How to Clean a Ceramic Tile Floor

By: Danny Lipford

What is the best way to clean a ceramic floor tile? -Doris

Hi Doris,

Cleaning ceramic tile is as simple as using a damp sponge mop and mild detergent, but cleaning the grout between the tiles is another matter. When cleaning grout, avoid cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia, since they can cause fading and discoloration of the grout color.

Most store bought floor cleaners do a good job of cleaning grout, but if you want to try a homemade formula, pour an ounce of Murphy Oil Soap and 1/2 cup of white vinegar into a bucket with two gallons of warm water, then use an old toothbrush or narrow scrub brush to clean the grout lines in your tile floor.

Once the grout is clean and has dried thoroughly, apply a grout sealer to keep dirt and stains at bay.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

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8 Comments on “How to Clean a Ceramic Tile Floor”

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  • David Says:
    October 5th, 2015 at 2:07 am

    All the ideas are fantastic for home improvement.



  • Paige Smith Says:
    June 5th, 2015 at 8:59 am

    These are some really great tips on how to clean my ceramic tile floor. I have a beautiful entry way with many different colors that used to be brighter then they are now. Sometimes I think it is just because they are old and the colors are fading. I will spend hours mopping and cleaning it, but the grout especially does not get cleaned. Learning that if I put an ounce of Murphy Oil Soap and a 1/2 cup of white vinegar together in a bucket with two gallons of warm water is something that mindblows me. I can not wait to try this on my beautiful mosiac of color ceramic tile.



  • Joy Mckay Says:
    November 21st, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I installed a ceramic tile (my first adventure) I did get better. However there are areas that I ended up with to much grout in between the tiles. My husband hired a contractor to fix several broken tiles from rollers on a bed and installation of refrigerator. I came home and the contractor, had not fixed all the tiles and had not sealed next to wall as asked. But the worst problem was that when he replaced a few of the tiles that were cracked, he used the sanded grout I had, and left it smeared all over several tiles throughout the house. You can actually feel the sanded grout on the tiles. I was in the hospital when this was done so two weeks later I came home to this but had just had Third total knee replacement so I was in no condition to try to solve the problem. It has now been 8 months and I still cant bend my leg or get on the floor for to long. My husband works on the road and I am trying to fix up the house since the kids finally moved out also. What can I possibly use to dissolve this, trust me steam, elbow grease etc does not work and it looks terrible. He was paid for the job, but was a friend of a friend that was supposed to be great!!!???? Not hardly. Now I am stuck with trying to clean al the grout in the house as well as try to remove the grout that he left on tiles surrounded the tiles on all four sides. I am disabled but willing to try anything, I cannot afford to hire someone to fix this problem but it is truly embarrassing when anyone comes over it is very obvious in several places and I need to clean the sanded grout that was originally used and reseal. I sealed all the grout when I did the job myself using a product that Lowes recommended and had to reapply three times after letting dry then remove the haze. It did not do as good of a job as I would have liked but it was definitely better than this “Contactor” recommended by a friend. I am trying my best to improve the appearance of my home, but it definitely costs a lot more than I have at the moment. Is there any suggestion you can give me to clean the sanded grout lines and reseal with a good product as well as any idea how to remove al the sanded grout he left throughout the three rooms one at least 4 tiles per each tile repaired. Plus now they are loose and I could also use advise on the best way to remove loose tile and replace, without damaging the surrounding tiles that are ok.

    Also what Is the best sealer to use between the tile and the wall in areas where the house was not completely square or should I put down a ceramic type base board up against the wall board or remove the wall baseboard. I just put backsplash in the kitchen and I removed the board behind the sink and put a small ceramic dowel type, flat on one side, so flush against wall and it worked very well. It looks great and no problems. I just need to fix the floor and no one at home depot or Lowes seems to be able to help and everyone else wants to see, charge general fee for estimate to fix. I can do this if I could just get some help on what is the best way to approach and what you recommend to clean sanded grout with and the best way to reseal and what to use. appreciate your help.



  • Laurence Lisa Says:
    October 15th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Danny.

    Great video on “How to remove soot & smoke stains on the surround around a wood burning fireplace.” It worked!

    Question: How to get the original color of my cement radiant heat floor after removing the glued rubbing padding from it? Tiny little grayer spots seemed to be “incrusted” on the floor unremovable with a sharp scraper?

    Thank you for considering answering to the question.



  • Judy Says:
    April 12th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    We have an I enclosed marble tiled shower which grout lines have turned very dark. We have tried many marble cleaners but none seem to work.

    What do or can we to correct this problem?


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 1st, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Hi Janet,
    You can find a list of all the TV stations that carry the Today’s Homeowner TV show, along with the day and time it airs, at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/television/local-listings/ We air in Atlanta on WXIA (NBC) Saturday at 5:30 am. You can also watch over 180 full episodes of past TV shows online at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/category/full-episodes/

    To find the radio station that carry the Today’s Homeowner radio show, go to http://www.todayshomeowner.com/radio/radio-station-local-listings/ If there isn’t a station in your area, all the past shows are available to listen to online at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/radio/category/past-shows/

    Thank you for your interest!



  • Janet Says:
    December 31st, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Danny,
    How do I find the answers to questions people ask of you? I live in the Atlanta,GA. area and I do not get your TV show. I also don’t know if you are on the radio but I woud love to hear it if only possible!
    I was very interested in how you told the gentleman on how to sharpen our clippers, etc. that we use outdoors as mine are in desparate need of some loving
    care.
    Thank you for any help with my problem.
    Janet Farley



  • John Says:
    March 17th, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Searched for “clean grout” on your site.

    1st suggestion at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/cleaning-and-staining-grout-in-tile-floors/ said “Jun 9, 2011 Cleaning and Staining Grout in Tile Floors

    Grout lines in tile floors may need cleaning over time with a bleach solution and scrub brush.”

    Here you write “…avoid cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia, since they can cause fading and discoloration of the grout color.”

    Please explain – use or avoid bleach


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