Ceramic tile is a great choice for flooring because it looks nice, is durable, and is easy to keep clean if cared for properly. Ceramic tile comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Cleaning tile flooring that is also textured can be a bit complicated, but if you follow some basic cleaning strategies, you should be able to enjoy sparkling clean floors in very little time. Proper maintenance over time also helps to avoid major cleanups down the road.
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Textured Tile is Higher Maintenance
Cleaning tile becomes a little more challenging if the floors are textured, because the texture and grout provide crevices in which dirt can hide. You could hire a professional cleaning service to clean the tile for you, but there's no reason to waste your money. All you need to restore your ceramic tile is a few household ingredients
Before You Scrub Tile Floors
Before you do anything else, sweep the floor with a broom or vacuum cleaner. Use a vacuum without a beater bar to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles. This is important to maintain the look of your tile.
Mopping Tile Floors
Mop the floor with a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon hot water. Allow the floors to dry completely before moving on to additional cleaning steps. In addition, you may not actually need to do any additional cleaning, if the vinegar and hot water do an adequate job of cleaning your floors.
The best mop for textured tile floors is one that has a bit of give and can get into the grooves of your tile. Something very firm may not work well for this purpose.
Making Natural Tile Cleaner
Combine baking soda with water to prepare a paste. Baking soda is a mild abrasive, all-purpose cleaner that will scour surfaces without scratching them. The amount of baking soda and water you need depends on the surface area you must clean. The paste should be about the same consistency as toothpaste.
Spread the paste over your tile and into the grout. Use generously in areas with heavy soil. Allow to dry.
Spray Floors With Vinegar
Pour 1 cup vinegar into a spray bottle. You can dilute it with hot water, but pure, undiluted vinegar will work most effectively. This is one of the best ways to clean rough tile floors.
Spray the floor with vinegar, directly onto the layer of baking soda paste. Allow to set for 15 minutes.
Additional Cleaning Steps
Prepare a fresh bucket of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon hot water.
Scrub the floor with a scrub brush, paying close attention to the dirtiest areas. You may need to sprinkle more baking soda in some places. It may take a lot of scrubbing, but it will come clean. Use an old toothbrush to clean between the grout and in other hard-to-reach areas.
Mop the floor again with hot water to rinse the surface. Dry the entire floor with a towel to remove any residue and add extra shine to your tile.
Important Considerations on Abrasives
When you are working on your tile cleaning project, it is essential that you never use a scouring pad or abrasive cleaner on tile floor. This is because their use can scratch the surface and damage the tile.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can get in the grooves of tile and, unlike other abrasive cleaners, will not scratch the surface. It is an excellent alternative if you have tougher messes to clean and are trying to avoid rough scouring pads or more abrasive cleaners on your floors.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.