Available for rent or purchase, a Rug Doctor will thoroughly clean and deodorize carpets and upholstery. Rug Doctors work by shooting hot water and cleaning solution into the fabric. The brushes on the bottom of the carpet cleaning machine scrub the surface clean before extracting the liquid from the fibers. Even though Rug Doctor helps remove dirt and grime from carpets, you should never use them on tile floors.
At the front of the carpet cleaning machine is a hard piece of metal that can scratch and damage tiles of all types. Furthermore, the cleaning solution -- which carpet fibers quickly absorb -- will spray in all directions on the hard floor. You should only use a Rug Doctor on carpeting, or -- with the proper attachment -- upholstery, and never on hard surfaces such as tiles. Instead, clean the tiles based on the type of material they are made from.
Inexpensive, durable and relatively maintenance-free, vinyl tiles are available in a wide array of colors and designs. Cleaning vinyl tiles requires only a few cheap items commonly found in homes. Mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 gallon of lukewarm water. Submerge a sponge mop in the solution and wring out the excess mixture. Starting at the area of the tiles farthest from the entrance, mop the floor in a steady, back-and-forth motion while moving toward the opposite side. Remove any excess solution from the floor by wiping with a towel.
Porcelain tiles are generally easier to care for than stone and will last a lifetime with the proper care and cleaning. Pour 2 gallons of hot water in a bucket. Mix 1 tsp. of dish soap and 2 cups of white vinegar with the hot water. Dampen a sponge mop in the mixture and set the mop head against the floor that is farthest away from the entrance. Begin scrubbing the porcelain tiles in a back-and-forth motion while moving toward the entrance. Discard the contents of the bucket down the drain and rinse the bucket clean. Fill the clean bucket with cool water. Rinse the sponge mop under cool running water before dampening it in the water-filled bucket. Rinse the porcelain tiles with the mop in the same manner as before. Use several towels to wipe the floor dry.
Able to withstand wear and tear, ceramic tiles contain a thin layer of fired clay. Ceramic tiles are generally more expensive than vinyl tiles. The mosaic material gives an old-world charm to any decor. When your ceramic tiles require a deep-down clean, wash the floor with a homemade cleaning solution using inexpensive items. Pour 1 gallon of lukewarm water in a bucket and add 1 capful of rubbing alcohol. Scrub the ceramic tile grout with a brush saturated in the mixture until clean. Once you have cleaned the grout, wash the ceramic tiles as you normally would with a mop dampened in the mixture.
Improper cleaning chemicals and tools will etch the stone tiles, making them appear dull and dingy. To prevent possible damage to the stone, use only neutral cleaners and non-abrasive cleaning tools. Mix three to four drops of gentle dish soap to 1 gallon of lukewarm water. Dampen a sponge mop in the mixture, and mop the stone tiles in a straight line. Continue in this manner until you have thoroughly cleaned the stone flooring. Rinse the bucket and sponge clean with cool running water. Fill the bucket with cool water, and submerge the cleaned sponge mop in the bucket. Use the damp sponge to clean the mixture off the stone tiles. Let the floor air dry.
Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.