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How to Clean Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a popular choice for flooring and showers, in no small part because of how easy it is to clean and maintain. Depending on how much use your ceramic tile surface is exposed to, simple daily or weekly upkeep may be all you need to keep your tiles shiny. But even if residue or stains have built up, deep cleaning is also a simple matter.

In this article, we will cover how to clean ceramic tile floors and ceramic tile showers, step by step.

What You'll Need

  • Broom or vacuum
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • Tile cleaner
  • Squeegee
  • Clean microfiber cloth or towel


How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors

The floor of this living space features square ceramic stone-look tiles. They have the appearance of white marble with light gray veining, and a polished finish.

Step 1. Sweep

Start by removing loose dirt and debris. Sweep or vacuum your tile floors regularly to prevent dirt and grit from scratching the surface.


Step 2. Mop With Water

Once the loose debris is removed, mop the floor with warm water. For tiles that are regularly maintained, this will be enough to restore their shine.


Step 3. Dry Thoroughly

You can allow the floor to air dry, but leaving excess moisture on the tiles can lead to unsightly water spots. For a more polished look, use a microfiber cloth to dry the ceramic tiles thoroughly.


Step 4. Use Tile Cleaner for Deep Cleaning

For tougher stains or built-up grime, you may need to mop with a mild cleaning solution. Mix warm water with a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for ceramic tile. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, which are likely to damage the tile.

How to Clean Ceramic Tile Showers

Vertically ran framed subway tile creates the design on the lower shower walls.  Transitioned by white and blue ceramic square pencils the upper walls are a blue 2

Step 1. Daily Care

To minimize water spots and reduce the buildup of minerals from water, use a squeegee on the tiles after each shower. It is also helpful to ensure proper ventilation during and after showers to reduce the humidity, which promotes mold and mildew growth.


Step 2. Rinse Away Dirt

Start by removing loose dirt and other debris from the ceramic tiles. You can do this by rinsing the shower walls with warm water.


Step 3. Spray With a Specialized Cleaner

Use a non-abrasive, pH-neutral cleaner suitable for ceramic tiles. Make a mixture of tile cleaner and water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution generously on the tiles and let it sit for a few minutes to break down soap scum and oils.


Step 4. Scrub the Tiles Gently

Use a soft-bristled brush or non-scratching scrubbing pad to gently scrub the tiles and grout. Pay extra attention to areas with significant soap scum buildup or mildew.


Step 5. Rinse and Dry

Rinse the shower walls and floor with clean water to remove any remaining cleaner and loosened debris. You can use a handheld showerhead or a bucket for this. Finally, dry the shower with a dry towel or squeegee.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile FAQs

  • What is the best thing to clean ceramic tile with?

    For regular cleaning, a mixture of warm water and a mild, pH-neutral tile cleaner is the best choice. These cleaners are specifically designed to be gentle enough to preserve the finish of the tiles while effectively removing dirt and grime.

  • What should you not use to clean ceramic tile?

    Cleaning ceramic tile requires a gentle touch. You should never use harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia-based cleaners or highly alkaline cleaners. Likewise, never use abrasive cleaners or tools, such as scouring pads or powders, as these can scratch and dull the finish of ceramic tiles, especially if they are glazed.