How To Clean Ceramic Properly

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

When we think of aesthetic tilings, one of the most inexpensive ones that come to mind is ceramic tiles, we know a good tile can complement your kitchen’s sink and faucets perfectly. It is also something used by many homeowners because of how durable it is.

Of course, no matter how nice the tiles start off, with improper maintenance and cleaning, even the sparkliest of ceramic tiles become a thorn in our sides. This is why we have come up with this guide to help owners with their ceramic tile problems. Cleaning ceramic tiles do not have to be as complicated as some people make it out to be. They can be simple as long as you are sufficiently prepared for them.



Quick answer

The best way to clean a ceramic tile is with a mild soap, water, broom and mop. It should be cleaned regularly, at least once per week, to avoid permanent stains. Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach and oil based cleaning products.


Get The Right Products For Ceramic

Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need much when it comes to cleaning your ceramic tiles. Even the cleaning detergent, the best is not always the one with the strongest chemicals. In fact, if you buy a detergent that is too much on the strong side, you might risk corroding the ceramic tile or further the discoloration of the tiles. Furthermore, it might also strip off the protective layer of the ceramic tiles which will make them prone to scratches. Once ceramic tiles have scratches on them, it becomes very difficult to look past them and the whole aesthetics might be ruined. So, any washing detergent like bleach or ammonia-based, or oil-based cleaners should be avoided if you want to prolong the lifespan of your ceramic tiles. Ultimately, all you really need to clean your ceramic flooring is just a trusty sponge, mild detergent, and a broom with gentler bristles.

How To Clean Ceramic Properly

Preventing Scratches

For those of you wondering what you should avoid when cleaning your ceramic tiles to prevent scratches, it is fairly simple! Any harsh chemical or rough tools should be a definite no because they could either scratch your tiles or corrode the finish on your ceramic tiles. When you approach hardware stores to buy commercial cleaners, they will often indicate on the warning labels whether a certain product is suitable for ceramic tiles. If in doubt, always check with the staff.

Not only should some cleaning solutions be avoided, but you should also avoid things like steel wool, magic erasers, and rough sponges. These are things that could easily cause scratches on the surface. When scratches happen, the worse cases might require a complete overhaul of the tiles and each square foot can come at a $10 dollar price tag. So, to avoid spending unnecessary renovation costs, just stick to the gentler tools.

How To Clean Ceramic Properly

Washing The Ceramic Regularly

Once everything is prepared, you will want to take a moment to ensure that there are no foreign contaminants on the floor that could cause scratches on the surface. If there is, simply use the broom to sweep it away before commencing the cleaning of the surface. Before we begin on the specifics, our best advice is that ceramic cleaning should be done once a week to minimize the amount of effort required.

On a frequent basis, you should sweep your floor two to three times a week to ensure that there is no debris that would scratch the floor as people walk around it. Then, you can also mop the floor once a week in order to keep the surface squeaky clean. For ceramic floors, the more strength you use will not be more beneficial for it. Cleaning ceramic tiles requires more meticulous and focused effort than brute force, so keep that in mind, a floor cleaner could be a good investment.


How To Clean Ceramic Tile Grout

For those who are unfamiliar with the grout, it is the area between your tiles where the lines appear. When doing your normal cleaning, this area often gets gleaned over. This is why if you notice in other people’s homes, you will notice that the floor grout is not white. The thing is that it is supposed to be white, but the grout becomes brown or black over time because the dust often gets trapped there.

How To Clean Ceramic Properly

No fret though, as there are some home remedies that can help in making the tile grouts sparkling white again. What you will need to obtain are some baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Combine half a cup of baking soda, one-quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide, and one tablespoon of dish soap into a murky paste. Then, just recycle an old toothbrush and dip it in the solution. Simply use that to scrub along with the grout and let it rest and soak for 5-10 minutes. After that, simply wipe off with a wet cloth thoroughly as the chemicals can irritate the skin. If you are not much of a do-it-yourself kind of person, you can just buy the solution from any hardware store.

Cleaning Unglazed Ceramic

There is another type of cleaning that you should take note of with ceramic. Most ceramics do not come with a glossy finish, the glaze is usually applied after the tiles are properly put in place. Plus once you apply the glaze, it is pretty much permanent so you will want to ensure that it is cleaned well. If you think it is too much hassle, we suggest you rethink it as it is extremely beneficial to seal up your ceramic. By sealing up your ceramic tiles, the aesthetics of your floor would be classier and it also protects the tiles from dirt and stain.

How To Clean Ceramic Properly

When you are cleaning your unglazed ceramic tiles, we recommend that you use grout haze which will only appear over a few days. So, once you clean your ceramic tiles as above, let them sit for a t least 2 days to catch the grout haze. After that simply go over the tiles with a steam cleaner or mild detergent to really get them clean. Then, seal it up after everything has dried properly.


“Ceramics might seem durable, but they require a delicate touch. Overzealous or improper cleaning techniques can compromise the integrity or aesthetics of a ceramic piece. In my extensive professional experience, I have found that a gentle detergent mixed with warm water, coupled with soft non-abrasive cloth, works to safely cleanse and maintain the beauty of ceramic items. Avoid unnecessary scrubbing and let the mixture do the job.”

Kirkland C. Morrissey, Restorative Archaeologist

You can follow these tips with everyday products

It is important to note that cleaning your ceramic tiles requires the utmost delicate care. When you are unsure, just remember that ceramic tiles are durable but prone to scratches. So, just think of how you would clean something delicately, either with mild detergent, smooth cloths, and more. Once you have got that down, you got the basics of cleaning ceramic tiles.

How To Clean Ceramic Properly


7 thoughts on “How To Clean Ceramic Properly”

  1. In my years of interior designing, I’ve found that a mix of vinegar and warm water works wonders in getting the grime out of ceramic tiles. Don’t forget to rinse it off thoroughly, left traces of vinegar can dull the tile shine over time.

  2. Eleanor, you’re spot on with the vinegar trick. Just want to echo that it’s absolutely essential not to leave traces of vinegar on the tiles, as it can lead to unsightly dull spots over time.

  3. Yaxley, you’re absolutely correct about being meticulous when using vinegar on ceramic tiles. I’ve found that doing a swift but thorough rinse afterward with lukewarm water effectively removes any leftover residue. However, it’s also helpful to consider the pH level of your cleaning solution; too acidic or too alkaline can both cause damage. By keeping it fairly neutral – around pH 7 – you’re less likely to cause those unsightly dull spots you mentioned!

  4. It’s true that maintaining the pH level of your cleaning solution at around 7 can help protect the tiles. But it’s equally important to seal your grouts regularly as this prevents moisture from leaking in which can cause stains and damage to the tiles. Regular sealing also helps keep the grout color consistent and makes cleanup easier since dirt and stains won’t sink deep into unsealed grout.

  5. Couldn’t agree more Willa! In my own home, I’ve found that regular grout sealing does indeed prevent considerable staining and wear. By adopting this routine, even after several years of use, my ceramic tiles still retain their sparkle much like when they were newly installed.

  6. Indeed regular sealing of grout does wonders to maintain the shine of ceramic tiles over the years; as a professional cleaner, I’ve observed this phenomenon in countless homes. The combination of quality sealant and technique substantially prolongs the life and look of ceramics.

  7. My homemade vinegar solution works stunningly on ceramics without leaving any pungent smell or residue, the secret is adding a few drops of essential oils!

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