5 Natural Ways To Make Your Tile Floors Shine (A Practical Guide)

Kenneth Wilson

Tile floors are a classy flooring material available in several different colors and designs. That said, more homeowners continue to choose tile flooring as it can easily blend with their existing interior decor. (Related: Tile Installation: A Cost & Consumer Guide)

Regardless, most tile floors may become dull and grimy once neglected. These floors lose their shimmer due to stains, dirt, and dust build-up.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help you with the most popular natural methods to bring back the shine of your tile floors.

Why do Tile Floors Lose their Shine?

Because of dirt, stains, and heavy wear– tile floors may become dull eventually. Aside from being visually unappealing, your floors may appear outdated to any onlookers.

So instead of ignoring these old, dull floors, you can follow natural methods to restore your tile floors to their former glory. The good thing here is you won’t need to spend much on commercial products. Additionally, it also protects the environment from possibly toxic chemicals.

For your reference, here are the most common culprits that may dull or stain your old tile floors:

  • Frequent exposure to water, dirt, and accidental liquid spills
  • High moisture levels. Poor ventilation may just encourage mold and mildew growth
  • Porous grout that tends to absorb more spills
  • Any soap scum build-up due to frequent bathing or mopping

Natural Ways to Make Your Tile Floors Shine

Fortunately, you can follow these easy methods to restore the old shine in your tile floors. Some of these materials may also be found in your household conveniently.

Method 1: Soapy Water

Let’s start with the classic soap and water solution to make your tile floors shine. Making a soapy water solution is relatively easy; simply add detergent into a mop bucket with warm water. Mix it thoroughly, and you’ll have a soapy solution. Now that you have the solution grab a mop to apply it to your floors seamlessly.


  • Soak the mop in the soapy solution and wring it appropriately before applying it across the floor.
  • Proceed to mop the floors thoroughly.
  • If you notice that the solution turns dirty (muddy), it might be time to replace it with a new one. Doing so helps avoid leaving behind visible dirt streaks on your tile floors.
  • Use a soft brush or a sponge to scrub it gently for harsher stain spots.
  • Rinse the floor using clean water afterward.

Method 2: Baking Soda Paste

Another common ingredient to clean stains on tile floors is baking soda. This is one of the best cleaners for different stains and dirt. In fact, many homeowners swear by this product.


  • Pour two gallons of warm water into a mop bucket.
  • Add ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of white vinegar, and a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap to the warm water mixture.
  • If you want your floors to have a fresh scent, add a few drops of scented essential oil.
  • Mix the paste thoroughly until it forms a paste.
  • Apply the baking soda paste onto the tiles (at least 20 minutes) before rinsing your tile floors.
  • To remove stubborn stains, it’s recommended to repeat the process as often as you deem fit.
  • Always wipe the surface dry after to eliminate excess moisture.

Method 3: Ammonia-Water Solution

Another excellent floor cleaner is ammonia, which can remove stubborn stains and restore the previous shine of your floor tiles.

Add a few drops into a mop bucket with warm water to make the ammonia solution. Dip the mop into the solution and wring thoroughly before mopping the entire floor. This solution is known to remove any visible dirt and stains and disinfect the floors.

For persistent stains: Use a sponge that’s soaked with the ammonia-water solution and gently scrub the stains until they start to fade. Rinse the floor and dry-mop afterward.


  • Mix ¼ cup of ammonia with a gallon of warm water.
  • Soak the mop in the solution before wringing out the excess water.
  • Mop the tile floors thoroughly. If there are faint yellow discolorations (or mildew), the ammonia helps restore the previous shine of your floor.
  • Rinse the solution with clean water
  • Wipe the floor dry using a washcloth to eliminate any residue left behind

Method 4: Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is a powerful natural cleaning agent that meets your different cleaning needs. To make a simple vinegar solution at home, combine 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar in a 1 gallon bucket of water.

The vinegar ingredient effectively disinfects your tile floors and deodorizes them. Once the vinegar dries, it leaves a natural scent on your floors, making any room smell fresh.

Alternative route: Pour the vinegar solution into a small spray bottle. You can opt to spray the tile floors in sections before wiping each area one by one.


  • Ensure that the windows are open to give proper ventilation to the area.
  • Add half a cup of white vinegar into two gallons of warm water.
  • Dip the mop into the cleaning solution, and don’t forget to wring it properly to avoid applying an excess solution.
  • Dry-mop using a towel to remove lingering moisture and help the floors dry entirely.
  • Apply baking soda to the affected areas for stubborn stains and scrub it gently.

Pro tip: Do not mix the vinegar solution with any bleach to avoid potentially dealing with a health hazard.

Method 5: Ammonia, Borax, and Vinegar

Combining several household items such as ammonia, borax, and vinegar is also possible to make a powerful tile flooring cleaner. This can be effective in removing stubborn soap scum and dirt build-up, to name a few.


  • Mix ½ cup of white vinegar, ½ cup of ammonia, and ¼ cup of borax in a gallon of warm water
  • Stir slightly to combine the ingredients well
  • Mop your tile floors using this cleaning solution before rinsing it well.
  • Ensure that the floors are air-dried entirely.

Bonus: High Gloss Tile Sealer

After cleaning your old tile floors with natural methods, it’s recommended to apply a coat of high gloss tile sealer to protect the shine and increase its longevity.

Always choose the right product specifically designed for your tile floors at home. Keep in mind that many high-gloss sealers are designed for natural stone tiles rather than ceramic ones. Test the product on a sample tile to ensure it doesn’t cause any issue.

Topical sealer may fade or be scratched in the long run, so remember that the results may not be long-lasting. As such, you can opt to strip and re-apply the sealing product.

4 Expert Tips to Keep in Mind

Now that we’ve covered some of the most popular natural methods to bring back the shine of old tile floors, here are some expert-backed tips to keep in mind. These will help you achieve the best results.

  • Keep it light - Do not leave water pooling for too long on the tile floor surface. Remember that tiles may absorb the standing water and result in stubborn, visible marks.
  • Give the grout some cleaning - Many homeowners forget the grout and thus skip cleaning it along with the tiles. Ideally, clean the grout at least once a month to keep them looking their best.
  • Natural ingredients are safer than commercial products - Keep in mind that the natural methods of bringing back your tile floors’ old shine are safer than using commercial cleaning agents. If you have children or pets at home, this benefit is worth considering.
  • Clean up spills immediately - One fool-proof way to avoid visible stains is to clean up any spills immediately. You can also use a vinegar-water solution in a small spray bottle to do this.
Kenneth Wilson
January 19, 2022
Contractor Tips, Flooring

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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