Asked on Oct 13, 2016

Ugly tile floors

Michelle Dodson
by Michelle Dodson
Does anyone have advice on the best way to clean tile floors? I mop them (obviously) but they just don't seem to get really clean. I was also thinking of waxing or sealing them. I'm a renter, so I can't do anything drastic. This tile is throughout most of the first floor.
  55 answers
  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Oct 13, 2016
    Mix a solution of One part vinegar to 10 parts water . Mop onto floor and use a deck brush to scrub. Mop up with clean water. The vinegar is an acid and digs into the pores of the tile and grout to get it clean.
  • Lorraine Lorraine on Oct 13, 2016
    I used Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and it worked wonders.
    • See 1 previous
    • Michelle Dodson Michelle Dodson on Oct 13, 2016
      Wow, I never would have thought of that! I was actually thinking of going over it with the rug shampooer. After I had the stairs (carpeted) cleaned I noticed that wherever the solution dripped was noticeably brighter.
  • Mary Overmyer Mary Overmyer on Oct 13, 2016
    I have a hard floor cleaner that I bought at Overstock. You can use whatever cleaner you like in it. I scrubs like a carpet cleaner, however you have to pass over it with a towel to get rid of excess water. Might try the Lysol bowl cleaner in it. Vinegar works too.
  • William William on Oct 13, 2016
    Lysol toilet bowl cleaner works great on grout. Over time it eats away at the grout. It also will dull the ceramic tiles by eating at the glaze. Do not use it on any metal trim or have any contact with metal.
  • Nsc1629669 Nsc1629669 on Oct 14, 2016
    Paint the grout white with standard acrylic paint. It makes the tile look brand new!
    • Lauren Lund Lauren Lund on Oct 14, 2016
      Absolutely NOT! I would guess the lease or rental agreement has a clause, including a penalty, for altering the structure.
  • Bridget Highkin Bridget Highkin on Oct 14, 2016
    Steam to start, it will break up grease and dirt...follow it up with a strong cleaner (I use simple bleach, but and type of strong cleaner will work for this step.) when scrubbing the floor use a combination of rags for loose dirt, scrub brushes for stubborn dirt and crevices, and for an extra hand use toothbrushes with stiff bristles for super small crevices. After that (if you need it) use a grout cleaner, any hardware or large box store should carry something specific for grout... when you're done you'll have pretty much everything cleaned, but one more pass of steam will break up the last bit of really tough stuff that got left behind, plus it will help to get any cleaner residue off your floors so they will sparkle and be safe for your pets and kids...just saying, I know it's a lot of work and requires time the first time you do your floors like this, but the extra elbow grease will make each future cleaning easier and easier, totally worth it in the end!
  • Deb Dusseau Deb Dusseau on Oct 14, 2016
    Try Rejuvenate floor products. I purchased at Home Depot. Start with grout cleaner and you can maintain with the floor wash. Best product I have ever tried!
  • Barbara Wesolowski Barbara Wesolowski on Oct 14, 2016
    Box of baking Soda , half bottle of oxigen peroxide and sqirt of dish soap. Mix together. Smear on the tile and grout. Let it soak for 5 minutes. Little strobing for the grout, easy, not much effort. Rinse, and buff . I used old towels. Enjoy the clean and shine. This formula is great for tile countertops too.
    • Mary Quinsland Mary Quinsland on Oct 14, 2016
      I used the same formula on my tile counters this week, but I let it sit for an hour. I steamed it first, then just used an all purpose cleaner, then used the baking soda/hydro peroxide formula. I buffed it with rubbing alcohol. With a floor, you would probably want to wax or seal it. I know that my grout looks 100% better, though it was a lot of work.
  • Dan12000090 Dan12000090 on Oct 14, 2016
    Depends upon the type of tile and conditions. Maybe you need to remove old wax or sealant... I'd ask at a tile store, or at least the tile departments at the hardware stores, or Home Depots or Lowes. (Tile department, not the general cleaners section.) If what you use is too acidic or bleachy, you could damage the tile or grout over time and have to repair or buy your landlord new flooring. Even vinegar and citrus cleaners can be too acidic for some tile.
  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 14, 2016
    I just used clorox under rim toilet bowl cleaner and my grout looks like new!
    • Melissa McInnis Melissa McInnis on Oct 14, 2016
      Yup....I've used the same product on my linen (white) grout. Did a fabulous job - then I sealed it well. I can get by with just an annual deep cleaning using this process. I admit though, we had lots of company recently and I just couldn't find the hours needed to do grout cleaning...I hired Coit. They did an AMAZING job. So at least I have a Plan B when time isn't available.
