The Best Way to Clean Porcelain Floor Tiles, Polished or Not

When it comes to choosing tile flooring, one of the best and easiest to maintain floors is porcelain tile. It's resistant to water and bacteria, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. Polished and unglazed porcelain tiles are highly durable and require little maintenance.

How Do I Clean Porcelain Tile Floor?

You clean porcelain tile floors depending on their type: Textured, polished, or unpolished. The recommended cleaning product for one flooring is not ideal for the other. More details on the differences are below. But, first...

At a high level, you will do the following to clean porcelain tile floors:

  • Sweep away dust and debris with a dry mop
  • Mop the floor using a safe cleaning solution
  • Rinse with hot water
  • Dry the floor using a towel
  • When deep cleaning, use mildly alkaline or a pH-neutral detergent.
  • If necessary, scrub using a nylon or plastic scrubber.

Materials to clean your porcelain floor:

  • A soft-bristled broom or a vacuum
  • Mop bucket
  • Mop
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Towel

Here, you'll learn from the experts how to clean different porcelain floor tiles and leave each shining.

female Zerorez® technician spraying a pre-treatment spray to a porcelain tile floor to clean it with the proper cleaning products

How to Safely Clean Unpolished/Unglazed Porcelain Tiles

Unpolished porcelain tiles are slightly porous; hence, they are prone to stains. Harsh chemicals damage unpolished tiles; use mild pH-balanced washing solutions. Avoid saturating these tiles when cleaning.

Here's the procedure for cleaning unpolished floors:

  1. Sweep the floor: Use a dust mop to remove dust and dirt from the floor, corners, and between the tiles. Never use a broom on porcelain tiles; they scratch and damage them.
  2. Mop using a mild solution: Clean and remove any stains on the floor using warm water and mild pH-balanced dishwashing soap.
  3. Gently scrub the floor: Scrub the floor in a circular motion using a soft bristle brush. Use a mop to wipe the solution and hot water to rinse the floor.
  4. Dry the floor: Open the windows or run your fan to dry the floor. If you're in a rush and want the floor to dry quickly, use a cotton towel to dry it.

How to Safely Clean Textured Porcelain Tiles

Textured porcelain is unique. It quickly collects grime, dirt, and dust, needing more maintenance than the unpolished or polished types. For busy homes or offices with textured (dark or light colored) porcelain tiles, mop and scrub daily.

Follow the steps below to clean your floor:

  1. Remove dirt and debris: Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and dust from the floor. To successfully remove the dust and dirt, sweep in two directions, starting with the direction of the texture on the tile and then diagonally across the tiles.
  2. Mop and Scrub: Use an all-purpose cleaner and water to mop the floor thoroughly. Allow the solution to sit for at least 5 minutes, at most, 10 minutes. Beyond this, the solution damages the floor. Scrub off the stains and black spots using an old toothbrush or a soft, nylon brush. To effectively remove the stains, scrub it in the direction of the textured floor tile and then in the opposite direction.
  3. Rinse off: Rinse off the floor using clean water before the solution dries. Otherwise, it can damage your textured porcelain tiles.
  4. Dry the floor: Use a cotton towel or a microfiber cloth to dry the floor, leaving no puddles or water spots on the tiles. Running a fan or opening windows to allow enough airflow helps dry the floor completely.

Best Way to Clean Polished Porcelain Floor Tiles

Polished porcelain tiles are meant for interior tiling and have a mirror finish. The mirror finish suffers from streaks or scuff marks. Avoid strong cleaning agents; use gentle ones, and don't allow them to sit on the floor for more than 10 minutes before you rinse out.

Polished porcelain tiles are easy to clean and maintain. They're less susceptible to tear and wear.

Here's the procedure for cleaning a polished tiled floor.

