How to shine a tile floor

Dirt, soap build-up and scratches make tile floors look dull over time. When cleaning and shining tile, remember that tiles with a glaze on them scratch easily. Fortunately, this glaze also makes clean tile floors shine without polish. An electric floor washer helps clean and shine a tile floor, and cleaning by hand with a mop or sponge also works well. A cleaner designed for tile floors will help shine the floor in all situations. An all-purpose cleaner can work in places with soft water, and a vinegar solution will help clean the floor naturally, especially in places with hard water.

Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dust and dirt particles; choose a vacuum that will not scratch the tiles.

Wash the tile floor with an electric floor scrubber, sponge or mop. Either use a commercial cleaner specifically designed for tile floors or mix 18 to 36 ml (1 to 2 tbsp) washing soda in 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water to create your own soap. Alternatively, create a more natural floor cleaner by mixing 60 ml (1/4 cup) white vinegar with 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends for a safe floor cleaner. Vinegar works especially well to remove minerals from hard-water build-up.

Wash the tile floor again with warm water to removes any cleaner residue, which can create a film over the floor that prevents it from shining.

Wipe the tile floor with soft rags or towels to dry, shine and prevent water spots from forming.


To remove soap scum or large amounts of mineral build-up, use a cleaner specifically designed to get rid of the build-up. Use a grout brush and a mixture of 3 parts water and 1 part chlorine bleach to remove mildew and stains from grout in between tiles.


Do not use steel wool or other scratchy materials, which may damage tile.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom or vacuum cleaner
  • Electric floor washer, mop or sponge
  • Tile-floor cleaner, washing soda or white vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Soft rags or towels
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About the Author

Lisa Chinn developed her research skills while working at a research university library. She writes for numerous publications, specializing in gardening, home care, wellness, copywriting, style and travel. Chinn also designs marketing materials, holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and is working toward a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.