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Tips for cleaning tile floors

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

How to clean tile floors

Tile floors are beautiful and not as hard to clean as you think. No matter what type of tile you have in your home, you can keep your floors clean by following these simple tips.

1Woman mopping floorWipe up spills immediately

To avoid spending hours on your hands and knees scrubbing away stains and dirt, wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Use an absorbent cloth or a wet/dry cordless vacuum to get rid of spills and dirt on tile floors.

2Use the doormat

During wet weather, make sure your family wipes off their shoes and boots on the doormat before entering the house. Everyone should get into the habit of taking off their footwear immediately to avoid tracking mud and water on tile floors.

3Sweep often

To keep your tile as clean as it can be, you should sweep your floor every other day. Forget about the Swiffer or a straw broom on tile—these will just push the dirt around, often causing scratches on the floor. Instead, you need a fluffy, soft dust mop or a vacuum attachment that is specifically designed for bare floors.

4Damp mop once a week

Most tile floors don't need to be cleaned with harsh chemicals. A damp mop in hot water is all it takes to get your floors really clean. Be sure to clean the dirty mop water and refill your bucket often while mopping. The only time you need to use an actual cleanser is for built-up grime, pet accidents, dropped raw meat, or other heavy bacteria spills.

5Use the right cleanser

For heavy spills and excessive dirt, you will need to choose the right cleanser depending on what type of tiles you have. Ceramic tiles can almost always be cleaned with just a damp mop but, for dirty grout, add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to each gallon of water before mopping. Wipe up any excess water to avoid saturating the grout. For vinyl tiles, mop your floor with a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and one gallon of water. For marble and other stone tile, you need to be very careful. Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and many store bought cleansers can destroy your tiles. Instead, add some mild dish soap to your mop water. After cleaning, mop again with plain water to eliminate any soap residue.

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