I faced this problem last week. So when the contractors had painted our walls, they left behind teeny tiny flecks of paint on the floor, which creates a very sandy texture. When we first got the keys after renovation was done, we dutifully vacuumed and mopped (twice), only to have the floor inspected by the Dust Detectors on the soles of my mother and mother-in-law’s feet. The verdict: The floor feels sandy.
I also realised that the reflective floors were showing up all our water marks, and proceeded to start wiping it down. In order to do this, use a microfibre cloth and wipe till all the water marks have disappeared. It also works a treat on windows. Upon getting up close and personal with each floor tile, I found the aforementioned paint residue, and started wiping it with white vinegar and water, but it required quite a bit of force to dislodge the paint particles.
The next day, after a conversation with my equally OCD cousin (it runs in the family, but that’s a book of its own), I decided to ask my MIL if she had turpentine. Because she’s a mom, she did. (Mom logic: They have everything you need.) It made the process a little faster, but I couldn’t take inhaling the turpentine and went back to vinegar and water. By this time, I’d spent chunks of hours of each day on the floor, and was still no closer to finishing. So I called in reinforcements and got my contractors to clean it up. The boss showed me a LifeHack. Don’t bother with microfiber or any other cloths. Get an old penknife, with its edges sanded down, and then scrape away to your heart’s content.
This exponentially sped up the process, and I finished the rest of the rooms (three bedrooms, and the living room) within that day, and managed to sweep and mop the debris away too.