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Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

Category Floors
Ceramic tile floors have their own cleaning issues, such as streaking and stickiness if not rinsed well. This is a guide about cleaning ceramic tile floors.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 9, 2016

Can any body help me? I seem to be going mad. I have white ceramic floor tiles and I can't seem to be able to have a clean floor. As soon as the tiles dry they show streaky marks and it's so frustrating that I don't know what to do any more.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 28, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm afraid the streaks are caused by insufficient rinsing, and possibly using too much cleaning agent. Try cutting down on the cleaner you use, and add vinegar to the rinse water. You may have to use several mop buckets of water to rinse your floor.

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December 28, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try just using water until you get rid of the streaks. Clear ammonia in water will clean the tiles well after that.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2010

I work at a gas station with ceramic tile floors. I've changed mop water a dozen times, remopped with fresh water and both methods end with streaky floors. I've viewed similar questions, but most responses would take me all night to attempt. Any ideas for a larger area?

By Jennifer from Waupaca, WI

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would get a new mophead, scrub the pail with ammonia to remove buildup of oils, etc., then mop with ammonia to remove film on tiles. You need to change the water frequently and then once floors are really clean, you can rinse with a clean mophead.

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November 3, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

I own a carpet and tile cleaning business. Biggest issue I see is people using vinegar and bleach and over time it will destroy the tile and grout as both are acid based. I can usually restore the tile and grout with the equipment I have but in some cases the grout will have to be color sealed to hide the discoloration.

My advice stay away from "ANY" home cleaners. Use products made for cleaning tile and grout. Follow the directions. When it comes to maintaining the tile use a neutral cleaner with ph of 7-7.5. You want the cleaner to be as close to a ph 7(water) as possible. Keep mop water and mop heads clean. Steam tools as well. Vacuum grout lines. Don't sweep (avoid sweeping dirt in the grout). If you are still having problems getting your tile/grout cleaned call a professional, IICRC Certified preferred

What does bleach and vinegar do to tile and grout?

Bleach is an acidic product that should not be used to clean ceramic tile floors. Bleach will break down the grout and also cause the colored cements in the grout to wear away. Bleach will literally bleach away the color in the grout. Eventually the grout will start to loose its deep rich colors and also cause your grout to look splotchy. I see many of these cases.

Vinegar is an acidic product that was never meant to be used to clean ceramic tile and grout. Prolonged use of vinegar will eat away at the grout and cause the grout to break down. Additionally vinegar is difficult to totally rinse away after using it to clean ceramic tile floors. A vinegar residue will start to accumulate inside of the grout that is extremely difficult to remove.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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November 10, 20160 found this helpful

Hi melody I want to know What is a shakley is it a cleaning product from what I read it seems like a cleaning product but I live in Australia and I've never heard of this product please reply and tell e where to buy these products r u living in melb Vic Australia

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November 10, 20160 found this helpful

Hi Kevin you say u own a cleaning business I want to have my carpets deep cleaned but I don't know any carpet cleaners who do a really good deep clean for my carpet is light colour and does get dirty often but the steam cleaners that I call out won't do a very good job can you tell me what area do u live in and is your business situated in Melbourne victoria

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November 10, 20160 found this helpful

Hi Sally what is a lux and you say it's a solution to the streaks marks please reply to me as I am experiencing the same problem

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November 10, 20160 found this helpful

Where can I buy purple meths are u living in melb Victoria Australia Please reply to me

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February 28, 20070 found this helpful

What is the best way to clean ceramic tile floors?

PJ from Lexington, KY

Answers:

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

The man who installed our ceramic tile floors told us to avoid harsh chemicals. I clean our floor with plain water and a scrubbie sponge, using elbow grease to remove dried-on food and dirt. The most important thing is, once you've gotten the floor clean, use a ceramic tile and grout sealer so that any future spills won't seep into your grout and stain your floor. The grout sealer needs to be reapplied once a year. You can get this sealer at your local hardware store or home improvement warehouse. (10/20/2006)

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By ShellR

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

If you are just household cleaning, I'd use a small amount of Dish detergent, 1/4th tsp Lestiol, to one gallon HOT water, rinsing in HOT water several times with a CLEAN mop, then DRYING WITH A LARGE RAG-COVERED DUST MOP, LIKE SWIFFER. Everything has to be kept clean or you will have streaks. I've used straight "homemade" Windex with great results as well, and a whole roll of paper towels back when I had the money and not as concerned about the enviornment/economy.

After any illnesses I've opened the windows and used 1/4 C. Bleach per gallon of hot water for the best sanitization to reduce/eliminate
recontamination.

The secret to whatever one does seems to be in the rinsing and drying afterwards.

If you are talking about a more serious tile problem: Two different ceramic tile floors, by two different installers, have "effervesced" in the grout, causing a white residue to spew up and discolor the taupe grout, in both cases.

