Do Home Tile Cleaning Remedies Really Work?

Thrifty homeowners often turn to alternative cleaning solutions to keep their tile floors shining and spotless, but is this really the most effective choice? Although these popular home remedies tend to be less expensive than a professional cleaning service, they can also do irreparable harm to you and your flooring if not used correctly. If you are considering skipping your next cleaning appointment in favor of scrubbing your floor on your own, be sure to understand these common cleaning materials and how they can help or harm your tile beforehand. 

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is often recommended to clean stone tiles like travertine or slate, but it can be dangerous to handle and can also damage your floor if not mixed correctly. In fact, without neutralizing the acid and then washing your floor after cleaning, it may not even be safe to walk on. Muriatic acid is also not recommended by most because it dissolves materials found in tiles, slowly deteriorating them over time. 


Bleach is another common cleaning solution that can be effective when used sparingly but is often mishandled. If not diluted adequately, bleach can burn your skin, and its fumes are hazardous without enough ventilation. Furthermore, if your tiles are not white, they will slowly bleach and fade with every new cleaning. This means that bleach can only be used in specific circumstances, and even then it is not entirely safe. Never mix bleach with other chemical cleaners, including vinegar and ammonia; doing so will create toxic gases. 


Vinegar is one of the most useful and harmless alternative cleaning remedies for tiles, due to the fact that it is non-toxic and has anti-microbial properties. When combined with baking soda, it can be an even more effective cleaning mixture. The trouble with vinegar, of course, is its powerful smell, which may linger even after the cleaning solution has dried. Because vinegar is acidic, it should never be used on travertine or similar tiles. 

Professional Cleanings

Tiles are made of many different materials, and it can be difficult to predict how any floor will react to a certain chemical. Relying on a professional tile cleaning service entrusts your flooring to experts, who will know exactly which cleaning substances to use to scrub away grime without damaging tiles or people in the process. If you are at all uncertain about the safety or efficacy of do-it-yourself cleaning remedies, it may be wiser to invest in a periodic deep cleaning from a company like Leo's Holland Floor Maintenance that will extend the lifespan of your floor while also keeping it looking like new for years to come.