Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors
Cleaning ceramic tile floors can be a frustrating
task because of the difference of the material that the
glazed tile is made of and the unglazed grout. Ceramic tile
floors are a great addition to the home, usually found in
bathrooms, hallways and kitchens. But like all floors they
require periodic cleaning and cleaning a ceramic tile floor
is not the same as cleaning a vinyl or wood floor.
makes it difficult is that the tile is glazed but the grout
is unglazed mortar cement between the tiles that gets
stained or dirty much easier than the tile. Although the
grout may have a sealer applied, it is still not as durable
and resistant to stains and dirt as the ceramic tile. If the
grout is dirty the entire floor looks dirty. So how do we
There are many household cleaning products available
to clean ceramic tile floors that will do the job however; none of them do a much better job
than white vinegar and warm water. Vinegar is a mild mixture of
citric acids. It makes a great
cleaning solvent when mixed with warm water.
It rates just
as well as the commercial cleaning products for cleaning
ceramic tiles floors and grout and does not cost nearly as much. For cleaning
floors an grout, mix a 50/50 % mixture of white vinegar and warm
water and apply it to the grout with a sponge. Let its set
for a few minutes and scrub the grout using a tooth brush. A
second application may be necessary if the grout is heavily
stained. Use the sponge to sop up the residue and clean the
floor with a mild detergent.
The same vinegar and water solution can be used to
clean stains from the ceramic tile. Use a sponge to clean
the entire floor and dry. Because vinegar is an acid it will
remove any grout sealer that hasn’t worn off. After cleaning
the grout reapply a grout sealer using a small paint brush.
Apply two applications of sealer, let thoroughly dry between
the applications. Grout sealer is available in most home
improvement supply centers or a tile store.
To protect your hands I recommend that rubber gloves
be worn when handling the vinegar solution and applying the
grout sealer. It is not necessary to use an electric floor
scrubber/polisher to clean a ceramic tile floor. Excessive
use of scrubber/polisher may remove the glaze from the tile
leaving it with a dull finish.
I do not recommend using
Clorox bleach to clean ceramic tile floors as it tends to
yellow the tile and erode the grout.
Cleaning Crusty Shower Heads and Faucets