The Best Way To Clean Your Terracotta Floor Tiles

The beautiful, rusty red-colored terracotta floor tiles are made from clay and baked in a kiln. These tiles are known for their durability and can last a long time on your floors. Another benefit of terracotta floor tiles is that they are antibacterial and resistant to mold growth, according to pFOkUS.

However, terracotta tiles aren't glazed, meaning the clay is left exposed unless you apply a sealant on your floors after they are installed. When terracotta floors are not sealed, they are prone to absorbing moisture which can cause staining. This is because, without a glaze, there is no protective layer stopping the clay from absorbing spills. Unsealed tiles are also vulnerable to becoming scratched. Without sealant, terracotta tiles also will become dirtier quicker. Whether your terracotta floor tiles are sealed or not, the best way to clean your tiles is by vacuuming or sweeping and then mopping with a mild detergent, like dish soap.

Vacuum or sweep

No matter if your terracotta floor tiles are sealed or unsealed, you can clean them the same way. One tip to keep in mind, though, is that unsealed floor tiles are more fragile than sealed, so you should take extra care not to scratch them. This means staying away from using anything rough to sweep the floor, such as wire brushes. 

Before you can wash your floors, you want to get rid of any loose dust, crumbs, and dirt. All Flooring Directory explains that the first step when cleaning terracotta tile floors is sweeping or vacuuming them. Unsealed terracotta tiles should be swept daily to remove this debris and prevent damage to the tiles. Sealed tiles should also be swept or vacuumed regularly, but they do not need to be cleaned as often. If the tiles are in a high-traffic area in your home, you can sweep them more frequently than other parts of your home.

Mop with dish soap

The next step when cleaning terracotta floor tiles is to mop them. It is the same method for sealed or unsealed terracotta tiles. Instead of using any harsh cleaners, the best soap to use is dish soap. To mop your terracotta tile floor, first fill a bucket with warm water and some of your choice of dish soap, according to Express Flooring. It will be easiest to use a mop for this step, but you can also use a sponge. 

Halfway through mopping your floors, be sure to empty the bucket in a toilet and refill the bucket with fresh warm water and soap so you aren't cleaning your floors with dirty water. After your floors have been cleaned, they need to be dried. To do this, use a cloth to wipe down the floors. One way to make this easier is to fold the towel over a broom and sweep the floors dry.