When you think about the easiest types of flooring to maintain, most people think of tile. Tile floors are extremely durable, easy to clean, and can resist most major stains. However, without some simple maintenance, even tile floors can lose their luster and can develop stains, usually starting in the grout. Grout is porous and sucks up liquids and materials easily and, thus, can grow all kinds of bacteria and mold. Luckily, there are some simple tricks that will help you to clean tile floor.
The single best trick to clean tile floor is to clean up all spills and messes immediately!
The first trick to keeping your tile floors clean and glossy is to clean up all spills and messes immediately. Letting spills site on the surface will only allow them to infiltrate the grout and dry, dulling the surface of the tile. Even water and mud tracked in on shoes should be cleaned up immediately. The particulates in the water carried in on your shoes can scuff the surface and the moisture can feed any bacteria in the grout.
Make sure that you seal your tile as soon as possible after the tile has been installed. If you did not install the tile yourself, you must have the tile thoroughly cleaned and sealed to guarantee its longevity. To clean the tile you can use a commercially available cleaner of you can make your own cleaner. To make your own natural cleaner, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and about 6 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray liberally over your tile floor and scrub with a dry Swiffer scrubber or a lightly damp sponge mop.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your tile, let it completely dry. Seal the tile with the sealer recommended by the tile manufacturer. Follow all of the directions carefully; too much sealer will cause the tile to become cloudy.
If your tile floor becomes scaly, or yellowed with too many layers of wax, you are going to have to strip the floor. You can use commercially available strippers, just make sure to follow the instructions and wear protective clothing! A good homemade wax stripper can be made from 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of ammonia and a gallon of cool tap water. You may have to reapply the stripper if there are many different coats of wax. Once you have all of the wax up, clean the entire surface with clean tap water. Let it dry completely, and reseal with a new coat of wax.