Cleaning your home's flooring tiles is not like cleaning carpeting or timber floors; tiles are made of softer, more porous materials than carpeting or timber, and the grout that sits between tiles may need some specialized attention to get it clean and bright white. Note a few common mistakes that homeowners often make when cleaning home flooring tiles so you can avoid these yourself, and ensure that your tiles are protected and looking their best.
It's never good to use scrubbing tools on floor tiles, including scrub brushes and pads you might use for a shower or sink. The soft surface of many floor tiles can easily suffer tiny abrasions when scrubbed, and these allow dirt and grime to build up so that the tiles look dingy and dull after some months or years.
If the floor tile has a soft, pitted surface that tends to hold dirt that you can't remove with a cloth mop, use a steam extractor designed for floor tiles to clean them. The steam will loosen dirt so it can be extracted, and you won't need to use a harsh or abrasive brush to get the tiles cleaned.
It's easy to assume that bleach will whiten grout between tiles, as it's used to whiten clothes. However, bleach won't have this whitening effect on grout; bleach and even ammonia may actually make grout duller over time, as these materials tend to break down the grout composition. Use bleach on caulk in the shower to remove mould and mildew, but use products meant specifically for grout cleaning, or a steam extraction method, to clean grout lines of floor tiles.
Not sealing the tiles
Tiles used for a home's flooring are always sealed after they're manufactured, to protect the surface and keep it looking bright and shiny. This sealant will wear away after some time, and the more you clean those tiles, the sooner that sealant will wear off. Not sealing the tiles on a regular basis, and especially after a deep cleaning, can mean allowing for scratches and scuff marks to build up, so that the tile then looks worn and dull, and may also be more prone to breaking and chipping.
It may be tempting to vacuum floor tiles in order to get them clean, but the beater bars and brushes of a vacuum cleaner are typically too rough for soft floor tiles. Use a soft-bristled broom or cloth dry mop on tiles floors instead, to protect their surface from potential damage.