How do you know if your tile floors actually need a deep clean? They may look pretty good from five or six feet up where your eyes are, but in fact they could need a deep clean. The best way to tell is with a wipe test. Take a clean kitchen towel and just wipe it over the floor and see what comes up. Another method is to put on a pair of white socks and walk across the floor. Either way, you will soon know if it needs a deep clean.
You may even have just damp mopped your tile floor and you obviously believe it is clean, but is it? Another way of testing is the touch test. This is really simple, because all you do is to run your hand over the floor. Does it feel sticky? If it does, it is not clean. The sticky residue is usually caused by the harsh detergents that are used, and they often don't rinse clean from the floor. That sticky residue will simply glue more dirt to the floor.
Another test is to look at the floor. If the tile is supposed to be shiny, does it look shiny? Looking at any crevices in the floor surface and the grout can you see any dirt? Ask yourself this question: having mopped it, is it clean enough to eat your dinner off? If it isn't, then it's time to deep clean tiled floors.
Before you start, and on the assumption that your tiles are porcelain or ceramic, which is usually the case, you need to know what sort of dirt you are trying to clean. If it is your kitchen floor, then the most likely answer is grease and grime. In this case you need a cleaner that will cut grease. However, if it is in the bathroom and shower, then then it is probably soap scum. In this case you need a cleaner that will remove soap scum and a hard brush that is good for removing it. A soft cotton mop may be good enough for smooth tiled floors, but rough textured surfaces will need the brush.
Sweeping works well for many floors, but vacuuming is a better choice, even for tile floors. Most vacuum cleaners have a hard floor setting, but if not, raise the height setting to the maximum in order to avoid scratching the tiles. This makes mopping easier and prevents dirt that could be left behind after sweeping from being spread about.
You also need to understand the type of tile surface that you have. Any natural stone such as travertine, marble, and granite, can be sensitive to some of the chemicals in modern cleaning products, so you should only ever use products that are recommended by the tile manufacturer. Ceramic tiles are ideal for mopping, and a general-purpose cleaner is OK for daily mopping, but not all tiles are the same and some tile cleaners can dull or mar tiles. Again, make sure that you use tile and grout cleaners that the manufacturer recommends.
For porcelain tiles it is important to use an alkaline-based cleaner as this will break down the grime in the tiles and the grout. Use hot water and follow the cleaner manufacturer's instructions regarding dilution. Mop the floor over with the solution and leave it for 30 minutes or so, but don't let it dry. If needed, re-apply the cleaning solution for a second time. Then rinse off with cold water. You may need to rinse twice if all the surface has not been cleaned of the detergents that you are using. However, if you are working with dirt and grime that has really caked on to the tiles you may need to hire an electric scrubbing machine to produce a first-class result.
With all that said, the best method of keeping your tiled floors clean is prevention. Take steps to keep it from getting dirty in the first place. A mat placed both outside and inside each door can help considerably. You need to ensure that you clean the mats regularly. Another very good idea is to remove your shoes at the door.