She’s a filthy, dirty floor

How to clean tile floors.

I have a confession to make. I have a love/hate relationship with my kitchen floor. The tiles are comfortably cool in the summer and cold as hell-freezes-over in the winter. Wet, soppy messes aren’t a problem, but drop a glass, plate or presumably, a small child, and you’re certain to break something. That floor is hard. It’s cold. That floor is always ALWAYS filthy. I guess it was never properly sealed after installation or some such nonsense (I just live here). And because of that, the floor attracts dirt. The tiles have these cussed little crevices that hold stains and drips and the endless patter of dirty feet — some bare, some wearing barn boots — even though they’re well aware I will freak out and yell when I see THAT happening.

My children were not born in a barn, but they think barn boots are fine anywhere and always. Grrr!

How to clean your tile floor.

Finally — after nearly nine years of griping, complaining, bemoaning and using every cleaner known to man, I have discovered the rather simple solution to getting rid of grime. Yes, I know you’re appalled at that photo. Me too! I mean, I knew my tile was dirty, but dang I had no idea how dirty. (My mother is rolling over in her grave at the sight of this photo made public. And she’s not even dead.)

The closest thing to clean this tile has ever been was a hearty scrubbing with bleach water. And because I don’t take proper precautions with anything (I once tried to open a container of cocoa with the blunt end of a serrated bread knife. The cut on my thumb required four stitches), my hands would also become bleached and irritated. And my clothes would be splattered with bleached spots. And oh, what a complete catastrophe.

I usually scrub my floor with bleach water a couple times a year and pretended it was beige, not off-white the rest of the time. I know, how disgusting. But I did sweep and mop it … I really did and do. It just never comes close to a polished pearly white. I didn’t realize it WAS so white!

Until now. 

How to clean your tile floor.

I have found the oh-so-simple solution to keeping tile floors clean. 

Oh sure, it requires a lot of elbow grease and my knees are still sore from scrubbing like Cinderella, BUT. The grime came off. That dirt up there? It’s not a shadow or trick of light — that’s the grime on the lower side of that grout line and the clean floor on the other side. And all it took was …. drum roll …

tile3

Oxi Clean. Yeah, that’s right. Mix up some OxiClean Stain Remover in a big bucket of hot water and watch the wonders never cease. Who knew?! Did you? Were you aware how wonderful that stuff really is?!

How to clean tile floors.

  • Mix OxiClean with hot water according to package directions (one scoop per gallon of water)
  • Slop the water onto your tile floors with a scrub brush or rag. I love this Libman No Knees Floor Scrubber (it prevents an aching back!).
    If tile is really dirty, allow water to sit for up to three minutes (the bleaching power works wonders!)
  • Then build your biceps, triceps and trapezius muscles by scrubbing like the dickens.
  • Wipe up dirty water with a towel. Then wipe with a clean, dry towel. (P.S. You’ll have to wash those towels in OxiClean, too. Mine were filthy!)
  • Repeat section by section until your floor is glistening.

Note: I have no idea how well this works on glazed tile or dark-colored tile. And knowing the attributes of marble, I would definitely not use it there, although I know very few people with marble floors.

When you’re finished and you’ve enjoyed a well-deserved back rub from your husband, stand back and admire your work. And then spend the next week threatening the inhabitants of your home not to track mud, dirt, crumbs or fluids onto that floor, OR ELSE! And then stock up on the miraculous wonder of OxiClean (the good people at OxiClean have no idea who I am, I just fell in love with the wonderful stuff!). And then scrub away, darlings. It’s worth it!

Oh, and see a chiropractor. Maybe schedule a professional massage. And knee pads … you’ll want knee pads. And music, of course. Something with a good beat.

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

8 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Sal May 29, 2014 (7:40 pm)

    Looks great! Are you going pro? I hate scrubbing floors.

    • comment-avatar
      Connie May 31, 2014 (8:05 am)

      My kitchen tile is glazed dark brown plus I had the grout colored brown. So it’s likely as stained as yours but I can’t tell so I don’t have to worry about it.

  • comment-avatar
    Brenda June 17, 2014 (11:20 am)

    My husband is going to get some oxi clean right now. I have been on hands and knees trying to get my tile clean, and this is my last resort. My floors look like yours before you cleaned them so wish me luck!!

  • comment-avatar
    Lisa July 22, 2014 (4:41 pm)

    I have done that several times in the last five years. I hated it every time but it works. Your floor looks great in the “clean side” pics.

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko July 22, 2014 (8:23 pm)

      Oh, do I hate it … but it does look so much better! Happy scrubbing!

  • comment-avatar
    Michelle October 9, 2014 (10:58 am)

    Wow, it looks amazing! My tile looks EXACTLY like yours does in the dirty side… I’ve just been telling myself that’s how it’s supposed to look (I know it’s a lie.) Now I feel like I have to do this…

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko October 9, 2014 (4:38 pm)

      Good luck! If it’s any consolation, I need to do mine again, too!

  • comment-avatar
    Joyce November 27, 2014 (10:49 pm)

    I love my tile. I love that I can just quickly clean with a Swiffer. When it needs mopping I use one of those Floormates to clean it. If grease spills I make a paste of baking soda and water, scrub in the grout and leave to dry, then vac up. In winter we use those oil filled heaters in areas that need a boost. They warm the tile right up! We have solar pwnels on our roof so electric heat is free for us!