There’s nothing better than the shine of a fresh tile. Even if the rest of your bathroom is a mess, a squeaky clean floor can change the feel of the room.
Unfortunately, although many of us try to maintain the shine of a freshly installed bathroom tile, the sheen fades over time. This isn’t because you have been neglecting your floor; it’s sadly just a part of the aging process of a tile.
But don’t panic; you can use several methods to get your tile looking slick and new again.
Often the simplest methods are the best. First, clean your tile floor using dish soap, warm water, and a clean mop.
If this doesn’t work, baking soda, vinegar, or ammonia should remove any remaining dirt. If the shine still doesn’t return, you may need to re-seal the tile.
You can re-seal the floor yourself using a store-bought sealant; just make sure to check which type of sealant is compatible with your floor type.
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
Why isn’t my tile floor shiny anymore?
You may wonder why your tile no longer gleams as it used it, despite mopping it every other week. Well, the most apparent reason is a build-up of dirt and grime.
Although you may regularly clean the tile, stubborn smudges and dirt may persist if you aren’t using the right combination of chemicals and elbow grease. Another common cause is that the polish is wearing away.
The top layer of polish on the tile is what gives them that bright, reflective appearance, but if it gets scratched or wares away, the shine will fade. Again, this is through no fault of your own, it’s a part of the natural ware and tare of tile, but there are still some things you can do to fix it.
The tile may not be polished but instead has a glossy topcoat. This gloss acts similarly to polish and will wear down through repeated use.
The tile underneath this top coat will become exposed, and if this tile is matte, your floors may look dull.
How do I make my tile floor shine again?
The perfect method for you is determined by the type of type you have in your bathroom. For example, certain porous tile materials, such as porcelain and stone, are sensitive to acids, meaning you can’t use certain products on them.
Also, if your tile is sealed, you will need to ensure the cleaning method chosen is compatible with the sealer to avoid any adverse reactions. So, do your research and determine what type of tile you have.
Before choosing your selected method, remove any surface debris and dirt. We want to begin each technique with a clean slate (pardon the pun), so give the flooring a good sweep or vacuum.
Additionally, wear gloves and/or ensure the space is well-ventilated depending on the cleaning chemical used.
It’s best to start simple and gentle. There’s no need to introduce harsh chemicals unless necessary.
Follow these steps to clean tile floors using soap and water properly.
- Fill a bucket or a spray bottle with warm water, and add a few drops of mild dish soap.
- Mix until a lather is formed.
- If using a spray bottle, douse the tile floor with the cleaning solution. It’s best to work in sections.
- This ensures the soap doesn’t dry onto the tile before you have gotten around to working on that section.
- If you’re using a bucket of soapy water, apply the solution to the floor using a mop. Again, work in sections.
- Saturate the mop, wring it out, and run the mop across a small area of the tile flooring.
- Get mopping. Make sure the mop has a new or clean head, and begin working away at the sections of the damp floor.
- If you can, grab another bucket of warm water so that you can continually rinse the mop. This will ensure you aren’t simply moving the dirt around the floor.
- Continually rinse the bucket in the clean water, and then saturate it in the cleaning solution. Do not put the dirty mop into the bucket of warm soapy water.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the entire floor has been mopped. Make sure to apply a good amount of pressure when cleaning to lift stubborn dirt patches.
- Empty the buckets and finally mop the entire area with clean water to remove any traces of soap and dirt. Then leave the floors to air dry.
The soap and water method may sound simple, but doing it properly can yield different results. Ensure your mop is clean, apply a good amount of pressure, and have a rinsing bucket, for the mop can make all the difference.
Baking soda is the unsung miracle product many of us have in the back of the pantry. It’s essential in making cakes and bakes, but it’s also a super effective cleaning agent.
This method is best for removing stains, especially in smaller sections of the floor. Follow these steps to make your tile floors shine using baking soda:
- Grab a bucket, add 2 cups of baking soda, and add just enough warm water until you get a paste.
- Apply the paste to the stained sections of the tile using a sponge or a toothbrush. Gently scrub the paste into the stained areas.
- Leave the solution to sit on the tile for 10-15 minutes.
- Mop the areas with clean water; continually rinse the mop and change the water.
- Leave the floor to air dry.
As stated previously, acid can erode certain tile types. Vinger is highly acidic, so check the type of tile you have before attempting this method.
This method is cheap, natural, and generally safe for the skin and pets. Follow this method to clean tile floors using white vinegar:
- In a bucket, combine one-part vinegar with one-part water and mix. Alternatively, you can also do this in a spray bottle.
- If you’re using a spray bottle, apply a small amount of the solution to the flooring. Don’t use too much, as vinegar can be pretty harsh,
- Mop the sprayed sections of the floor with a clean mop.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the entire floor has been mopped with the vinegar solution.
- This step is optional: if you are concerned about the acid damaging the floor, mop the entire floor with clean water afterward to remove any traces of vinegar.
- Leave the floor to air dry.
Before using this method, check that your floor type is not base-sensitive. If your tile is compatible with ammonia, follow these steps:
- Add a ¼ cup of ammonia to a gallon of warm water, and stir to combine.
- Saturate and wring out the mop before applying the solution to the floor. You don’t want to unnecessarily add excess water and ammonia to the floor.
- Clean the floor in small sections, and rinse the mop in clean water intermittently.
- Once you have mopped the entire floor with the ammonia solution, rinse the floor with a clean mop and fresh water.
- Run a microfiber cloth over the floor to pick up any remaining debris or ammonia, and leave the floor to air dry.
My floors are clean but still not shiny. What do I do?
If you’ve given the floors a proper clean and the shine still hasn’t been restored to your floor, you may need to re-seal the tile. A high gloss sealant can restore the shine to almost any tile.
Do a little research into your tile type and find a compatible high-gloss sealer. Re-sealing your floor isn’t difficult, but it takes s a bit of time and vigilance when following instructions.
We all know how to mop a floor, but we don’t all know how to do it well. Floors are one of the dirtiest parts of the home and require a little TLC when deep cleaning.
Ensure your mop isn’t too worn out, old or dirty to get the best results. Many of us forget to change mop heads and add more dirt to the tile.
Try using warm water and soap first, then baking soda for more stubborn dirt. If these methods don’t work, vinegar or ammonia will most likely get the desired result.
Finally, you can re-seal the tiles using a store-bought sealant.
Last update on 2023-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API