Woman and baby on floor

What's the best way to clean tile floors?

Last Updated: April 2, 2021

The key to keeping your tile looking great is finding the best tile floor cleaner that works for you. Continue reading to learn how to keep those floors looking fab!

So many people rave about having tile over carpeting, and, yes, it is often cleaner overall than carpet. However, it’s not necessarily easier to clean. Just different.

The key to keeping your tile looking its best is finding a great tile cleaner that works for you and then keeping up with it. Some types of tile you have to clean nearly every day to keep it in tiptop shape, while other types of tile you might get away with cleaning once a week or every couple of days.

Moral of the story? Tile requires cleaning to look fab, and that means you have to find the right cleaner and method to do the deed. (We've listed our 6 favorite eco-friendly tile cleaners below, too!)

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Does cleaning tile work?

In short: yes, of course. The truth is that no room can look clean without scrubbed floors. That’s a fact no matter how much work is done to clean the surrounding areas and holds especially true for bathrooms and kitchens.

While tile floors are durable, stylish, and convenient, they can sometimes prove difficult to clean without regular upkeep. Thankfully, there are a variety of tile cleaners available on the market, suitable for all types of tile ranging from ceramic and porcelain, to marble and granite.

In some cases, you might find that homemade cleaners do a better job of cleaning your tile than commercial cleaners. However, you still need to adjust the recipes and tools you use, depending on the type of tile you’re cleaning and factoring in any specific types of stains for best results.

How to clean grout stains on your floors

How to do it:

Step 1: Start by making a thin paste with baking soda and water. You can also add white vinegar to tackle more stubborn stains.

Step 2: Apply the cleaning paste to the stained area, covering it completely. Allow it to rest overnight for the best results.

Step 3: After you’ve let the cleaner do its job during the night, use a nylon brush to scrub the grout in the morning. This will loosen any debris still stuck to the grout and tiles so that you can rinse it clean with water.

Step 4: Once the tile and grout has dried completely, you can apply a silicone-based grout sealer on top. This will form a layer of protection between the clean grout and surface dirt and debris, helping you keep your tile cleaner, longer.

How to clean grout lines on your floors

How to do it:

Step 1: Mix together oxygen bleach and water according to the product directions. This type of bleach is color-safe and non-toxic, and can also be used on colored tiles.

Step 2: Fill a spray bottle with the cleanser solution and apply it to the grout. For stubborn stains, use a nylon brush to help scrub it deeper into the grout. Allow the solution to sit for at least half an hour.

Step 3: Using a nylon brush, again scrub the grout lines. Scrub one portion at a time and keep clearing off the loosened debris with a towel or water.

Step 4: Once all the grout is clean, rinse the area with fresh water to remove any particles left behind and remove any remaining cleaning solution as well.

Step 5: Allow the area to air dry completely before applying a grout sealant on top to help keep it clean.

How to clean coffee, tea, juice stains on your floors

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: The first step is to sweep the surface of the tile with a broom or use a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris that may cause scratching on the tiles.

Step 2: Mix together hot water and liquid dish detergent to form a cleaning solution.

Step 3: Wash the tiles using your cleaning solution. You can wash it by hand with a rag, or wash it using a mop.

Step 4: If you want to spot-treat to get rid of any stains, try blotting the stained area with hydrogen peroxide. It acts as a mild bleaching agent that can help clear away the stain without damaging the tiles.

How is tile different from the rest of the house?

Your bathrooms and the kitchen in particular often see a lot of foot traffic, along with plenty of moisture and dirt. As a result, tiles and grout can become stained and hard to clean. This can make the whole room look dirty because of the darkened color of the grout lines, no matter how spic and span the rest of the home is.

In many cases, bathrooms also have a layer of soap scum that settles on the tile floors, making them look even dirtier. The situation only gets worse when mold and mildew starts to grow because of excess moisture.

Meanwhile, your kitchen is a room that may be the frequent victim of accidental spills, whether it’s that delicious glass of wine at dinner, a favourite food sauce from the stove, or random spills like coffee and tea. All do their part to stain tile and grout. That’s why these two areas need special attention to maintain their cleanliness and freshness.

How many times per month should you clean tile?

Blue calendar illustration

Bathroom and kitchen tiles ideally should be cleaned at least once a week, no question. You could even do a quick wipe down daily. Weekly upkeep will help prevent layers of dirt, grime, stains, and debris from accumulating and getting ingrained into the grout and tiles permanently.

Wiping your tile down with clean water should be enough to maintain its condition. However, scrubbing may be required for more stubborn dirt and debris that doesn’t come up when you wipe it. Incorporating a regular cleaning routine will increase the life of your tile and grout to a surprising degree.

The 6 best eco-friendly tile floor cleaners

If you want to try something other than the homemade cleaners we’ve mentioned above, there are some well-loved tile cleaners available commercially. We’ve listed the best tile and floor cleaners below.

Aunt Fannie's Vinegar Wash Floor Cleaner

Aunt Fannie's Vinegar Wash Floor Cleaner: This cleaner is non-toxic, vegan, and healthy for kids and pets who are the ones that are on the floors most often. It also uses the natural power of vinegar to get rid of dirt, muck, and all things that make us say yuck.

Dr. Bronner's All-Purpose Cleaner

Dr. Bronner's All-Purpose Cleaner: This cleaner can be used to clean your counters and mop your floors! What's better than a natural product that cleans multiple things?

Mrs. Meyer's Tub & Tile Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer's Tub & Tile Cleaner: These unique fragrances are made to smell just like flowers and other beautiful things you’d find in a backyard garden, inspired by an actual Midwestern garden. Plus, the natural ingredients clean just as well as the chemicals.

Method cleaning products

method Tub & Tile Spray

method Tub & Tile Spray: The lactic acid– and corn-starch derived decyl glucoside in this spray go to work to beat down disgusting dirt and scum.

Seventh Generation Tub & Tile Cleaner

Seventh Generation Tub & Tile Cleaner: This effective Tub & Tile Cleaner formula is made with plant-derived cleaning agents and works hard to keep bathroom surfaces free from soap scum build-up.

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