The best way to clean porcelain tile floors

Updated November 21, 2016

Porcelain floor tiles offer a solid, durable surface for kitchens, bathrooms and entryways. Cleaning requires using products and supplies that are non-abrasive. Polished porcelain tile is the most susceptible to scratching, and reglazing the surface is a tedious adventure. Though it is tempting to use a scratch pad to scrub stuck-on dirt, it will leave permanent marks that lead to deterioration of the surface. Natural cleaners will bring a clean shine to the surface of these tile floors.

Unglazed porcelain tile

Sweep or vacuum the floor with a broom or vacuum cleaner. Carefully clean the corners and make sure all dirt is swept up.

Mix 59 ml (1/4 cup) of white vinegar with 9 litres (2 gallons) of hot water. Soak smaller areas with the solution using a rag. Let the cleaner sit on the area for 10 to 15 minutes.

Scrub any soiled areas with a soft nylon brush. Use a wet vac to pull the cleaner up from the floor. Rinse with clear water and suck it up with the wet vac.

Continue working in small areas until the entire tiled floor is clean and rinsed. Allow the floor an hour or two to dry before walking on it.

Polished porcelain tile

Sweep with a broom or vacuum the tile floor. Make sure all of the dirt is up or the surface will get scratched when it is mopped.

Mix 30 ml (1/8 cup) of white vinegar with 9 litres (2 gallons) of hot water. Mop the floor with a soft sponge.

Wring out the mop in clear water and rinse the floor. Allow the floor tiles to dry slowly to avoid water spots.

Textured porcelain tiles

Sweep the floor with a broom or vacuum cleaner in a criss-cross diagonal fashion. This will ensure all dirt is removed from the rough surface.

Pour 237 ml (1 cup) of neutral stone floor cleaner into 9 litres (2 gallons) of hot water. Mop and scrub diagonally. Use a scrub brush to get at heavily soiled areas.

Rinse the floor with clear water. Wet/dry vacuum the floor and let it dry for two hours.


Scrub in small areas and take frequent breaks. This project is tiring on the back.


Do not use cleaners containing oil, bleach ammonia or any type of acidic content. They will stain and score the porcelain.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Stiff nylon brush
  • Sponge mop
  • Neutral stone floor cleaner
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