  • Wendy Terrill Wendy Terrill on Oct 14, 2016
    Invest in a floor steamer. Your floors will look great and you don'the have to scrub anything.
  • Rosamond4 Rosamond4 on Oct 14, 2016
    I can't believe the look of my floors since I purchased an inexpensive steam cleaner. It wIll make all the difference. You will be surprised at the filth mopping leaves on your floors. Look for the most recommended brand around $100.
  • Eseaters Eseaters on Oct 14, 2016
    Hello! I have the old counter tops like your tile floors and a quick, easy and extremely cheap method is Hydrogen Peroxide! Just let it sit and bubble for a couple of minutes and wipe up. ( or mop with a Swiffer type mop because it won't spread it all over the place. ) After you've cleaned and "dried" your floors you want to see about getting a good grout sealer to help stop them from getting grody again. My sink area is the worst because although I have a dish washer.....I have OCD and still wash somethings by hand that could go into the wash....or worse, I will wash the tops of all my glasses and then put in the dishwasher. Anyway...hope this helps!
  • Kbr12976381 Kbr12976381 on Oct 14, 2016
    Hydrogen peroxide, will get the grout clean.
  • Susan Caswell Susan Caswell on Oct 14, 2016
    Agree,a steamer is a good idea. What ever you do,do not use a product like Mop&Glow. It would get into to cracks of the grout,turns yellow&appears even dirtier. Becomes very hard work to remove
  • Cathy Graham Cathy Graham on Oct 14, 2016
    I would call a cleaning service that does tile, Coit, and from then on you can keep it clean.
  • Sgo11469239 Sgo11469239 on Oct 14, 2016
    How do you use the peroxide?
  • Yan2420203 Yan2420203 on Oct 14, 2016
    baking soda and water and barely scrub. you will see. the very easiest way EVER!
  • Firefly Firefly on Oct 14, 2016
    I got sample pale blue color paint from lowes that was on sale for a $1, painted the grout .. It looks very neat.. Must try
  • AndradeTea AndradeTea on Oct 14, 2016
    I have this time and lighter grout in my home. I use a steam mop which takes care of the tile but the best cleaner I've found is called "Quick Job". You can buy online. It's a concentrated multi-use cleaner. I spray it on the grout, wait several minutes then clean with old toothbrushes. Wipe clean as you go. I've tried everything else but this cleaner really works. I use it on other things, too. It's the best cleaner for car rims!
  • Pat Pat on Oct 14, 2016
    Mix baking soda with Dawn to make a paste. Spread it over the tough to clean area(s). Allow it to sit at least 20 minutes (I found longer on really dirty areas better. Mop well with water and the "rinse" the floor with a mixture of vinegar and water (more vinegar than water is best. I used this on a shower floor that NOTHING else would clean -- looks clean as new. Good luck
  • Patty Patty on Oct 14, 2016
    I use a steamer fast and easy, but never ever use on laminate. I use steamer in the bathrooms on the tile floors and the tile tub surrounds, vanity tops around the faucets, it does a wonderful job and no scrubbing.
  • Lkt9844835 Lkt9844835 on Oct 14, 2016
    Use a steamer after pouring vinegar on it. Brings back the shine. As far as the paint. It was suggested that you paint the grout, not the tile. Use the same color as the grout.
  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Oct 14, 2016
    Have that here and I rent.Have tried the baking soda and dish soap.It leaves an awful residue!Do the heavy stained areas first.Rinse well.Use a solution of vinegar 1 cup to 4 cups of water.That will remove the residue!
  • Mcg7014346 Mcg7014346 on Oct 14, 2016
    Try mopping with generous amount of white vinegar, next couple of times, then always. Good luck
  • Porland1624 Porland1624 on Oct 14, 2016
    Huse warm water and vinagret and the going to shine,I have tile floors to
  • Connie Morris Connie Morris on Oct 14, 2016
    I tried everything on my floors that was suggested. I finally tried Clorox tolit bowl cleaner, scrubbed it in with a brush and let it set for 30 to 60 minutes, then rinsed. I used a grout sealer after rinsing thoroughly and letting it dry. Wow! I couldn't believe the difference.
  • Anna Anna on Oct 14, 2016
    I had to use Mr Clean magic sponges on my hands and knees. It was hard but worth it .
  • Gloria Bryant Gloria Bryant on Oct 14, 2016 An organic cleaner ith NO filler added. I have used it on old stains and every kind of mess. Check it out.
  • Mary Thorne Mary Thorne on Oct 14, 2016
    I can't clean grout for the life of me. I just ordered the Hurricane 360 Spin Scrubber. I'll let you know how it works when I get it.
