Taking care of your ceramic tile floors with a gentle hand and a few smart techniques, which will keep your tiles and grout looking like new. It’s important to follow the basics. Sweep or vacuum your glazed tile floors regularly to keep them from getting dull. Your tile may be resistant to dirt, but sand and grit can dull the glazed surface of your tile. Clean tile with mild detergent and clean water, and use a rag or chamois-type mop rather than a sponge mop. A sponge mop will push the dirty water into the grout lines and make them harder to clean. Be sure to change the water often while mopping, because dirty water equals a cloudy floor. Ditch residue If your tiles look hazy, you might be dealing with a soapy residue. Remove this film with a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner. You could also try a mild acid – such as fresh lemon juice – on ceramic tiles. Never use this on marble, however, as it could remove the finish. Rinse thoroughly with clean water, and buff dry with a clean lintfree cloth. Be kind to your knees and dry tiles the easy way – by using your foot to slide the cloth over the floor. Get great-looking grout The true secret to a great-looking tile floor is clean grout. Grout is porous and absorbs grease and other stains. Skip cleaners from commercial owners and instead make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it on the stain, let it sit overnight, then scrub the stain in the morning with a stiff nylon brush (a metal brush will damage grout). Repeat this as necessary, and apply a silicone-base sealer to the grout to repel future stains. Grout is a tricky thing to keep clean because it is porous. And on tile floors, crumbs and dirt can be left behind, even after sweeping. Plus, a quick wipe of the tiled surface can sometimes miss spots because the grout lines are often slightly deeper than the surface. Common household products can be used to tackle dirty grout. If your grout is lightly stained, use a strong bleach solution and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush. Don’t scrub too hard, or you may damage the grout. Wear safety goggles to prevent the bleach from spattering in your eyes. Keep the work area ventilated. Try a foaming grout cleaner that might need to soak for several minutes to be effective. If your grout is deeply stained, replace it. Tile stores sell and sometimes rent tools for removing grout. Run the tool along the grout, taking care not to scratch the surrounding tile. Clean the space between the tiles with a strong bleach solution, then apply new grout and seal it. Do not spill bleach on porcelain because the solution might cause pitting or yellow and pink stains. If you have any questions about how to clean your tile, talk to our Orlando Carpet Cleaning specialists. We know how to clean each of your flooring types and will get you the best results.