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Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On Tile Floors Or Not?

Can you use a carpet cleaner on the tile floors? A common question in the minds of many households. 

A carpet cleaner is a great cleaning tool that removes stubborn stains, picks up dirt and grime from many surfaces like carpets, furniture, car upholstery, etc. But the question is, can you use a carpet cleaner on the tile floor as well?

Can you use a carpet cleaner on tile floors?

Unfortunately, carpet cleaners are not recommended to be used to clean tile floors –  neither ceramic, porcelain, granite nor vinyl – or hardwood floors. The reason is that a carpet cleaner is specifically designed to clean only carpet or soft surfaces like upholstery, mattress, etc. Cleaning a tile floor with carpet cleaner will damage your tile floor.

As a normal household, you would surely have more than one type of flooring in your house. Usually, the bedrooms, stairs and the living area are carpeted, while the kitchen and the bathrooms have tile flooring. You might also have some hardwood flooring in some of the areas in your house. 

Now if you already have bought a carpet cleaner for your carpets and rugs, you might be wondering, “can I use my carpet cleaner to clean tile floors”? This is a natural thought since you would not want to spend extra money to buy another cleaning machine if the carpet cleaner is suitable for tile floors.

can you use a carpet cleaner on tile floor

Why You Can’t Use Carpet Cleaner On Tile Floors?

The reason, for not using a carpet cleaner on tile floors, is that a carpet cleaner is specifically designed to clean only carpet or soft surfaces like upholstery, mattress, etc. Cleaning a tile floor with carpet cleaner will damage your tile floor.

Carpet cleaners have hard bristle brushes that are designed to agitate the carpet pile. These hard bristle brushes make vigorous strokes on the carpet to go deep into the pile and unearth all the dirt, debris, and hair strands stuck deep inside the carpet pile. 

If you try to clean your tile floors, whether ceramic, porcelain, granite, vinyl floors, or even hardwood floors with a carpet cleaner, the hard scrubbing will leave streaks on your tile and hardwood floor and put scratch marks all over it. The reason is that the tiles are shiny and delicate surface. So, any hard bristles rubbing and scrubbing against it will damage it. 

Another reason for not using a carpet cleaner on a tile floor is the cleaning solution used in the carpet cleaners. Some carpet cleaning solutions may not be suitable for the tile floors because the chemicals used in the carpet cleaning solution will take away the shine of the tiles. 

And the way the carpet cleaner sucks up the dirt and solution back from the carpet may not work as intended on the tile floors, leaving behind the solution. This residue will make a dirty mess, especially in the tile grout – resulting in grout discoloration.

Tile floor cleaning machine

So, if you cannot use a carpet cleaner to clean your tile floors then what should you use instead? Because dirty tile floors cannot go ignored, it is important to keep them clean and tidy. 

Following are the types of cleaning machines that can be used to clean tile floors. 

Vacuum Cleaners

Traditional vacuum cleaners can be used to clean tile floors. Some vacuum cleaners come with soft brush rollers and hard floor settings. These are specifically designed to cater to the hard floor – tiles, and hardwood – cleaning chores.

Care should be taken while choosing a vacuum cleaner to clean tile floors because hard roller brushes and attachments that are made for carpets and upholstery should not be used on tile floors. This will leave streaks and scratches on the hard surface. 

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

Another way to clean your tile floor is to use a robot vacuum cleaner. A robot vacuum cleaner works the same way as any traditional upright vacuum cleaner but the difference is that the robot vacuum cleaner cleans your house autonomously. An advanced robot vacuum can create multiple interactive maps on your house, you can set a cleaning schedule and the robot vacuum will start cleaning at that time without you having to worry about it. 

Robot vacuum cleaners come with different specifications and features catering to your needs of cleaning tiles, vinyl planks, concrete floors, or carpets

Wet-dry vacuums

Wet-dry vacuums, as the name suggests, have a dual mechanism of action. They not only pick up dust and debris but also can suction up water as well. Wet-dry vacuums usually have 2 tanks, one each for clean water and dirty water. Most of the wet-dry vacuums are multi-surface compatible. They can clean carpets as well as hard floors – hardwood and tile. This type of vacuums are also best suited for commercial use

Robot Vacuum Cleaners and Mops

Robot vacuum cleaners are a revolution in the cleaning industry. Robotic vacuum cleaners and mops are battery operated and work autonomously. Most of the robot vacuums come with a rubber brush that is perfect to clean the tile floors. Powerful suction power provides efficient cleaning on tile and hardwood floors. Some robot vacuum cleaners also come with a mopping feature, like iRobot Braava Jet M6,  which is ideal for cleaning tile floors. 

Steam mops

Steam mops can also be used to clean tile and hard floors. Steam mops scrub your tile floor with a help of just one button. Steam mops use steam, which is created by heating up water, to scrub and clean your tile floor. This steam is quickly evaporated, leaving behind a streak-free, shining surface.

Spin Mops

A spin mop is an advanced form of traditional mop and bucket. These mops, as the name suggests, have the spin feature in the bucket that saves you from the worries of manually wringing and extracting the extra water or the cleaning solution you are cleaning the tile floor with. This spinning feature removes all the extra solution from the mop, resulting in less accumulation of moisture in the tile grout. 

Microfiber mops

If you want a light cleaning on your tile floors, a microfiber mop is a handy tool. This will also bring a nice shine to your tiles. Microfiber mops are cheap and are easy to clean with. You can dip the microfiber mops into a cleaning solution if you want to get rid of stains on your tile floors. 


We hope, after reading this complete guide, you would have got a better idea of why you should not use a carpet cleaner on tile floors. And what are the alternative tools for tile cleaning. It is always a good idea to first spot test any cleaning device or cleaning solution before starting cleaning with it. This will give a good idea of whether to use a particular cleaning machine or solution on any surface. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a carpet cleaner and a vacuum cleaner the same?

No, a carpet cleaner and a vacuum cleaner are both different. A carpet cleaner is used to treat stains, mostly on carpets and rugs, while a vacuum cleaner is used to pick up dust, fluff, hair, and other dry debris from the surface. 

Can I use a carpet cleaner as a vacuum?

Carpet cleaners are designed to treat stains from carpets, rugs, and furniture upholstery using a cleaning solution. Although a carpet cleaner has the ability to vacuum the cleaning solution, it should not be used as a vacuum cleaner just to pick up dry debris. 

Is a wet/dry vacuum the same as a carpet cleaner?

A wet/dry vacuum and a carpet cleaner can be compared with each other because they both have the ability to suck up liquid – water or cleaning solution, but they both are not the same. A carpet cleaner pushes the cleaning solution deep into the carpet pile and agitates the pile using a hard bristle brush. This helps in deep cleaning the carpets and rugs. A wet-dry vacuum, on the other hand, does not have the ability to deep clean. 

Do steam cleaners really clean grout?

Yes, steam cleaners are perfect to clean grout. The hot steam goes deep into the crevices and pores of the grout. This loosens up all the dust, grease and grime clamped deep into the surface. Once the grout is exposed to hot steam, cleaning up all the mess of the grout becomes easy.