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Use Those Mats: Use doormats to keep dirt being from coming into your home and shake them out often. This will reduce the amount of dirt being tracked across your ceramic tile floor, and will reduces the wear to the finished surface.
Sweep & Vacuum: Regular sweeping loosens and removes most dirt. A vacuum cleaner can also be used to sweep, but make sure to turn off the beater bar on your vacuum’s settings particularly for high gloss finish products to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles. Vacuum cleaner attachments are also great to extract dirt along edges and cabinet toe kicks.
Mop or Scrub: Use some common sense here and avoid the desire to slop water in copious quantities onto the tile. Start with clean hot water in a rolling bucket and a clean mop. For matte finishes, a gentle degreasing OTC product sprayed onto the floor works just fine and rinse with fresh hot water in said bucket. For high polish finishes, use manufacturer-recommended grout and tile cleaners. For situations involving heavier soil, e.g. the day after a big birthday bash, spot clean the floor with a sponge, scrub brush, or clean cloth using the same recommended cleaners. Keep some large old towels handy in order to dry the tile immediately after cleaning. Rinse the mop to eliminate soil build up and allow it to dry to prevent odors accumulating in the mop’s fibers.
Professional Cleaning: Tile is a very easy product to clean, but when light colored grout is in the mix maintenance can take on a new meaning. Occasional professional steam cleaning can work wonders on unsightly grout saving you the hassle of scrubbing it yourself. Be sure to follow up with a grout sealer.
Hard Water Build-Up: Sometimes hard water can dull the appearance of your ceramic tile just like it does to your shower door. Considering that the “glaze” on tile is technically glass, cleaning products that safely remove build up from glass (generally available from your local grocery or hardware store) can be used to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew stains. Be sure to consult the cleaning product’s instructions to ensure the product is recommended for your type of tile. After cleaning, rinse well and wipe dry for a sparkling shine.
A Few Other Tips:
Clean up spills as quickly as possible so your grout won’t become stained.
Using extremely abrasive items like steel wool and scouring powders can scratch the finish of your ceramic tile.
While it may be tempting to pull out the bottle of bleach on lighter colored grout, using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners can discolor and weaken your grout causing it to become more porous and susceptible to permanent staining.
To prevent permanent staining, seal lighter colored grouts on a routine basis according to the frequency of traffic on the floor. It may be as often as every 6 months to once a year.