Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner On Tile Floors

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Many homes will have several kinds of flooring already installed. Aesthetically, this can help add that extra something to your living space. But with all these different types of floors you will need different ways of cleaning them to ensure longevity and efficiency. Many vacuums come with a tile and carpet option for getting surface dirt, but you still have to go in and wash your tile floors.

So, can you use a carpet cleaner on your tile floors? No , you should not use a carpet cleaner on your tile or wood floors. A carpet cleaning machine can be rather rough, pulling and squeezing the fibers in a carpet to clean them out. This action could damage other types of flooring.

But how would you go about safely cleaning your tile floors if you can’t use a carpet cleaner on them? Today is your lucky day! We’ve put together a quick and handy little guide down below on why you should not use carpet cleaners on tile flooring, and great tips on how to properly get those floors clean instead.

Why you shouldn’t use carpet cleaners on tile floor

Before you break out the carpet cleaners and go to work on your nice tile floors, let’s explore the details of why this would be a bad idea. A carpet cleaner machine is often a large, unwieldy machine with little comb teeth. Think of them as a brush or comb going through your hair.

Damaging Floors

While in use, the teeth on a carpet cleaner spin, rotate, agitate, and interact with the fibers in carpets. This movement could easily scratch up tile, tear vinyl, and damage wood flooring. They are truly that powerful.

Even just running the wheels of a heavy carpet cleaning machine over your tile, hardwood, or vinyl flooring could cause damage. This could be scratches, dents, or gouges out of the floor, all without even turning the thing on.

Hardwood floors were never meant to be deluged with water. Yet carpet cleaners use copious amounts of water to do their job. You could easily destroy a hardwood floor with a carpet cleaner in just one go.

The chemicals used in carpet cleaning solutions were not meant to be used on flat, nonporous, water-resistant surfaces. This alone could cause major damage to your floors.

Damaging the Machine

All of this damage listed above isn’t even considering the damage you could do to that expensive carpet cleaning machine! They’re not designed to handle the smooth, flat surfaces you find with tile and vinyl. And the wood grain in hardwood floors has the potential to grab and snag the carpet cleaning teeth, causing all kinds of bad things to happen inside the machine.

Hazards for Humans

One problem with using a carpet cleaner on tile flooring that doesn’t get mentioned enough is the hazard to humans. Not only are you releasing potentially harmful chemicals onto a surface they were never meant to touch, but the amount of water and slippery soap coming out of the machine creates a huge slipping hazard.

Damage Time Frame

This damage to your flooring and the machine could happen right away or happen over time, of course, but the fact still stands. Using a carpet cleaner on your tile floors, or anything that is not carpet, could end badly for the floor and the machine. And any way you look at it, it’s an expensive mistake.

Can You Use Carpet Cleaner Soaps on Tile Floor?

Not all soaps and cleaning agents are created for multiple uses. While it may not be ideal to use carpet specific cleaners on surfaces like tile, you could in theory do so. But it’s not really recommended.

Carpet cleaning solutions and soaps are made with the intent to be used on carpets and rugs. These are designed to get down into the fibers of the carpet to loosen dirt and grime. Then it’s supposed to be sucked dry by the carpet cleaning machine.

Tile floors are not made with the same fibers, and so the cleaners may not have the desired cleaning effect. These cleaners may also damage certain floor types like vinyl or wood, while also making them a tad slick. Using such products may also just not clean those tile floors while making things soapy and slippery.

What is a Carpet Cleaner?

Carpet cleaning machines come in a variety of types and styles. Depending on what your budget is and how much space you wish to dedicate to the item, you will have many options. These days many types come in a handy vacuum sized machine, but you can also get some really monstrous carpet cleaners, too.

Each carpet cleaner comes with at least two water chambers. One for dirty water, and one for clean. Some types will come with hose and nozzle attachments as well. These aid in cleaning different corners or hard to reach spaces.

Tile Floor Cleaners

Hard flooring comes in so many types, it can feel a little daunting figuring out which cleaners you should get. Worry not! We’ve gone through and picked out a few of the best cleaners that cover a wide variety of flooring. Many types of floor cleaners intended for tile or other hard floors will be concentrate, so you may need to dilute them as per instructions on the product bottle.

Another thing you should look at is if a product will work on the specific surface you need. Some cleaners work best on certain materials, and the bottle should inform you which types they work with. These same cleaners should also tell you which surfaces you should never use them on.

A great floor cleaner with a strong scent is Pine Sol. This cleaner works on most floor types and comes in concentrate form. That means you’ll have to dilute this solution with some water. Pine Sol is available in most stores with other cleaning supplies, but you can easily find it online as well. This long-time favorite in households around the globe is a trusted brand.

A lot of people recommend Black Diamond Stoneworks cleaner for any natural stone and tile floors. This is another very concentrated formula, so be sure to dilute it following instructions on the bottle. Failing to dilute properly could result in damage to your natural stone and tile floors.

If you are on a tight budget, fret not! Aunt Fannie’s floor cleaner is wonderfully priced and comes in a variety of fantastic scents. Pet and family safe, this vinegar-based cleaner may be a great choice for you.

Last and most certainly not least is the popular brand Bona. Bona is a great cleaner for many types of hard floors. You can find this floor cleaner in most stores with the cleaning supplies, and the best part is it comes in a pre-mixed solution so you don’t have to fiddle with buckets and mixing ratios!


Using carpet cleaners or carpet specific cleaning agents on hard floors like tile is not recommended, and may ultimately destroy or damage the floor. There are lots of different cleaning solutions out there to use on tile floors as well as natural stone flooring. Just be sure to check what floors each cleaner works with and if it will need to be diluted or not.

Related Questions

Can you use carpet cleaner on laminate flooring?

It would be best to avoid using carpet cleaners and abrasive tools on laminate flooring as it could get damaged.

Can you use carpet cleaners on vinyl flooring?

You should avoid using carpet cleaners as well as detergents or ammonia and ammonia based cleaners.