Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deep Clean: Textured Tile

There are three kinds of cleaning people: those who don't care, those who care a little and those who care A LOT.  This post is for those who care A LOT.  The average person is satisfied with running a mop over a floor to clean it.  Textured tile will be just fine if that is all you do to take care of it.  However, for those who really want a sparkling, eat-your-dinner-off-the-floor clean, this post is for you.

It is quite simple, though a little energy intensive, to get your textured tile floor super clean.  You will need the following:
A scrubby (the same color as the grout or at least a light color)
A heavy duty floor brush
A microfibre cloth
Soap and hot water
Knee pads (oh yes, knee pads)

Step 1.
Fill a bucket with super hot water and a little squirt of soap.  While the bucket is filling up pour yourself a glass of water or a cup of tea.  Throw all cleaning implements into the bucket and put your knee pads on!

Step 2.
Grab the microfibre cloth and without ringing it out, soak the area that you are scrubbing.  I recommend about a 2 foot by 4 foot area.  Make sure you get the area nice and wet.  Next leave it to soak for at least 5 minutes.  Wander around the house in your knee pads, if you see your partner, pet or children, do a little cleaning jig for them!  That could entice them to help (probably not but it's worth a shot).

Step 3.
Return to your tiled floor, take the scrubby, put a generous squirt of soap on it and gently massage the soap all over the tiled floor with more water.  You really want the area nice and wet!

Step 4.
Now for the hard work - take the floor brush and go to town.  I like to start with small circles but if there are areas where the deep dirt isn't coming up then try going with the grain of the stone.  This can help you get a deeper clean. 

Step 5.
Take the microfibre cloth again, get it wet in the bucket of water and soap and wipe down the cleaned area.  Once it is damp but not soaking wet, move on to the next little area.

Step 6.
After you have finished the entire area, fill your bucket up again with clean, hot water and do a final rinse off with your microfibre cloth.  Voila!  A floor clean enough to eat off of (don't actually eat off of it though).

Some additional thoughts:
While dark textured tile can benefit from a deep clean, it is the lighter tile that will most obviously benefit in terms of an improved appearance.
Don't use green or blue scrubbies on light colored grout.  I have found that the scrubby stains the grout.
I think we often forget that water is one of nature's solvents, just letting water sit on dirty surfaces is often enough to break down tough stains.  Chemicals are rarely necessary.