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Cleaning Tile Floor - Tips for Cleaning Your Tile Floor - Assess the Damage, Small Jobs, Day-to-day Cleaning

mop grout bleach level

So you have a tile floor that’s starting to get unruly? Or perhaps you’ve just moved into a home where the previous owner didn’t do such a great job with keeping the floors clean. Not to worry! There are plenty of ways to get your tile floors shiny and sparkling again, and better yet, ways to keep it that way! This guide will go over all levels of problems on the dirtiness scale, so you will have an idea of how to handle any level of dirt. And best of all, you can do just about any task using common household chemicals that won’t break the bank. Read on!

Assess the Damage

First, look at your tile floor. Just how bad is it? Sprinkle a few drops of bleach directly on the tile and give it a good scrub with a rag. Is the resulting clean spot a completely different color than the surrounding tile? Then you should jump to mid-size jobs. What about the lines between tiles? Give them the same bleach treatment and see what happens. If it turns from pitch black to snow white, you know you’ve got some work cut out for you! Jump down to the “bringing out the big guns” section.

However, if you’re just looking for an easy way to do day-to-day maintenance (or if your bleach tests showed your floor to already be pretty clean), then you can use the tips in the next section.

Small Jobs, Day-to-day Cleaning

First off, sometimes a lightly soiled tile floor can be adequately cleaned with just a damp mop. If you are in “maintenance mode” where all you need is an occasional dusting to keep your floor shiny, then a broom and dustpan paired with a simple mop and warm water bath can do the trick. If you need the next level in cleaning power, try adding a cup of rubbing alcohol to the 2 gallon mop bucket, or a good squirt of dish soap. This should be enough to treat most common levels of day-to-day dirt in the kitchen or bathroom, or wherever you have tile installed.

Mid-size Jobs

Next up is mid-size cleaning jobs, where a good level of soil has already built up on your floor and just a damp mop won’t cut it any more. This level entails bringing out some harsher cleansers, so make sure to read the warning labels and never mix two chemicals together! Just pick one and stick with it. For this level of soil, you can use a commercial solution like Lysol, diluted in your mop bucket to the specifications on the label. Or you can try a simple bleach solution instead, somewhere in the area of 1/2 cup of bleach to a couple gallons of hot water. This will not only help get rid of stains, it will also leave the entire room smelling fresh and new again.

Of course, no matter how diligent you are in cleaning, over time problems can build up in between the tiles in hard-to-reach areas that the mop can’t always get to. This is called grout, and it’s not the funnest character to deal with. But not to worry, we have tips that will help you get rid of it as quickly as possible, and even ways to keep it from coming back for quite some time.

Bringing Out the Big Guns – Grout Problems

For fighting with serious grout between your tiles, you will need a strong cleaning solution. Try two cups of bleach in two gallons of water, or a commercial grout cleaning solution diluted to the specifications on the label. Make sure to open up the windows and get good ventilation going through the room.

While your choice of cleaning ingredient is flexible, one thing is not: grout requires some serious elbow grease. We’re talking hands-and-knees-with-a-toothbrush kind of work. (Seriously, toothbrushes are probably the best way to really get in there.) You will need to scrub and detail all the lines on your floor, so this is a good time to enlist helpful family and friends to get the job done.

When you’re finally finished scrubbing, you will want to go over the entire floor again with a mop and simple cleaning solution to grab up all the grime from in between the lines. When everything is sparkling again, you will want to keep it that way! That’s why you may want to consider commercial grout sealers, which will help keep dirt and grime from building up in between tiles. Before you use these, make sure you have already scrubbed and cleaned all grout like we outlined before, and that you allow the floor to dry completely before applying.

That’s it for this guide to keeping your tile floor sparkling clean. Use these tips to get the job done right – if you put in the effort for regular quick cleans, you’ll find that serious deep-cleans are much fewer and farther between. And that’s a good thing for everyone!

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