  1. Sweep away dust: Use a vacuum or a (microfiber or dust) mop to remove dust from the floor. Sweep between tiles and all corners to eliminate dust and dirt. Don't use plastic bristles or straws to sweep the porcelain floor tiles to avoid scratching them.
  2. Remove dirt: Pour hot water on the floor in a circular motion, and scrub the floor to remove dirt and any dark spots on your porcelain tiles. Use an old toothbrush or a nylon brush, which is gentle on the floor. Don't scrub a dry floor; you'll scratch and damage it.
  3. For stains, use white vinegar and water: Add white vinegar (¼ cup) to two gallons of warm water. Use the solution to mop the stained, glazed porcelain tiles. Vinegar cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes floors. After mopping, allow the solution to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then rinse off the solution.
  4. If you don't have vinegar, buy porcelain floor tile cleaners that won't damage the floor but effectively remove stains and deodorize it. If you're unsure, do a spot test to confirm if the product is safe for glazed floor tiles. Baking soda is excellent for coffee stains. Sprinkle a small amount on the stain, dampen it, and then scrub gently to remove it.
  5. Mop the floor: Use a mild cleaner solution to mop the tiles. Before the solution dries, use hot water to mop the floor. This prevents the solution from staining your floor, which could eventually damage it.
  6. Dry the floor: Use a clean cotton towel or a microfiber cloth to dry the floor completely. Setting up a fan or opening the windows to allow airflow would also help dry the floor.
  7. Buff the floor: Once completely dry, buff it to give it a smooth, shiny appearance. You can use a buffing machine or rub in a circular motion using a cheesecloth.

a male Zerorez® technician cleaning a black porcelain tile floor in a residential bathroom with the Zr™ Wand

How to Properly Maintain Porcelain Tiles

Cleaning and maintaining porcelain tiles is easy, but you must carefully select your cleaning products. Avoid using ammonia or bleaching agents on the tiles; they damage porcelain tiles and stain grout.

Oil-based wax detergents and cleaners damage these floors, too. Cleaners with dyes also stain porcelain tiles; avoid them.

Below are tips on how to maintain your porcelain tiles correctly.

1. Vacuum or Sweep Often

For less traffic areas, vacuum or mop once a week. Vacuum or sweep daily for high-traffic places. Avoid using brooms with stiff or hard bristles; they damage porcelain tiled floors.

Use a broom with soft nylon brushes or a dust mop to remove dust. Vacuum the corners and areas connecting to the walls to ensure no room for grime. A hard floor setting is best when vacuuming. Better still, use a soft floor head.

2. Deal with Spills Immediately

Use hot water and a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away spillages as soon as they happen. A cotton towel wipes excellently, too.

If the spillages are dormant, apply some vinegar, scrub with a soft-bristled brush, and then rinse the areas with clean water. Dry using a dry microfiber cloth.

3. Clean Grout Lines

For stained grout lines, use baking soda to clean them. For high-traffic areas, we recommend sealing the grout lines to prevent constant staining and discoloration.

Better still, hire experts who know how to professionally clean grout. Zerorez® cleans the grout and tiles for you fast, effectively, and safely.

We use Zr™ Water. It's water that is purified, alkalized, and ionized; free of soaps, detergents, and harsh chemicals, hence non-toxic!

female Zerorez® technician using the Zr™ Lifter to clean porcelain tile floor grout lines

Use Floor Mats, Rugs, and Coasters

Protect the porcelain tiles by using mats and rugs; they're easy to clean. If your counters are made of porcelain tiles, use coasters to protect them from water rings resulting from utensils sweating water.

Use pads: Protect your floor from furniture scratches. Put pads on the bottom of every leg of your furniture.

Must-Know Cleaning Porcelain Floor Tiles Tips

  • Never use steel wool to remove stains. They cause rust stains on the grout between your tiles.
  • Avoid using wax or oil-based cleaners; they leave a residue that attracts dust and dirt.
  • Use plain warm water during routine cleaning. You can use a mild cleaning solution, though if you want.
  • Always remove dust and dirt before you mop
  • Never use abrasive tools, as they damage the floor
  • Don't use cleaning detergents with dyes or colors
  • Avoid cleaning solutions that contain ammonia or bleaches
a female and male Zerorez® technician standing with various porcelain tile floor cleaning tools and equipment, smiling at the camera and ready to help you clean

Zerorez Is the Best Cleaner for Porcelain Tile Floors (And All Other Floors)!

Did you know we offer the best tile and grout (and carpet) cleaning services? We're the pros; you can contact the nearest Zerorez branch from the comfort of your home.

We use safe cleaning solutions and tools for your floor, your entire family, and your pets. Get in touch today and schedule a service. If you have any questions regarding our services, please call us at 866-937-6739.

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez® Today!