Since we didn't have the Internet back then, and have replaced the flooring, I suspect that it might have come from my wet mopping and/or watering leaking from large pot plants draining over their bottom trays, BECAUSE IT HAPPENED TO OUR BRICK FIREPLACE TWICE AS WELL, THE ONLY FIX BEING REPLACEMENT OF THE BRICKS!!

However, some clays, so I read, effervesce (sp?) more than others, which seems to come with cheaper ceramic/clay tiles?This is NOT dirty, only a mineral seepage from the elements used for the floor. It's a losing battle to try to prevent/clean that.
I tried everything.

Regardless, I suggest that you ask specifically for a grout sealer and apply it WELL, although I cannot for the life of me see how it could truly seal if not applied to the tops of each adjacent tile, too.

Good luck and God bless your doing your homework.: ) (10/21/2006)

By Lynda

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
June 8, 20170 found this helpful

This is the method we typically use at home, but if I have someone to come in and clean, my tile floors are always very slippery. I explain this before the cleaning person starts but every time it's so slippery we are all always falling! I don't know what to do, hope you can help...thanks.

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June 6, 20100 found this helpful

After five years, when we clean our ceramic tile floor using a little vinegar it seems okay. If we use plain water the rooms give off a horrible odor which lasts for hours. Why?

By samual0729 from Boca Raton, FL

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 9, 20070 found this helpful

I read a tip about this a few days ago about cleaning ceramic floors, but darned if I can remember or find it now.

Mary from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Answers:

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

I use two great tools:

1. A steamer--the kind you use to clean kitchens and baths.

2. My husband--you don't really expect me to do this, do you?

Now I am silly enough to have picked yellow grout for my kitchen. It matches the cheery decor. The best sealant for grout I have found is a Crayola crayon. There are lots of colors to choose from. At the Crayola website, you may order a whole box of just one color.

Crayola is a universal color standard.
(02/28/2007)

By the Oracle

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

My husband is a tile setter, he recommends Murphy's oil soap or sassafrass oil. He also says never wax ceramic tile. (03/02/2007)

By Helen

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

Sorry, Helen, tell your DH I use crayons only on colored grout, not on the tile. Besides, if I do get wax on a tile, either the steamer or a hair dryer will warm it in to submission.

I forgot to mention, my DH mops up dirt after steaming with a polyester mop. I prefer them to Swifter, because they're much thriftier, and you are recycling them with your laundry cycle. (03/05/2007)

By the Oracle

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

February 28, 20070 found this helpful

What is the best way to clean ceramic tile floors?

PJ from Lexington, KY

Answers:

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

The man who installed our ceramic tile floors told us to avoid harsh chemicals. I clean our floor with plain water and a scrubbie sponge, using elbow grease to remove dried-on food and dirt. The most important thing is, once you've gotten the floor clean, use a ceramic tile and grout sealer so that any future spills won't seep into your grout and stain your floor. The grout sealer needs to be reapplied once a year. You can get this sealer at your local hardware store or home improvement warehouse. (10/20/2006)

By ShellR

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

If you are just household cleaning, I'd use a small amount of Dish detergent, 1/4th tsp Lestiol, to one gallon HOT water, rinsing in HOT water several times with a CLEAN mop, then DRYING WITH A LARGE RAG-COVERED DUST MOP, LIKE SWIFFER. Everything has to be kept clean or you will have streaks. I've used straight "homemade" Windex with great results as well, and a whole roll of paper towels back when I had the money and not as concerned about the enviornment/economy.

After any illnesses I've opened the windows and used 1/4 C. Bleach per gallon of hot water for the best sanitization to reduce/eliminate
recontamination.

The secret to whatever one does seems to be in the rinsing and drying afterwards.

If you are talking about a more serious tile problem: Two different ceramic tile floors, by two different installers, have "effervesced" in the grout, causing a white residue to spew up and discolor the taupe grout, in both cases.

Since we didn't have the Internet back then, and have replaced the flooring, I suspect that it might have come from my wet mopping and/or watering leaking from large pot plants draining over their bottom trays, BECAUSE IT HAPPENED TO OUR BRICK FIREPLACE TWICE AS WELL, THE ONLY FIX BEING REPLACEMENT OF THE BRICKS!!

However, some clays, so I read, effervesce (sp?) more than others, which seems to come with cheaper ceramic/clay tiles?This is NOT dirty, only a mineral seepage from the elements used for the floor. It's a losing battle to try to prevent/clean that.
I tried everything.

Regardless, I suggest that you ask specifically for a grout sealer and apply it WELL, although I cannot for the life of me see how it could truly seal if not applied to the tops of each adjacent tile, too.

Good luck and God bless your doing your homework.: ) (10/21/2006)

By Lynda

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 4, 20090 found this helpful

My kitchen and family room have very glossy ceramic tile flooring. I cannot find any type of cleaner that does not leave water spots and streaks. Help!

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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