How to Clean Tile Floors in Bathrooms

Cleaning tile floors in bathrooms can seem like a challenge, but it’s just a matter of learning how. Once you master the best ways of cleaning this type of flooring, your life will be so much easier.

We’ll go over all the knowledge and tools you need to get clean, spotless floors, even in high traffic bathrooms. There’s a step-by-step process to it, but it’s easy to learn.

Mop on tile floor of bathroom

Identifying Your Tile Floors

The first thing to do is figure out what type of tile flooring you have. Knowing that, you can choose the most suitable cleaning methods and products for your specific floor.

Tile flooring options in bathrooms can include ceramic, porcelain, marble, and natural stone. Each material has its own unique characteristics and cleaning requirements.

For example, ceramic and porcelain tiles are durable and resistant to water, making them easy to clean. On the other hand, marble and natural stone tiles require more delicate care due to their porous nature.

How to Tell What You Have:

Determining what type of tile flooring you have involves a few steps:

    1. Check the Texture and Appearance: Ceramic and porcelain tiles often have a smooth and glossy finish, while natural stone tiles like granite, marble, slate, or limestone are typically more textured.
    2. Perform the Water Absorption Test: Porcelain tiles are less absorbent than ceramic tiles. Drip a few drops of water on the surface of the tile. If it soaks in quickly, it might be ceramic. If it puddles, it’s probably porcelain.
    3. Examine the Edges: If your tile is chipped, see what’s underneath. Ceramic tile will show a different color beneath the glaze. Porcelain tile is the same color all the way through.
    4. Look at the Back of the Tile: If there are any uninstalled tiles around, check their backs. Porcelain tiles usually have a patterned or textured back, while ceramic tiles often have a plain, unglazed back.
    5. Scratch Test: Natural stone is usually resistant to scratches while ceramic and porcelain may get scratched by sharp objects. Use an unobtrusive spot for this test.

Remember, if you’re still unsure after these tests, consider reaching out to a professional for an accurate identification.

Supplies You’ll Need

There are some supplies you’ll need.

Broom or vacuum cleaner: Start by removing loose dirt, dust, and hair from the floor surface.

Mop: Choose a mop with a microfiber sponge head for efficient cleaning.

Bucket: Fill bucket with warm water and cleaning solution.

Cleaning solution: on the type of tile and grout, you can use a mild detergent, vinegar, or specialized tile cleaner5.

Soft-bristle brush: This will help you tackle stubborn stains grout lines.

Rubber gloves: Protect your from harsh chemicals

Preparing the Floor

Before you start: clear any rugs, bath mats, or other objects from the bathroom floor. Then use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt, dust, and hair from the tile surface.

Test cleaning products: Before applying any cleaning solution to your entire floor, test it on a small inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage.

Spot clean stains: If you notice any stubborn stains or spills, address them before proceeding with overall cleaning.

  1. Make a cleaning solution: Mix half a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Vinegar is a natural cleanser that can help remove stains.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution to the stain: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the solution and then apply it to the stain. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Scrub the stain: Use a scrub brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the stain. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this could damage the tile.
  4. Rinse and dry: Rinse the area with clean water and then dry it thoroughly with a towel.

Remember, some stains may require special treatment. For example, oil-based stains can be removed with a paste of baking soda and water, while ink stains can be removed with rubbing alcohol. Always make sure to test any cleaning solutions on a hidden area of your tile flooring first to make sure they won’t cause any discoloration or damage.

Ceramic and Porcelain

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are popular choices for bathroom floors due to their durability and water resistance. Follow these steps to clean them effectively:

1. Prepare the cleaning solution: Mix a mild detergent or vinegar solution with warm water in your bucket.

2. Mop the floor: Dip the mop into the cleaning solution and wring out excess liquid. Start mopping from one end of the room, working your way towards the exit.

3. Pay attention to grout lines: Use a soft-bristle brush dipped in the cleaning solution to scrub grout lines gently.

4. Rinse the floor: Once you’ve finished mopping, rinse the mop thoroughly and go over the floor again with clean water to remove any residue.

5. Dry the floor: Allow the floor to air dry or use a clean towel to speed up the drying process.

Marble and Natural Stone

Marble and natural stone tile floors require more delicate care due to their porous nature. Here’s how to clean them safely:

1. Avoid acidic cleaners: Acidic cleaners can damage marble and natural stone surfaces, so opt for pH-neutral cleaners specifically designed for these materials.

2. Prepare the cleaning solution: Mix the pH-neutral cleaner with warm water in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Mop the floor: Dip the mop into the cleaning solution, wring out excess liquid, and mop the floor.

4. Be gentle on stains: For stubborn stains, use a soft-bristle brush dipped in the cleaning solution and gently scrub the affected area.

5. Rinse thoroughly: After mopping, rinse the mop thoroughly and go over the floor again with clean water to remove any residue.

6. Dry carefully: Use a soft towel or microfiber cloth to dry the floor carefully and thoroughly.

Tackling Stubborn Stains and Grout Lines

Tile floors can develop stubborn stains and dirty grout lines over time. Here are some effective methods for tackling these issues:

Baking soda paste: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water until it forms a thick consistency. Apply the paste to stained areas or grout lines and scrub gently with a soft-bristle brush. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Hydrogen peroxide solution: Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto stained areas or grout lines and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing gently with a brush. Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Steam cleaning: If you have access to a steam cleaner, it can be an effective tool for deep cleaning tile floors and grout lines. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results.

Preventing Future Stains and Dirt Build-up

To keep your tile floors looking pristine for longer periods, there are a few preventive measures you can take.

Regular sweeping or vacuuming: Remove loose dirt and debris from your bathroom floor regularly to prevent them from scratching or damaging the tiles.

Clean spills immediately: Accidental spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent staining or seeping into grout lines.

Use mats or rugs: Place mats or rugs near sinks, showers, and entryways to prevent dirt from being tracked onto your tile floors.

Seal grout lines: If your tile floors have grout lines, consider sealing them periodically to protect against staining and moisture absorption.

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Last Updated:

January 17, 2024