Porcelain and ceramic tiles are among the most popular options for kitchen floors because they're durable, stain-resistant, and low-maintenance (and relatively inexpensive, too). The good news: They're less porous than wood, so you don't have to worry so much about immediately wiping up spills. The bad news: You probably neglect them more than you would a more finicky floor, so they're likely pretty dirty by the end of the week!
Porcelain and ceramic tiles can be glazed, meaning they've been fired with a glass-like coating that makes them even more durable, or unglazed, which means they're a little more porous. Make sure you know what kind of tile you have before cleaning it, as some store-bought cleansers can damage unglazed tile. (Our solution should be totally safe for both, but we still suggest trying a test spot.)
Here's how to clean ceramic and porcelain tile floors.
How To Clean Porcelain and Ceramic Tiled Floors
What You Need
- Broom & dust pan
- Vinegar or Castile soap
- Hot water
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber mop and mop pads
- 5 to 10 drops essential oil (like orange, mint, or lavender; optional)
- Give the floor a sweep: Before cleaning your floor, give it a thorough sweep to remove debris and dust. Make sure to get all the way to the edges next to cabinets and walls, as that's where kitchen debris tends to accumulate.
- Make the cleaning solution: Mix the vinegar and water (a 1:1 ratio) in your spray bottle; add essential oil if desired. Seal it and shake it thoroughly to mix up the cleanser. If your floors are unsealed, skip the vinegar and use 1 teaspoon of castile soap instead.
- Try a test spot: The first time you use it, test the cleanser in a discreet spot, like a corner under a cabinet, to make sure it doesn't harm the floor.
- Start spritzing: Starting from the cabinet furthest from the door you'll want to exit out of, spritz the cleaning mixture onto a small area of the floor (about a square yard). You want the floor to be damp, but not wet, to avoid getting too much dirty water into the grout.
- Scrub: Scrub in the cleanser with a lightly dampened microfiber mop, going left and right, then up and down, to get across the tiles and into the grout.
- Keep going: Continue working in small patches, from the farthest part of the room to the area you'll exit out of. If your microfiber pad gets really dirty, switch it out for a new one, or rinse it out, squeeze out as much moisture as you can, and reapply it as necessary.
- Refill your spray bottle with water: Once you've done the whole floor, empty your spray bottle and refill it with fresh water (no vinegar).
- Wipe the floor again: Using a fresh, damp microfiber pad, go over the floor again, as before, with just plain water this time, to remove any remaining vinegar or castile soap.
- Let the tile dry: When you're done, give the floor (and especially the grout) at least a half hour to dry before walking on it again to avoid tracking in new dirt.