How To Properly Clean Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles offer a durable flooring solution that can be customized to fit the aesthetic of your home. They are much more resistant to water damage when compared to traditional hardwood flooring, which makes them ideal for use in areas of high moisture, such as the kitchen or the front foyer. However, like all flooring materials, they can become stained and dirty with regular use. Knowing how to properly clean your ceramic tile floors lets you keep your floors looking brand new all year long.

General Cleaning

You should clean your floor at least once a week -- more often if possible. General sweeping can be used to remove dirt and debris before it becomes pressed into the tile, and mopping the floor with warm water can get rid of debris that you weren't able to sweep up before it became crusted on.

You should also take care to clean up any spilled liquids as soon as possible, as letting them sit on the tile can cause the liquid's color to set into the grout or even the tile itself. You should use a disinfectant or a general purpose household cleaner to clean up food and liquid spills, as these types of spills can result in mold and mildew growth in the grout.

Removing Stains

Spills that have set into the tile itself can be difficult to remove, but there are a number of ways to remove them.

Firstly, you can mix a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts of warm water and mop the floor with it. Vinegar is naturally acidic and, when diluted, will not damage your floor, but will break down stain particles and inhibit the growth of mold and fungus on your tile.

If this doesn't work, you can use a mixture of equal parts scouring powder, which is available at most grocery and hardware stores, and water, and scrub the tile using a cloth or sponge. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the scouring powder, which can be highly abrasive and irritating. After scrubbing the stain, rinse with water. Repeat as needed until the stain has faded.

For stains that have set into grout, you can make a mixture of equal parts baking soda and water and scrub it into the grout itself with a toothbrush or other small headed brush. This will remove stains and leave your grout clean and new looking.