Ceramic tile is one of the best materials to use inside the house. It is affordable and durable at the same time. Compared with marble and granite, ceramic tile also has easy maintenance. The surface is not prone to stain especially those with a smooth texture. How to clean ceramic tile for flooring and wall has little to no significant difference.
1. Types of Problems that Can Occur to Ceramic Tile
Before we get on to how to clean ceramic tile in a different area of the house, first we need to know what types of dirt and stain found in ceramic tile. Since the surface does not easily absorb stain, the most common problem for the material is dust, wet dirt, and food stain.
Also, you have to pay attention to the small space between the tiles which are called the tile grouts. It is composed of white cement and tends to absorb water or any fluid that in contact with it. Cleaning ceramic tile regularly might not mean that the grout is also cleaned.
2. What Can You Use to Clean the Ceramic Tiles?
There are many ways in how to clean ceramic tile. The simplest is to buy commercial ceramic flooring cleaner. The market provides various types of these cleaners from the lightest to the heavy-duty ones. Note that the heavy-duty ceramic tile cleaner does remove stubborn stains, but it mostly contains toxic chemicals. If you have small children who play on the floor all the time, it is best to avoid those types of cleaner.
These are some of the best ways to clean ceramic tiles:
Sweep and Vacuum
Dust should be cleaned from ceramic tiles daily; you’d be surprised to see how much dust that the floor collects when you sweep or vacuum it. Some households decide to sweep at least twice a day to keep the house clean. You can use a conventional broom, vacuum cleaner, or electric broom to keep the dust away.
Wipe with Microfiber Mop
Microfiber mop id the best choice for the work because it absorbs dirt better. You don’t have to worry about dust transferred to other areas of the house because the mop only pushes them away, not truly cleans it.
Use Natural Cleaning Agents
Choose the commercial cleaning products that are safe for the environment. Otherwise, you can use household items to keep the ceramic tile clean. For example, a mix a of a cup of white vinegar and a gallon of water works as a natural cleaner and disinfectant for the ceramic. Lemon and baking soda are also known to clean grease even better from the commercial ones.
3. The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Ceramic Tile
Though cleaning ceramic tiles is a daily work in the house, some things should be a concern. The right treatment indeed would prolong the life of the ceramic and keep the house looks clean and inviting.
Polish with Natural Cleaner Once in a While
A natural cleaner like vinegar, lemon, and baking soda gently cleans without damaging the polish of the ceramic tiles. You can apply these cleaner once a month to keep the appearance of the tiles. Remember to rinse with hot water after you are done the cleaning.
Swipe before You Mop
Swiping before mopping is the best way to keep the ceramic tile clean. Mopping it directly will only result in clumps of dirt that would be harder to clean.
Separate Water for Rinsing and Cleaning
Whether you are using store-bought or natural cleaner, it is best to keep the water separated when mopping. It prevents the tile from being sticky and gives it a cleaner feel.
Finish the Cleaning with Dry Microfiber Towel
To make sure that there is no dirt or grease left, you can finish the cleaning off by wiping it. Microfiber is again the best fabric to use because it dries the tile and absorbs any excess dirt that’s left.
Don’t Let Spills Sit Too Long
Any spills that are left on the ceramic tile’s surface too long would stain it. It is recommended that you wipe the tile immediately when there are spills like water, ink, or food. If you have kids around, keeping a folded microfiber wipe near would be handy.
Don’t Use Hard Brush or Scrub
Ceramic tiles come in a polished finish. If you use the wrong cleaner or tool, the polish would be abraded. Avoid using heavy-duty cleaners like ammonia or hydrochloride acid to keep the tiles shines. Tools like hard-bristle brush and scrub should also be off the counter.
String Mop is Not Recommended
The conventional string mop is rather hard to clean once it absorbed dirt from the floor. Furthermore, its ability to reach the small corners is poorer than cloth or microfiber mop.
4. Keeping the Tile Grouts Clean
Besides knowing how to clean ceramic tile floor, you should also know how to keep the grouts clean. It gets dirty easier, that’s why you need to give it some attention, too. Grouts can be cleaned by using a mixed solution of vinegar and baking soda. Rub the solution onto the grout and leave it for several minutes. Then, scrub with a small nylon brush and rinse.
For the stiffer stain, high-pressure water spray can be much help. If you don’t have the device, there are house cleaning service that can do the work for you. The last thing to consider, sealing the grout with silicone paint might be able to keep it clean for a longer time.
5. Other Maintenance to Keep in Mind
Cleaning tile floors mean that you want to keep the appearance and the hygiene of it. However, many other problems can occur such as squeaky or broken tile. To deal with it, you may need to consider repairing the ceramic tiles.
Squeaky ceramic tiles mean that there is air under the floor. You can ask your local repairman to check for space, take away the tiles on the area and fill it with cement before installing the floor again. The work would be similar to broken tiles. It needs to be repaired and reinstalled.