  • MadameRã MadameRã on Oct 14, 2016
    •Currently on World trade made items,& all are hand made so therefore each one is going to be slightly different, not to mention you support many women working hard to earn some decent money, you can get some amazing woven plastic mats of all sizes/colours,& gosh the colours & patterns are fab also, additionially if you reverse them you have a different set of colours, all made from wasted plastic bottles, looks great on plain crapp tile floors that if you are like me, you will be never happy with how clean you'll get them for they are old & in no time become dirty again( unless you have lots of time hand scrubbing with bi-carb & Orange aroma oils, then you may need a white grout pen & go over ,that being every few months...*GIAM" is one company i know with some amazing items that come out, one just needs to do a little home work & if i wasn't moving myself & have packed mine i'd show you... Not only beautiful but tightly woven thus washing it the usual way with your favorite mop and warm water & a little bio soap & you have it cleaned. •I was using mine to not only cover white tiles but to make a hair studio section 'pop', to which the great part of reversing is you can change up some other small decor items & look like you have a different room in minutes... There are more companies that get involved with this but colour is what we live in, not so much white, which isn't a colour its a base shade like black, but white always reminds me of hospitals ( perhaps because i have personally had to spend much time in them, however those that havent agree that homes are looking to clinical..•just a thought)... So unless you love your cleaning to be frequent, look into these beautiful mats & support others in need at the same time, as well as saving Mother Earth.. M.Rã
  • MadameRã MadameRã on Oct 14, 2016
    ....if you must have tiles, then after a good hand & on your knees scrub, you can seal the floor easy with a good coconut oil..of coarse its firm already thus use only little amounts with proper cloth rags and polish in circles, this lasts forever...i even polish my boots/bags /jackets of pletha,& even wooden furnishings with coconut oil, but it must be of a reasonable quality, not cheap. M.Rã
  • Henrietta Burnett Henrietta Burnett on Oct 14, 2016
    I do not have windows in my bathroom. How do I stop mildew around my bath tub? I've tried cleaning with bleach and all kinds of bathroom cleaners and nothing works.
  • Latrisha Latrisha on Oct 14, 2016
    You can paint the tile
  • Lori Lori on Oct 14, 2016
    If the grout is the problem, mix equal parts peroxide and baking soda and use to remove dirt from grout lines. For tile, probably just hot water and vinegar. Since you rent, I wouldn't do anything permanent.
  • MadameRã MadameRã on Oct 15, 2016
    •If you can pick yourself up some Cedarwood (Atlas preferably) aroma oil,& a decent cold compressed coconut oil (as for cooking; you will find it firm so don't put into the fridge after opening, place in a cool dry dark space), then use always clean cleaning cloths, get as many as needed as once one is used well then it requires to be thrown... Place a teaspoon of coconut oil to 2-3 drops of the Cedarwood, place on cloth & after you have first washed your walls with bi-carb & rock salt, one tablespoon of each to a litre of warm water(explaination to long for why this must take place), after its dried rub the mixture in circles, both ways, getting into all nooks & crannies", thus creating a layer boundry over your walls. The contents in the Cedawood, combined with the coconut will kill off mould as its fungicidal. •If you have a problem with getting drops out of the aroma bottle(for Cedawood is of a tinture thus its thick/resin,)then carefully remove it using a large darning needle, then to estimate drops use a clean wooden bbq stick,& dip the tip in & take the drops out that way( you may need to use a tiny bit more this way but the drippers can block thus this is the next best way.) Do be prepared to put some elbow grease into this job for without day light, which really is a no no in a bathroom especially, you are not getting the right levels of chemicals from the daylight, a bit like not getting any vitiam D that every room needs..(& talking about that, i would look into a special Vit D light for the bathroom to stop further problems later, especially if the place isn't yours & you can not get a small window put in...i do hope a fan is installed at least,& if not then an upright standing fan pointed at the ceiling is needed while showering.) I hope that this might help you, kind thoughts M.Rã
  • Jfa12874354 Jfa12874354 on Oct 15, 2016
    Use a steamer cleans both the tiles and the grouting
  • Marcia_sinner Marcia_sinner on Oct 15, 2016
