Also, make sure the room is well ventilated.
  4. 4Remove rust spots from tile floors. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. Dampen a clean cloth with kerosene. Rub the rust stain away using the kerosene rag. Wash the area with warm water to remove residual rust and kerosene, then repeat the process if the rust is not entirely gone.[8]
    • You probably won’t have to do this often, but if you do, cleaning with kerosene does the trick on rust.

Method Three of Three:
Cleaning Grout in Tile Flooring

  1. 1Try a pencil eraser. This household trick is great for cleaning small sections of stained grout. Simply run the eraser of a number 2 pencil over the stain until it is gone. Use a clean white or pink eraser.[9]
    • Sandpaper or an abrasive grout tool may be more effective for stubborn surface stains.
  2. 2Use baking soda. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply it to the dirty grout using an old toothbrush. Scrub the paste into the grout well. Wash the grout with warm water when you are finished.[10]
    • Most dirty grout can be brightened using this natural method.
    • For the tougher stains, allow the paste to sit for a few minutes before you start scrubbing.
  3. 3Remove tougher stains with bleach. If natural methods don’t work, try a bleach solution. Mix a 75/25 solution of bleach and water if your grout is white. If the grout is colored, you will have to use plain water. Do not use bleach on colored grout as it may remove the coloring. Use a toothbrush or the edge of a sponge to clean the grout with the solution. Rinse the floor cleaning services with warm water after you are done to remove all traces of bleach.[11]
    • Be careful to not get the bleach solution on the tiles.
    • While using the bleach, wear a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands.
    • After the floor is completely dry, carefully apply a coat of grout sealer to the grout between the tiles to prevent it from absorbing dirt in the future.
    • If you don’t like using bleach, you may be able to find a commercial grout cleaner that will be stronger than a natural cleaning product. However, check the label to make sure it doesn’t list bleach as an ingredient.

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