Cleaning Guides

How to Clean Tile Floors – The Ultimate Guide

Heiko Potthoff /

If you’re a lucky owner of low-maintenance tile floors at home, you’ve probably mastered your housework routine when it comes to keeping the tiles and grout clean. Some brisk vacuuming a few times a week and mopping with your favourite scented tile cleaner and the job’s done, right?

Well, it’s all very good but eventually, the above standard procedure may start to fail. Yes, your floor is free of dust, smelling perfectly nice and fresh for a day or two. But over time, it can begin to show the signs of a gradual grime build-up with noticeable darker areas and marks on the tiles, and dull, greyish-looking grout.

So, we’ve decided to share with you our professional tips on how to clean tiles by using deep cleaning techniques and effective cleaning solutions, some of which you can even make at home.

Read on if you:

  • want to learn how to clean any type of indoor or outdoor tiles;
  • you’ve just moved to a place with tile floors and you’re unsure about how to maintain them clean;
  • you find it challenging to keep the grout bright and in good condition.
Table of Contents:

Proven tips to clean any type of indoor tiles

How to clean tiles inside your home, effectively and with eye-pleasing results, is often a matter of tackling a specific type of soiling the right way, as well as taking the tile material into consideration. You see, kitchen tiles on walls and on the floor will suffer mainly from grease splashes, food spillages and sticky liquid stains. And then, add and “stir” a bit of dust in the equation and to no surprise, you may find yourself with slippers, glued to the floor.

Now, go to your bathroom and you’ll instantly discover that limescale, soapy deposits and rusty or mouldy spots are the general culprits behind your dirty-looking tiles and grout on the bathroom floor and walls, right?

You may also like:
Cleaning Guides
How to Clean Bathroom Tiles

In other words, with daily use, different tile surfaces around your home will get soiled by different types of stains and grime.

Well, good job that we’ve got a few universal tricks up our sleeve that will help you remove the most common types of soiling from any interior tiles.

Tools and supplies you may need for cleaning indoor floor tiles:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Borax, bicarb soda, white distilled vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, oxygen bleach, mild dish soap, rubbing alcohol
  • Sponges, soft bristle brushes, a toothbrush, lint-free cloths
  • A mop and a bucket

As you can see, various substances can be used to make your own tile cleaner at home, which can successfully neutralise, believe it or not, oily stains, sugary spills, mould and mildew, soap scum and limescale. Some of them can be considered more all-purpose than others or they can be best used to clean unsealed grout between the tiles. In that sense, we’ll point out what to keep in mind as we go and where necessary.

Below, we’ll cover some tips on how to restore the clean condition of your indoor tiled surfaces, depending on the material you’ll be dealing with.

In addition, to note here, the cleaning process, in any case, needs to start with turning on your vacuum cleaner. Remove dust, any pet hairs and small debris from your tile floors around the house before going any further.

Cleaning ceramic and porcelain tiles

There is, of course, a difference between the two types, which can also come glazed and unglazed, as well as additionally sealed. However, we grouped porcelain and ceramic tiles here, as you can deep clean both kinds in pretty much the same way. Fill your bucket with hot water and mix in some white vinegar (a cup will do). Address any stubborn stains with a soft brush. Note that a mild-vinegar cleaning solution will effectively tackle limescale and mould on bathroom tiles, as well as eliminate oily marks from kitchen porcelain tile floors or splashbacks. Also, it’s safe to clean some more stubborn stains with diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide. Finish the job with a good rinse and dry the tiles well.

  • For even more effective results, you can mix some soda with vinegar and use this paste to address any hard-to-remove stains, first. Bear in mind that using any soap-based solution on porcelain or ceramic tiles will leave a residue that can attract dirt more easily, as well as make the surface slippery if it gets wet.
  • Avoid using strong acidic cleaning solutions to deep clean unpolished porcelain tiles. In addition, try not air-dry unsealed or unglazed ceramic and porcelain tiles after cleaning, as the moisture may result in water spots appearing on the surface. Dry out the tiles with a microfibre or another type of lint-free cloth.

