How to Care for a Saltillo Tile Floor

What You'll Need
Soft bristled broom
Soft cloths
White vinegar
Warm water
Saltillo tile sealer
Sponge mop
Rubber gloves

A saltillo tile floor gives your home a uniquely attractive look. Authentic saltillo tiles are hand made from a special clay in the Mexican city of Saltillo. The clay is scooped from the earth and mixed with water. It is then cured and shaped by hand, sun-dried and fired in a kiln. The tiles may be sealed or unsealed. The majority have hues of yellow, orange and red. Brown colored tiles are also available. The tiles easily brighten up any room due to their bright color. Below is a guide on how to maintain your saltillo floor:

Step 1 – Sweep

It is best to sweep or vacuum the floor before you proceed with the rest of the cleaning. This clears the floor of loose dirt and debris.

Step 2 – Prepare Mop Solution

Prepare a solution of vinegar and warm water in a mop bucket. This is a gentle yet effective solution to clean your saltillo floor. It will not strip the floor of sealant. Add half a cup of vinegar for each gallon of warm water in a mop bucket. Mix the solution thoroughly. Place more plain warm water in a separate bucket. You will need both buckets in order to mop properly.

Step 3 – Mop with Vinegar and Water

Mop the floor with the vinegar and water solution. Wring the mop slightly before you mop. Too much water can damage the tiles. After each pass on the floor, rinse the mop in the bucket with plain warm water. This will ensure that you don’t put too much dirt into the vinegar and water solution. It is best to work in small sections for a thorough clean. Work from one side to the next as you move downwards.

Step 4 – Mop with Plain Water

Empty the water in the buckets. Rinse your mop thoroughly to remove dirt. Fill 1 bucket with plain warm water. Proceed to mop the entire floor as before, this time with plain warm water. It will help to clear any remnants of dirt. Wring out as much water as possible before you mop. It will prevent excessive water on the floor and allow you to clean better.

Step 5 – Apply Sealer

Use a sponge mop to apply saltillo tile sealer over the entire floor. It is best to begin at one end, proceed across and downwards. This will ensure you don’t miss out any sections of the floor. Apply the sealer evenly and allow it to dry. Use a damp cloth to clear any sealer spills.


  • Cleaning agents may irritate your skin. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from possible irritation.
  • Do not place very cold or hot items on your saltillo floor. It will damage the floor.
  • Be careful when you vacuum the floor. Do not bang the vacuum on the tile as it can cause the floor to chip.
  • Clay is extremely porous and absorbs spills easily. This causes stains to develop. Wipe away spills as soon as they occur.