At times, learning how to clean porcelain tile floors without streaks may seem like rocket science. It feels as if some people just have the talent to clean floors and tile flawlessly that other people just are not meant to obtain.
The mop, vacuum or brush that you use is the culprit behind those unsightly streaks that are left behind, but you know you need to clean the floor effectively, one way or another. Fortunately, there is a technique that we can teach you for how to clean your porcelain tiles and avoid any shiny and watery streaks in the process.
Before you begin, please make sure that you have the following items available for cleaning:
A chemical or all-natural cleaning product. This could be vinegar, a common cleaning product or even a specialty porcelain cleaner.
- A bucket or pail
- A broom or a vacuum cleaner
- A mop
- A sponge
- A soft brush
- And either a tower, a squeegee or a wet vacuum
Once all of these items are obtained, you can start to clean your porcelain floors from start to finish. Here is how to get started to cleaning your porcelain tile floors.
Step By Step Guide For Cleaning Porcelain Tile Floors Without Streaks
Step 1 – Vacuum or sweep floor
Of course, the first thing to do is to remove all the dust, dirt and debris from your tile. If you start by mopping the floor, the floor will look clean, but it will still be dirty, as nothing would be done to remove the debris off the floor. A mop is not designed to remove; it simply cleans. By vacuuming first, your tiles floors will look brighter and more radiant by the time you are finished cleaning it.
Be sure to remove as much debris as possible and leave no stone, or tile, unturned. It is also important to clean any corners with a crevice wand attachment so that you remove nearly 100 percent of all debris from your tile.
Step 2 – Use your cleaning product
As mentioned before, your cleaning product can be anything that is the safest and most effective for your floors. Vinegar is great, as it is cost-efficient and does not harm porcelain tile, but if you had another product you like using, that’s alright, too. If you are using specialty porcelain tile cleaner, refer to the instructions for how to mix well.
Pour two gallons of hot water inside of a large bucket, and add quarter of a cup of your cleaning product. With a mop of sponge, swish it across your floors. Be sure that no spot in uncovered and then leave the floor alone for around 15 minutes.
Step 3 – Scrub Your Floors
After 15 minutes have elapsed, not it is time to scrub your tile. Depending on how dirty your floor depends on what you will need the most; whether a brush or a sponge mop, for more aggressive looking dirt.
When cleaning, go one tile at a time, or if the tiles are too small, clean in sections of your room. Scrub each area until it looks shiny and beautiful; the way porcelain is meant to look.
But then there are grout lines. To remove dirt trapped in grout, you will need to use your soft brush to force all the dirt out. Make sure the brush has soft bristles, because if you use harder bristles, you might scratch your floor up badly.
If you are working in a room with a lot of tiles, such as a kitchen, however, it is not worth it to take your time. It is very important to scrub the tile while the detergent is still moist. If you are planning to scrub more than one tile floor, work on one room from start to finish before starting on the other(s).
Step 4 – Wipe Your Floors Dry
After you cover your whole floor, the next step is drying the floor to remove all the filthy water. You can use a towel, but if you also have a wet vacuum, it will get the job done in a quicker amount of time. A rubber squeegee will push water to one side and allow a towel or vacuum to absorb the water. If there is a drain in the room, you can also simply push the water inside. Be sure that all the water on your floor is taken care of and no puddles have been unattended. While this is the last step that people may take, there is still a ways to go in order to make your tile look spotless.
Step 5 – Rinse Your Floors
Rinsing is an important step following the previous four, because the detergent that remain on your floor can keep it from looking bright and beautiful. There also might be some dirt remaining that can affect how the floor looks. You may also want to continue with this step as it helps to remove any of those noticeable streaks that you may have on your floors after cleaning. To be sure that no dirt or detergent remains on the floor you will need to wash it once again. All you simply have to do is get clean water in a bucket and run the floor over using a clean mop. If you notice any spots on your tiles, you can easily wipe them clean.
Step 6 – Dry The Floors One More Time
Just like in step 4, dry the floors with the method that you find more helpful or effective. Because there may not be much water this time around, you can either opt to use a wet vacuum or one or more clean towels. You likely will not find the rubber squeegee to be necessary. Be sure to completely dry off every square inch of the room to prevent any slipping hazards.
By the time you complete this step, your floors should look shiny and brand new, without any streaks from a vacuum, brush or mop, either. Porcelain is a beautiful material that can really look glossy under the right lighting and have colors that really stand out. You are sure to enjoy a handful of years of gorgeous tile floors so long as you lightly maintain it sporadically. While porcelain is beautiful, it is not indestructible, so this is one thing that you really have to keep in mind.
Note: You may like our ultimate vacuum cleaner buying guide for choosing the right one.
Here are some important tips that you should consider when maintaining a porcelain tile floor
If you use porcelain tile for your foyer or entryway, be sure that you have a welcome mat at the door for people to wipe their shoes or boots on after walking in rainwater, sand, mud, dirt or snow. You should especially watch out for and if you have a beach house. Sand grains are very abrasive, and they can scratch the floor that can leave permanent marks on it.
If something spills on your tile floor, like water or a drink, always act immediately and never let the spill dry up. When a spill dries, it hardens and stains, making it more difficult to remove. If you clean it up while it is still wet, there will be no stain on your tile.
After cleaning your porcelain tile, allow in between 20 minutes to a half an hour for people to walk on the tile again. To accelerate the time it takes to dry a floor, you can use a hair dryer and lightly go over every section of your porcelain tile.
If you have shiny and polished tiles, detergent can really limit how much it can shine. If that is the case, only use about half the cleaning product that you are intending on using and clean the floor as quickly as possible. This is so that no detergent is left on the floor.
Always pay extra attention to tile borders and grout lines. Over time, they will get darker, and you would like to have them restored to their original color. Grout can trap dirt and grime, making them highly unsanitary. With that being said, do not assume that a general floor cleaning will clean these grout lines.
You can also consider a robotic floor cleaner to clean tile. Robotic cleaners can eliminate the effort on your end, and a select number of them are smart enough to not go out of bounds when you set it invisible boundaries. While these are considered to be self-cleaning tools, you will need to supervise it on occasion to make sure that it is doing its job right. Also, you would like to give it a safe and clear path to a changing station so that it can move to it and recharge its batteries.
It definitely is possible to clean your porcelain tile floor without seeing any ugly streaks on it. Once you follow all the easy steps in this article, cleaning your tile the right way every time will take you no time at all.