Cleaning natural stone tiles

The general rule of thumb, when it comes to cleaning natural stone tile floors, is to only use pH-neutral cleaning agents and water. Even if the tile floor has been sealed, whether it’s a marble, slate, granite or limestone floor, you should still avoid using any all-purpose cleaners, vinegar, bleach, lemon juice and the like. So, to deep clean your sandstone floor in the kitchen or marble tile flooring in the bathroom, just make a very mild solution with dish soap and water or use a specially formulated agent like stone soap. Then, rinse well and dry the tiles.

Furthermore, the above recommendations apply to any natural stone tile surfaces, not just floors. Therefore, clean your kitchen granite countertop or bathroom limestone walls with the same level of caution.

  • To protect your natural stone floor, make sure you seal it and reseal it every few years with an oleophobic coating or impregnator, which will keep stains and potential water damage at bay and make maintenance easier. Note that oleophobic sealants always have hydrophobic properties, too.
  • Honed stone floors are as absorbent as unsealed natural stone surfaces. So, use only material-specific natural stone cleaners and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cleaning vinyl floor tiles

Luxury vinyl tile floors are often preferred for their sleek look and durability. To deep clean them, now and again, you can use a diluted cider-vinegar solution. You only need to mix in a very small amount of vinegar. This natural cleaning method effectively removes general dirt build-up. To clean some stubborn stains, mix soda with 3% hydrogen peroxide and gently work the mark with a soft brush. Wipe clean afterwards with a clean damp cloth.

  • Experts advise that you should refrain from mopping your vinyl floor too often. Once a week or every two weeks is absolutely enough, as long as you vacuum the surface regularly.
  • Vinyl floors don’t need to be additionally waxed, as they have a special build-in coating. Always read the label on store-bought detergents, as using the wrong product may spoil the shiny appearance of your vinyl tile flooring. Don’t be tempted to use a steam mop on vinyl surfaces, as they are not designed to withstand extreme heat.

Cleaning grout on tile surfaces

Many folks don’t bother sealing the grout on their porcelain or ceramic tile floors and walls, as these types of tiles don’t necessarily require an additional protective coating. So, over time, the extremely porous grout starts to accumulate grime, even when the floor is regularly vacuumed and mopped. The same fate awaits the grout between unsealed natural stone floor tiles, as well. Also, bathroom tile surfaces are especially prone to blackened grout in places if the room is not ventilated regularly and mould issues are at play. So, every few months, you should make the effort to scrub the dirt out by using borax, bicarb soda or diluted oxygen bleach. Apply the chosen solution with a soft toothbrush and then, rinse well and dry.

  • For easier tile surface maintenance, it’s always recommended to seal the grout or the tiles and grout, depending on the type of tile material your floor or walls are made of.
  • When cleaning the grout on your unsealed natural stone tile floor, always take into consideration the specific properties of the tile material to avoid causing more damage than good.

Cleaning newly installed tiles

Grout haze or cloudiness is often a problem that needs to be addressed after a new tile installation job. In most cases, a slightly abrasive sponge dampened in clean water and some elbow grease will do the job, as long as you tackle it sooner than later (allow 24 hours for the grout to dry a bit, first). In addition, it’s pretty safe to use diluted vinegar to remove excess grout from porcelain or ceramic tiles. Regarding natural stone tile surfaces, be it granite or marble, get a specially formulated cleaning product to be on the safe side.

Furthermore, as renovation jobs often involve other types of work, like painting and varnishing, accidental splashes on your new tile floor can be removed with some rubbing alcohol or acetone. Make sure to quickly clean the stain with a clean damp cloth, too, as spirits and solvents can etch and damage certain types of tiles.

  • To clean epoxy-based grout cloudiness, you better use a commercial cleaning product for successful results.
  • Don’t wait for days before cleaning any grout haze on your tile floor because when the excess grout hardens up, it will be more difficult to remove.

