How to Clean Terrazzo Floors

How to clean terrazzo tiles.

Terrazzo floors were invented by the Venetians around 500 years ago and were wildly popular in the United States from the 1920s to the 1970s. As a matter of fact, these stylish floors are still common in many commercial buildings, and can also be found in some residential homes. However, cleaning terrazzo tiles the right way is essential for keeping them looking good and preventing damage. Here we will show you how to do that.

Topics Covered

  • Terrazzo floor cleaner products
  • How to clean terrazzo floor tiles
  • Spot cleaning terrazzo floors
  • How to care for terrazzo floors

Terrazzo floor cleaner products

We, at, are advocates for toxic-free and natural cleaning products such as vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. But when it comes to terrazzo flooring, one has to be very careful, because a cleaning solution such as vinegar is too acidic, while hydrogen peroxide has too much alkaline – both which can strip the sealing and damage your floors with regular use.

Instead, it’s best to use a PH-balanced floor and tile cleaner. There are many such products available such as this one here.

How to clean terrazzo floor tiles

What you will need: Two mops – one for washing and one for drying, a towel, a neutral cleaner, and a bucket with warm water – or simply use this all-in-one cleaner and buffer. You will also need a broom.

Step 1: Sweep

Use the broom to thoroughly sweep the floor clean of any dust and debris that may be laying around on the surface.

Step 2: Wash the floor

Add your neutral cleaner to a warm bucket of clean water and thoroughly mop the floors with it. Afterward, let the chemicals sit on the floor for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse the floor

Never let the cleaning detergent dry on the floors because it could become sticky or create a white film on the surface. Therefore, always rinse the floors off with clean water before it dries.

Step 4: Dry the floor

Mop up the excess water with a dry mop and wipe dry with a towel.

Step 5: Buff (Optional)

Buffing your terrazzo floors is always a great idea. After all, how else will you get it to glisten and shine? You can do it the hard way – on your hands and knees, or make the task a whole lot easier and quicker with this.

How to spot clean terrazzo floors

There may be some leftover stains that your PH-balanced cleaning detergent didn’t properly remove. Such stains are usually rust or urine that has been left on the tiles for too long.

To remove such stubborn stains, soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, and place it directly onto the stain. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, before thoroughly rinsing it off. It’s okay to occasionally use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar for stubborn stains – as long as it’s not used regularly.

How to care for terrazzo floors

1: Use a ph-balanced cleaner specifically designed for terrazzo floors

Never use a standalone cleaning product that contains too much alkaline such as hydrogen peroxide or one that is too acidic like white vinegar. The results will be favorable but over time it causes irreversible damage to the floors. Products such as hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar can be sometimes used by mixing them in small quantities with a PH-neutral terrazzo floor cleaner or by using it occasionally for spot cleaning urine and rust stains.

2: Never allow the cleaning chemicals to dry on the floor

The correct cleaning solution needs a few minutes to loosen up dirt and stains. Rinse it off with water straight afterward and never allow the cleaning solution to dry on the floor because if it does, the floor will remain slippery.

3: Sweep daily

Accumulated dust and dirt has an abrasive effect on terrazzo floors. It’s recommended to sweep the floor daily to prevent scratches from appearing over time.

4: Seal with a water-based acrylic-sealer

Always use a water-based acrylic-sealer whenever sealing terrazzo floors because it’s the only type of sealer that is slip-resistant. It’s also recommended to strip the sealer and reseal the floor once a year.

More information

How to clean window sills.

How to clean bath mats.

Oriental rug cleaning guide.