Floor cleaning devices can cost quite a lot of money, and it’s understandable why someone would want to avoid buying a new appliance and instead try to do their cleaning tasks with the one-two devices they have. Sometimes, this will work.
But will a Hoover (or any other carpet cleaner for that matter) carpet cleaner work on tile floors?
The quick answer is no, you won’t be able to use your Hoover carpet cleaner on tile floors. In fact, it doesn’t really matter if your carpet cleaner is made by Hoover or Bissell or any other brand – unless the carpet cleaner is also designed with tiles in mind, it most likely is unsuitable for tile cleaning.
Carpets and tile floors are completely different surfaces, and needless to say, a carpet cleaner is specifically designed to make carpet cleaning easier. A carpet cleaner is overkill and could even be damaging to your tile floors.
Why Hoover Carpet Cleaner won’t Work on Tile Floors?
To understand why a carpet cleaner won’t work on tile floors, we need to understand how carpet cleaners work.
Carpet cleaners use the following three tools to clean carpets:
- A rotating brush to agitate, scrub and loosen dirt or stains on the surface of the carpet.
- A dispenser to dispense a mix of water and the selected detergent to soften contaminants sitting deeper in the carpet fibers.
- Suction to lift the loose dirt and debris away.
Two of these could actually be useful for tile cleaning – suction and the detergent dispenser. However, the presence of the brush makes carpet cleaners completely unsuitable for tiles.
The brushes used in carpet cleaners can be quite coarse. Needless to say, a brush rotating at a high speed is very likely to cause damage to delicate tile floors.
The purpose of the brush in a carpet cleaner is to loosen dirt that’s sitting on the carpet fibers. This is not necessary when dealing with tiles. Aside from that, the brush can actually make your job more difficult on tile or hard floors since it may just push the dirt away and scatter it around the floor.
The brush is thus overkilling for tile cleaning, can damage your tile floor, and may also create an even bigger mess.
And this isn’t even all.
Another issue that you may actually run into is the hard metal piece usually mounted at the front of carpet cleaners. This piece of metal won’t do anything to carpets, but it will most likely scratch your tile floors. The same applies to wheels that carpet cleaners usually have.
The dispenser may also actually be problematic. Some carpet cleaners spray the cleaning solution in all directions. Carpet fibers readily absorb the detergent, but tile doesn’t do so obviously.
Unless you are lucky to have a carpet cleaner that has a switchable brush, doesn’t have a metal guard in the front, and sprays the cleaning solution only in one direction, don’t use your carpet cleaner on tile floors.
There are carpet cleaners out there designed for use on carpets as well as hardwood floors.
An example of such a carpet cleaner is Hoover’s Max Extract Dual V All-terrain carpet cleaner.
Featuring a removable nozzle and several brush speeds, this carpet cleaner is also designed for hardwood floor cleaning. It can probably be used on tile floors as well, but we can’t give any recommendations since Hoover doesn’t say anything about tile floors.
What Could You Use Instead To Clean Your Tile Floors?
If you can’t use a carpet cleaner on tile floors, what could you use instead?
Well, there are a few devices that are no less effective on tile floors than carpet cleaners on carpets.
First off, we have steam mops, a more convenient and effective replacement for traditional mops. Employing steaming-hot water, steam mops are quite effective at removing tough and sticky stains.
Apart from that, the high water temperatures achieved by a steam mop are very effective at killing household bacteria, with the most effective steam mops being capable of eliminating 99.99% of them (though this will depend on whether you use your steam mop properly).
Keep in mind that steam mops shouldn’t be used on tile types that are sensitive to water, e.g. adhesive tiles. While steam mops leave little to no water behind, these small amounts of water could nonetheless damage the adhesive and make your tiles come off.
Besides, remember that tile grout is also sensitive to water, so you will need to make sure to occasionally clean it to prevent mold and mildew.
A vacuum cleaner is perhaps the least damaging cleaning device that you could use on your tile floors – this is because vacuum cleaners don’t use any water.
With a soft-bristled attachment, a vacuum cleaner can help you get rid of loose dirt and dust lingering on the tile. Wet/dry vacuums are also capable of removing spills.
Needless to say, employing just suction, vacuum cleaners aren’t going to be effective at removing tough, sticky messes. This is where steam mops come in.
But before steam mopping your floor, you should actually give it one or two passes with a vacuum to remove any loose dust and dirt. Otherwise, your steam mop may just smear the dust and dirt around, not to mention that its microfiber pads will get dirty quicker.
Floor buffers aren’t designed to clean floors – rather, they are used to give tile floors a shiny look, but not every floor buffer is going to be right for the job. Some buffers are heavy enough to crack the tile, so you shouldn’t use a heavy floor buffer on delicate tiles.
Finally, if you have a pressure washer, know that you could use it to quickly remove even the toughest stains from your floor. Pressure washers can be more effective than steam mops at removing grease, but a pressure washer may not be as effective when it comes to germ removal.
With a pressure washer, you will need to be very careful with the tile grout. Unless you are 100% sure that the tile grout and caulk joints are perfectly intact, avoid using a pressure washer. Pressurized water can force itself into tiny gaps and easily get under the tiles or behind the wall materials next to the tile.
Things To Keep In Mind With Different Types Of Tile
Before picking a cleaning solution for your tile floors, there are a few things to be aware of. The thing is that tile floors aren’t equal – there are different types of tile floors that have specific weaknesses that you should keep in mind. What will work for one tile type may be damaging to the other.
Porcelain & ceramic tiles
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are incredibly durable, and they can take various kinds of cleaning solutions without damage. Besides, these tile varieties don’t get damaged even in standing water.
With that said, while tiles do not get damaged, the tile grout might. We’ve briefly mentioned this a little bit earlier.
It’s fairly easy to remove even the toughest stains from porcelain and ceramic tiles, but it’s not as easy to ensure that your tile grout stays intact. With this in mind, you need to occasionally clean your tile grout. Besides, minimize its exposure to water and do spot cleaning whenever possible.
You may also seal the grout to make cleaning easier, but the seal isn’t really designed to take water often. It’s more to protect the grout from spilled liquids, dirt, and grime.
Stone tiles are sensitive to chemicals used in traditional cleaners. When cleaning stone tiles, make sure to use cleaning solutions specifically designed for natural stone.
Vinyl or cork tiles
Vinyl, linoleum, or cork tiles are very different from traditional porcelain or ceramic tiles. Their cleaning requirements are likewise different.
With vinyl tiles, it’s generally recommended to avoid steam mopping due to potential gaps in this tile type.
Cork tiles may be cleaned with a mix of water and mild detergent, but only if it is sealed. Otherwise, you will have to follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer of the tile.
Can’t you adapt a carpet cleaner for tile cleaning somehow?
You might try to DIY your carpet cleaner into a tile cleaner, but we would discourage you from doing so.
If your tile floors are small, then it would probably be easier for you to just hand-wash it. And if it’s very big, then buying a more effective cleaning device would be more reasonable.
How about portable carpet cleaners? These don’t have brushes or metal guards on their suction heads.
Portable carpet cleaners would only be suitable for spot cleaning since they have small cleaning attachments. A portable carpet cleaner thus would be unsuitable for cleaning an entire kitchen floor.
Not only that, but it would probably be less effective than a steam mop at removing tough stains. Besides, the manufacturer of the carpet cleaner may even void the warranty if it’s used on any other surface than carpet or upholstery.