How to clean outdoor tiles the right way

As outdoor tile surfaces are exposed to the elements, they need to be sealed with an appropriate, durable exterior sealant, as well as cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Again, the material your paved area is made of will give you an inkling of what to avoid using, in order to prevent causing any damage to the tiles and grout. On that note, clean water is your best bet when it comes to keeping your outdoor hard surface dirt-free.

Tools and supplies for cleaning outdoor tiles:

  • A stiff brush
  • A hose
  • Oxygen bleach and water

Your best course of action to clean exterior tiles is to regularly remove leaves and debris with an appropriate brush. Then, hosing the tiles down with clean water is usually sufficient to restore their clean look. Any dirt build-ups, like mud, can be worked with a small brush and then, rinsed. Also, address moss, algae and mildew as soon as you spot the first sign of those showing up on your paved area. For this purpose, you can use well-diluted oxygen bleach, which is a totally nature-friendly substance. Rinse, thoroughly with a hose at the end.

In the case of cleaning your balcony tiles, you can use the good old mop and bucket, instead of a hose, even if sufficient drainage has been put in place.

  • Consider using the most environmentally friendly cleaning method for outdoor hard surfaces, namely, high-pressure washing. It is designed to remove effectively a variety of contaminants, from algae and mildew to moss, organic stains and general grime build-up.
  • If you don’t seal your outdoor tile surfaces, you’ll risk shortening their lifespan.

Need help with the upkeep of your outdoor tile surfaces?

Hire a professional pressure cleaning expert for best results!

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
  • We're certified:

Tile and grout maintenance tips

Now, let’s share with you some extra tile and grout maintenance tips, so you can enjoy your investment for longer!


  • Do seal the tiles and grout of your exterior or interior tile surfaces when recommended.
  • Clean regularly your tile floors and resort to deep cleaning them once every two months or so.
  • Ventilate rooms that are vulnerable to mould and mildew issues, like bathrooms and laundry rooms.
  • Address spillages, stains and grease build-up on your tile surfaces as soon as possible.
  • If you live in a hard-water area, prevent limescale accumulation by cleaning more regularly your bathroom/shower tile floors and walls.
  • Every few years, resort to a professional floor stripping and sealing service, in order to maintain your tile floor’s immaculate look and prolong its life.


  • Never use acid-based cleaners on natural stone floors, walls and countertops.
  • If unsure about using a specific substance or homemade tile cleaner on a particular material, don’t risk any further damage, but consult with a professional tile floor specialist.
  • Beware that even a harmless cleaning agent like water can cause harm to certain tile surfaces if left to sit for too long. So, make sure to dry the tile floor after washing it if necessary, instead of leaving it to air-dry.

When should you opt for professional tile and grout cleaning?

Well, not everyone has the energy, time and skills to properly clean their tile floors and wall surfaces, especially if they’re made from a “capricious” material that requires in-depth knowledge and expertise. And this is where Fantastic Services can be of great assistance to you. You see, our specialist tile and grout cleaning solutions are designed to effectively remove grime, mould, limescale and the like from your valuable investment with amazing results. The fully trained tile cleaning technicians we work with use high-powered tile and grout cleaning machines and wands, which will restore the shiny look of your tile floors in no time. The equipment uses heated water, under pressure, which is extracted along with the dirt during the cleaning process.

Not sure how to deep clean your precious tile floor?

Then, book a professional tile and grout cleaning service now!

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
  • We're certified:


  • Effective and, most importantly, safe tile floor cleaning requires comprehensive knowledge of the tile material’s specifics.
  • To ensure the easy maintenance and long life of your tile floors, you better seal them (and reseal them every few years).
  • Don’t use any DIY tile cleaning techniques if you doubt that they may cause damage to the surface.

Did you find our post worth sharing with friends and family? How do you clean your tiles and grout? Please, tell us about it in the comments below!

0 0 Votes
Article Rating
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most voted
Inline feedbacks
View all comments
Michael McCloughry
Michael McCloughry
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing this info! These are great artists and it really works! I will try is for sure.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x