Tile and Grout Cleaning: What Actually Works
Tile floors might be beautiful and easy to maintain, but many things can scratch up your floors and make them look filthy. Not cleaning your floors can cause some permanent damage, so it’s best to keep scrubbing and make your home look great! These tile and grout cleaning tips can help.
Cleaning Your Tile Floors
Tile is often in high-traffic areas, so it’ll take some work to make it look spotless. To start cleaning your tile, vacuum the surface and make sure that all the lost pieces of dust and debris are off. After that, you need to take a thin, hard surface - like the edge of a credit card or a plastic putty knife - and scrape any residue off of your tiles. You’ll want to be gentle, but get the residue off as best as you can.
Once you’re ready to start mopping your floors, you’re going to get the best results for your floors if you mix a bucket of water with half a cup of vinegar and half a tablespoon of dish soap. Both of these will help cut through the grime on your floors, but be warned- using too much dish soap can leave a sticky, soapy residue and make your floors look dull. Too little, though, and your floors won’t get properly cleaned.
Your mop head can affect how clean your floors get, too. Rinse it out under hot water for a minute to take out any crumbs, germs, or anything else that might have hitched a ride last time you mopped. You don’t want to spread that stuff back over the floors that you’re trying to clean.
Once you’ve got that under control, you can mop up with your water/vinegar/soap concoction. When your floors are entirely mopped with that, go back over them with regular hot water to make sure that you got everything. After you’re done, you can let your floors air-dry- but that exposes your tile and grout to deep-set mildew and mold issues. It’s best to go over the top with a clean towel to prevent water spots and mildew on your tiles.
Your grout has a big effect on the way your tiles look, and if you want your tiles to look spectacular, your grout needs to look good too. To begin cleaning your grout, mix a bucket of water with some powdered oxygen bleach. The bleach’s package should tell you the amount you need to mix together, but be careful - too much bleach can spell disaster for your tiles and grout.
Once you have your mixture, scrub it into your grout with a brush, or use a spray bottle to get it in there. If your grout looks really grimy, it’s best to do both- but once you’re done, you need to let it sit on the grout for about half an hour. Once it’s soaked in, use a stiff brush or even an old toothbrush to scrub at your grout and clean up the remnants of the bleach. Use a small towel to sop up any dirty water this can still produce as you do so.
When you’re done scrubbing, clean your grout with clean water and dry it off with a cloth. Once your floors are dry, you can choose the option to use a tile grout sealer to make sure that it doesn’t get that dirty again.