    Use Hydrogen Peroxide and a brush. Cleans grout really well and gets ground in dirt off tiles. It's cheap to do, but requires a little elbow grease!
  • Tom Nazziola Tom Nazziola on Oct 15, 2016
  • Kathi Davis Kathi Davis on Oct 15, 2016
    A less toxic way is to mix some white vinegar and water in a spray bottle,add some blue dawn,spray it on,let it set for a couple minutes then scrub it off,i used one of those very stiff sponges,got mine at the dollar store,they sell them in the big box stores and grocery stores as well.Rinse with water with just a little white vinegar,the vinegar helps with the removal of the soap,and makes them shine..
  • Jodi Rauth Jodi Rauth on Oct 15, 2016
    Yes hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and a bit of dawn dish liquid.
  • Michelle Dodson Michelle Dodson on Oct 15, 2016
    Thanks for all the input! The grout is dark brown, so to me it always looks dirty. I ordered a Hoover twin tank disinfecting steam mop from Overstock and will let you know how it turns out!
    • Ali Kay Ali Kay on Oct 29, 2016
      The grout may actually be a different color. NORMALLY , steam mop won't o it. Handheld steamer is better-with a very narrow tip-the smaller the better. SEE my post below.
  • Dl Dl on Oct 15, 2016
    put a round bristle brush on a cordless drill and no scrubbing on your part.
  • G_f9331208 G_f9331208 on Oct 15, 2016
    Since it is a rental, you have no history on what was used on it before. I always go to Mop & Glo as the culprit, which is an acrylic. I then immediately go to what is best & less time consuming to accomplish & easiest way to get to the best end of the project. I use a floor stripper, old dirty cleaning rags that are going to have to washed anyway, & a srub brush with a bucket half full of hot water to rinse the scrub brush. A little kneeling & elbow grease & 5min for each patch & it will all float off. After 5 min or so, you start to agitate the areas & then you wipe up the floor mess with the dry dirty rags. Repeat in another small area & you can do it in several small areas at the same time until all the floor is done. Then rinse/mop off this stripped floor with just water, usually cold, to get to the basic finish. Then you can start using vinegar & water to scrub your floor from then on.
  • Eva Voznek Rogers Eva Voznek Rogers on Oct 17, 2016
    My floor is 25 years old green & whitish checkerboard pattern. One day soon we'll replace it. There isn't much you can do except keep it as clean as you can and add a decor inspired throw carpet in strategic places to break up the monotony. I use a good floor steamer. Lifts dirt well, no streaks and no tackiness that just attracts new dirt.
  • Betty Young Betty Young on Oct 29, 2016
    Use toilet bowl cleaner to clean the grout. Just open the nozzle and squeeze in the grout line. Leave on about an hour and mop up. You have to mop it a few times to get it all up and if you can find a clear it is easier to get up. I used a grout brush on a few tough spots.
  • Ali Kay Ali Kay on Oct 29, 2016
    I rented a house in Germany with these exact floors throughout, and it was such a pain to try to make rhem appear to be clean in high traffic areas. I used a dremmel for the grout and just enough to grind off the brown layer. It worked WONDERS!! LIke new again! OF course you can't do that every time, bUT it works. I also found a grout cleaning rock (can't remember what it was called but was sold in stores) and I have also used a hand held steam leaner and steamed UT the grime. As you can tell, I spent a long time on the those were my top 3. Once clean, I sealed the grout and didn't have any more problems.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 25, 2022

    As you are only renting - put up with them or cover them with a rug! Or you could use stick on tiles to cheer them up.

  • Try vinegar. It will cut through anything that is still on it.

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 04, 2022

    Why not throw a few rugs down to cover the tile up?

  • I have used ammonia to clean kitchen floors. Often there is old wax build-up on them that makes them look dirty.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 23, 2024

    Do your best and then throw a kitchen rug over it!

  • Janice Janice on Feb 23, 2024

    Since the original question was posted way back in 2016, I'm sure the renter has moved on and doesn't need more answers. BUT, I'll share what I r☹️ecently discovered. I had used my stick steam mop on my tile floors and then for some reason decided to wipe a tile with a damp Mr. Clean Magic sponge that I'd just used on the bottom rim of a cup. Rinsed the sponge and wipe the tile on my floor and I was truly shocked😳 at how dirty the sponge was!

  • Dee Dee on Feb 24, 2024

    When I had that exact floor I used white vinegar, dawn and water. I also changed the grout color with Mapei Grout Refresh