How to clean floor tiles with a machine

Written by julie christensen
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How to clean floor tiles with a machine
Tile cleaning machines even clean ugly, stained grout. (Boden image by Milosz Bartoszczuk from

Cleaning tile floors on your hands and knees takes hours and results in sore knees and an aching back. Instead, try cleaning your floors with a machine designed for hard surfaces. Rent an industrial machine at a hardware store or purchase one of the many residential machines available. Most tile cleaning machines work with cleaning products and agitators or through an application of steam.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Vacuum or broom
  • Cleaning liquid

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    Agitator Type Cleaners

  1. 1

    Vacuum or sweep your floors to remove debris. Some cleaners have a vacuum option built in so you don't need two separate machines.

  2. 2

    Fill the clean water tank with water and cleaning solution, according to the manufacturer's directions.

  3. 3

    Select the cleaning option you want (most models have a switch that alternates between hardwood, marble or tile). Start in the corner of the room farthest from the exit and turn the machine on. Move the machine across the floor slowly in a back and forth motion until the entire room is clean.

  4. 4

    Empty the dirty water from the recovery tank into a sink and rinse out the tank. If cleaning a large area, you may need to empty the tank and refill the clean water tank during the cleaning process. When finished, rinse out both tanks and store the machine.

  5. 5

    Affix the grout or brush attachments to the attachment hose. Turn the machine on. Press the trigger control to release cleaning solution onto your grout, and scrub using the attachment. When finished, empty the chambers and rinse as indicated in step 3.

    Steam Cleaning Machines

  1. 1

    Vacuum or sweep your floors as directed in section 1.

  2. 2

    Attach a clean microfiber pad to the bottom of your steam cleaner if it uses one.

  3. 3

    Fill the water chamber with hot water and plug your machine's cord into the wall. Wait for at least one minute to allow the water time to heat up.

  4. 4

    Move the steam cleaner over your floors while pressing the steam release button. Go slowly and start at the corner farthest from the exit.

  5. 5

    Remove the microfiber pad when finished and dispose of it or wash it, depending on the type. Empty any remaining water from the water tank before storing your steam cleaner.

Tips and warnings

  • Check the microfiber pad as you are steam cleaning your floor and replace it if it appears dirty. Using a dirty pad will result in a streaked floor.
  • Only use cleaners designed for your machine.
  • For very dirty floors, consider renting an industrial machine.

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