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Keep It Clean: Tile Tips

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Tile floors are beautiful, durable, and look great in just about every room in the house. But keeping the tile and grout clean can be a challenge, particularly in higher traffic rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom. Cleaning your tile floors is simple and should be done on a regular basis in order to maintain their beauty. Read on to learn about some tile cleaning tips you can try at home to help extend the life of your tile floors and keep them looking brand new.

A Clean Routine

You should always wipe up spills immediately if you have tile floors. Soak the spill up using a rag or paper towel, using a blotting motion. Porous tile like travertine can soak up spills and cause staining that can be extremely difficult to remove. If you grout is not sealed, those spills can also seep into the grout lines and can be even more difficult to remove. Vacuum and sweep your tile floors regularly. Use scatter or area rugs to help prevent extra wear and tear, staining, and any potential damage.

Wet Mop Cleaning

Using a wet mop is one of the most effective ways to clean tile. Before you begin mopping, vacuum up any crumbs, hair, and other debris. Then, fill a bucket with a mild cleaning solution (dish detergent will work fine) and warm water. Submerge the mop, but fully wring it out before mopping the floor. In a sweeping motion, mop the tile floor from the back of the room towards the front so you don't step on the wet tile as you go. Clean and wring the mop frequently as you're mopping. If the water appears dirty, dump it out and make a new mixture before continuing. Allow your tile floors to fully dry before walking on them.

Cleaning Grout

The grout in between your tiles may need special attention and should be cleaned using a different method than the tile itself. Grout tends to show dirt more easily because it is a porous material and in most cases it is white in color. Make a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and lukewarm water. Using a stiff brush, gently scrub the grout but avoid using too much pressure as it can cause damage. If there are stubborn stains, hydrogen peroxide is also an effective way to remove them. You can also use a steam cleaner. The steam will help "draw" out the stains and lift them out of the grout.