How to Make Porcelain Tiles Shine

Porcelain tiles don't need wax to shine; their finish just requires cleaning and polishing. With the right kind of maintenance, porcelain tiles retain their beauty and shine for many years. After cleaning, simply buff with cheesecloth to make low- and high-gloss tiles shine and give matte finishes the right touch.

A wax product, which may not adhere well anyway, is not the correct coating for porcelain tile. Instead, opt for a high-gloss water-based or acrylic sealant that leaves the tiles shiny while protecting the grout from stains or spills. As long as you keep the grout sealed -- repeat as needed or at least annually -- it's not that hard to clean porcelain tiles to make them shine.

It doesn't matter if the porcelain tiles line your shower or the tiles cover your floor, you can still gloss them up. In the bathroom, however, you may need to remove soap scum first before you can shine up the tiles or porcelain tub.

Remove Soap Scum First

Mix a batch of 1 cup of borax with 1 to 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of a liquid dishwashing detergent in a bowl or bucket. You can make up more soap scum remover if you need to clean a porcelain bathtub, tile surround and floor.

  • Apply the paste-like mixture to the tiles, scrubbing in a circular motion with a nylon-bristle brush.
  • Allow the scrubbed paste to sit on the porcelain for up to 15 minutes without letting it dry in place.
  • Rinse with hot water and wipe dry. You can also substitute 1 cup of baking soda for the borax, if needed.

After the tub or tiles are dry, clean and then polish them to a nice shine with a soft piece of clean cheesecloth or similar soft fabric.

Cleaning and Shining Porcelain Tiles

To clean a porcelain tile floor before polishing it, begin with vacuuming or sweeping up the dirt and debris.

  • Mop the floor in 4-foot sections using a 1-to-1 ratio of vinegar to warm water.
  • Allow the vinegar-and-water solution to sit on the tile 5 to 10 minutes and scrub stained areas with a nylon brush.
  • Mop up the dirty liquid and follow it with a hot-water rinse.
  • Buff the floor with a machine buffer, if you have one, with a cotton or linen pad. Before buffing, ensure it's dry; otherwise, polish the tiles with a clean, dry piece of cheesecloth or similar material.