A clean home is high on everyone’s list of priorities. Most of the chores we focus on during a week involve cleaning something–making beds, washing dishes, dusting furniture, and so forth.
We probably put more money and effort into floors than any other cleaning task. Floors accumulate more dirt than any other part of the home. Our shoes and pets bring in a mix of all kinds of filth from outdoors. Spills of food and drinks leave their stains behind. Even some cleaning products undermine the beauty of our floors.
Tile is especially challenging to keep clean. The variation in surface materials and heights makes it particularly challenging to keep both the tile itself and the grout as clean as possible. There is also a lot of wrong information out there, along with some products of questionable value. It can be tough to know just what to do to keep tile floors clean.
With so many ways to get a floor dirty, there must be simple ways to get it clean. These five tips will make a good start for you to clean tiles of all kinds, including ceramic, stone, vinyl, and other materials. You’ll also get a better idea of how to shop for the best cleaning products and make good use of an excellent online buying guide. Once you know how to do and what to use, cleaning floor tiles will get much easier.
Start With Good Basic Cleaning
You can’t get a tile floor truly clean until you’ve removed the loose dirt. It sounds simple enough, but not every broom is ideal for a tile floor. You need to spend some time checking on the best brooms for tile floors before taking on one particular model.
A good broom will have bristles flexible enough to adapt to the changes in floor height but rigid enough to push away heavier particles of dirt. You also want to choose one wide enough to complete the job quickly but not so big that it won’t fit into the smaller spaces.
Use The Right Mop With The Right Water
The market is full of costly products designed for use on tile floors. Some of them are fine, but you can get the same results with a simple detergent solution. Replace the water frequently; using it for too much area will gradually leave the floor dirtier and dirtier.
Avoid sponge mops. They have a bulldozer-like effect, pushing dirt across the tiles and then letting it fall into the grout lines. Once it ends up there, it is much harder to remove. Instead of a sponge mop, go with a fabric or chamois mop. They have enough flexibility in the material to adjust to the floor.
Monitor For Stains
Most of what you clean from your tile floor will be ordinary dirt, but there will also be some more severe stains in some places. Coffee, fruit juices, and ink are frequent offenders.
As you mop, watch for those areas that seem to refuse to come clean. After you finish, revisit those trouble spots and use a stain treatment to work a little harder on clearing them up.
Manage Soap Residue
Anything that has been cleaned with soap but not properly rinsed will end up with a hazy appearance and feel. That goes for cars, clothes, and even skin. Your tile floor is no different.
Most people estimate how much soap to use in their mop water. That is fine, as long as you have some idea of how much goes into each bucket. If you see soap residue, use a little less. If the floor doesn’t seem clean, use a little more.
Help The Drying Process
Most people think that the work is done when the floor has been mopped, but drying should be the real final step. Floors that are allowed to dry themselves end up with streaks and spots.
Wiping off the water by hand gives better results. You don’t have to get it completely dry, but clearing up any pooled water will dramatically improve the floor’s appearance. This can be a tough chore for hands and knees on a hard tile floor, so you may want to improvise a drying tool with a mop handle and a lint-free cloth to let you work from a standing position.
A tile floor is a beautiful feature in any home. It looks clean, bright, and classy. Today’s homes are incorporating a wider variety of tile materials, including the traditional ceramic as well as improved materials like vinyl, stone, and synthetics.
Whatever the material used to make your tile floor, you need to keep it clean. The proper techniques and tools will make it easier to get the daily grime off your tile floors and leave them sparkling and clean.