Ceramic tile floors often installed in bathrooms, hallways and kitchens look good and like any other floor, they also need to be cleaned periodically. However, cleaning of ceramic floors is different from cleaning of wood or vinyl floors. It’s not only different, but a bit difficult too. That’s because the tiles are a glazed material whereas the grout applied between two consecutive tiles is unglazed mortar that gets dirty or stained much faster than the tiles. Though a sealer is often applied to grout, it still does not remain as resistant to stains and dirt as the tile itself. It’s understandable that dirty grout imparts a dirty look to the whole floor. So let’s look at some of the ways for cleaning it.
Of the many household products that could be utilized for the purpose, the best is a mixture of white vinegar in warm water. Vinegar contains tartaric and citric acids, though in very mild form. This makes an excellent cleaning agent when mixed with warm water. It works as good as any commercial cleaning product at a very affordable expense. For cleaning of grout, make a mixture of vinegar and warm water in equal ratio and apply it to the grout with a sponge. Let it remain there for a few minutes before scrubbing the grout with a toothbrush. You may have to apply the mixture a second time, depending on severity of dirt and stains. Using a sponge to sop up the residue and clean the floor with a soft detergent.
Vinegar being acidic in nature will remove any grout sealer that hasn’t worn out. Having cleaned the grout apply grout sealer with a paintbrush. After the first coat has thoroughly dried, apply the second coat. You may get grout sealer from any home improvement store or a store that sells tiles.
The same solution of vinegar and water may be used get rid of stains on tiles. But, you should clean the entire floor with a sponge and let it dry before applying the cleaner.
Since you are going to handle an acidic material you should protect your hands with rubber gloves while applying the cleaning agent or fresh grout. You need not necessarily use an electric floor scrubber/polisher for cleaning of ceramic tile floors. Mind you, excessive application of scrubber/polisher makes the tiles look their shine and they begin to look dull. It’s not recommendable to use Clorox bleach for cleaning ceramic tile floor as it causes the tiles to start looking yellowish and erodes the grout also.