How to Clean High-Gloss Kitchen Tiles Without Streaks

Updated on February 4, 2020
Susan Hambidge profile image

Susan prefers to use natural ingredients whenever possible in the home and garden. It is usually cheaper, easier and greener.

Keeping High-Gloss Tiles Looking New

I have had these black glossy tiles for a few years now, long enough to know that, after installing trendy glossy tiles into a kitchen, you need to clean them often to keep them looking their best. They are really nice to look at, but only if they are spotless. They show grease splatters, finger smudges and water marks quite easily, so you need to know how to clean them to a streak-free finish if you're not going to hate your new tiles.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Glossy Tiles

  1. Gather together liquid soap (washing-up liquid), three lint-free cloths and hot water. That's all you need, no expensive gadgets or chemicals.
  2. Mix the soap with hot water just as if you were going to do the dishes. Soak the first cloth in this and wash the wall tiles to remove the grime. Do a whole wall or the backsplash at the same time, if you just do part of the wall you will see where you stopped cleaning. If it is a greasy area, you might need to wash the areas twice.
  3. Take the second cloth—a completely clean cloth—and wet it in clean water with nothing added to it. Now wash the whole area of tiles again, but this time you are rinsing off the detergent.
  4. Finally, take the third clean cloth and use it to dry the tiles. Polish the whole area quite rapidly. You don't need to work too hard, just dry the tiles off quickly.

The trick to a good finish is completing all of these steps in one go. Choose one wall at a time and don't pause between the four steps, then move onto the next wall. If you try to do too much and the tiles dry before you buff them, you will get water marks and streaks. If this happens, simply start the process again. Once you get the hang of it, it is quick to do.

You should now have clean tiles that are shiny and streak free. It is important to use separate cloths each time, if you don't you will end up with streaks and smears. I clean the backsplash behind the cooker top every day after dinner as part of the clear up routine, and it takes only two minutes. This is the area that gets the greasiest in my home. The rest of the kitchen gets done once a week and takes me about 10 minutes.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1. Wash and rinse the tiles.2. Polish the tiles after rinsing with a dry cloth.3. End result.
1. Wash and rinse the tiles.
1. Wash and rinse the tiles.
2. Polish the tiles after rinsing with a dry cloth.
2. Polish the tiles after rinsing with a dry cloth.
3. End result.
3. End result.

End Result

Which Cloths to Use to Clean Glossy Tiles

The best cloths to use to stop streaks on high-gloss tiles are the micro fibre ones. The great thing about these is that you can stick them in the washing machine and use them over and over again. In fact, in my opinion, they work better after they've had a couple of washes and have really softened up. They can also be used on glass with streak-free results.

Another thing you can use is old cotton tee shirts, if you like to recycle and reuse. If you cut them up, however, the fraying ends will often leave a trail of cotton behind.

What About Glossy Black Floor Tiles?

The same principles apply to cleaning glossy floor tiles. I do mine very quickly in the same way each night after the dinner things have been cleaned away.

  1. I quickly mop the floor with hot water and a little liquid soap. I don't dip the mop in and out, I just soak the mop once and run it all of the floor in one hit.
  2. I then repeat with a clean mop head just dipped into clean water only.
  3. I follow by a quick—and I mean very quick—polish with a dry cloth on my hands and knees.

The glossy floor tiles are, in my opinion, not worth installing if you are thinking about it. Wall tiles are worth the work and do stay clean most of the day until dinner time, but the floor tiles show marks the moment someone walks on them, and it just gets worse during the day. Unless you clean the floor every hour, they look mucky to some degree. So if you're thinking about them, my suggestion is to avoid them!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Susan Hambidge


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    • Susan Hambidge profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hambidge 

      5 months ago from Kent, England

      Leanne, I am so pleased to hear that you've been helped by this article. I too have large microfibre mop where the fabric just slides on and off. They are great! When the time comes, however, I will replace my shiny tiles with matt ones!!

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      I have been cleaning my white high gloss floor tiles on my hands and knees since they were installed. I also did it in my old house with black high gloss floor tiles (nope I don’t learn the first time round). I use washing up liquid and hot water to clean then I dry each tile individually. It takes me easily an hour as I have about 45 tiles. I constantly look online for different solutions to make it easier and quicker. I’ve tried them all, every new product, every product that promises streak free finish, I’ve bought them all and nothing works. Today I found your page and thought, why have I never thought to do this before, it’s exactly what I do but with the a mop instead of by hand. So I went out and bought a new mop with several mop heads. I can’t believe how quick it was. And how much it saved my back and knees and hands from aching. I also bought a rectangle shaped mop which has a micro fibre cover with two different kinds of surface and you can flip it over. I used this to dry off the floor which saved going down to dry them. I’m over the moon!

    • Susan Hambidge profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hambidge 

      21 months ago from Kent, England

      Agnes - If you read through my instructions, you will see that simple water, dish soap and clean cloths are all you need. I have never used polish to clean my black gloss tiles. Try my method.

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      I'm struggling with gloss black tiles, which polish is the best?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      cleaning black tile is hard

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      They are beautiful but can you image them after cooking bacon?


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