In certain areas of your home, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and utility room, tile floors are just as functional as they are gorgeous. They are perfect for these areas since they don’t absorb water and they’re relatively easy to clean, too. Part of ensuring that your tile floors sparkle involves learning how to care for them the right way. Here are some tips from the experts that will extend the life and look of your tile.
By far, the simplest and best way to make your tile look shiny and new within minutes involves a quick sweeping. There are many ways to do this, and while you could use a standard broom or even a vacuum cleaner with a bare floor setting, experts claim that using a dry mop or dust mop fitted with a washable and reusable microfiber cloth is quicker, easier, and better for your floors. As the cloth picks up dust and debris, it also lightly buffs and shines.
Use a Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Head to your local department store and you’re sure to find dozens of different products that claim to be designed specifically for use on your tile floors. Though these may smell nice, they often come with a hefty price tag and they’re laden with chemicals. Instead, consider making your own cleaning solution with vinegar, water, and just a couple drops of an essential oil of your choice. Vinegar is naturally antiseptic, and while it does have an odor, this dissipates quickly as soon as it dries. All that’s left behind is a sparkling, sanitized floor and the scent of your chosen essential oils. If your tiles are natural stone, vinegar may cause discoloration. Check with the tile manufacturer before using it.
Clean the Grout
When it comes to cleaning tile floors, most homeowners groan at the thought of scrubbing grout. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take forever, and it certainly doesn’t have to be hard labor, either. The best way to do it involves making a paste of consisting of three parts baking soda to one part water, then applying this to the areas between the tiles. Next, mix a solution of half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and spray all the areas where you’ve applied the baking soda. Once the mixture stops bubbling, scrub with a nylon-bristled brush or toothbrush to loosen debris. After rinsing, your grout will look as good as new. Again, check with the tile manufacturer about using vinegar if you have natural stone tile.
Polish and Shine
Now that the tile is clean and sparkling, it’s time to preserve this look as long as possible and add a layer of shine. Most of today’s tiles do not need to be waxed, so be careful if you choose to use a polishing product. You might opt for a product that is wax-free, but to save yourself some money and make things even simpler, a simple buff with a dry microfiber cloth will do the trick.
Once you’ve cleaned and polished the tiles and grout, all you have to do is maintain it. If it’s a high-traffic area, aim to sweep once every two or three days at a minimum and do a more thorough cleaning once a month. Deep-cleaning, which includes the grout, should be done at least twice each year or whenever the grout becomes visibly dirty. Finally, use floor mats where necessary to prevent scuffs and your tile will look like new for many years to come.