Cleaning Tips Tile & Grout Cleaning

How to Clean Grout and Tiles

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How to Clean Grout and Tiles

Do you need to clean the tiles or grout in your kitchen or bathroom? It doesn’t have to be complicated with these helpful tile cleaning tips!

Bleach for cleaning Grout Lines and Tile

Bleach is great for keeping your bathroom tiles and grout sparkling clean. Using a specially formulated cleaning product containing bleach, will help to make sure your tiles and grout don’t make your bathroom look dirtier than it actually is!

Key Steps:    

Regular maintenance of tiles and grout will slow down the discoloration process and prevent mould from growing.

Cleaning products containing bleach, like Clorox Bleach Spray, can be particularly effective for cleaning white tiles and grout. Remember to follow the safety instructions on your product’s label.

An old toothbrush is an excellent tool for scrubbing grout.

Tiles are much more than just simple flooring or wall decoration – they can really be the centerpiece of your kitchen or bathroom. Cleaning grout is an important part of keeping your tiles looking impressive. Whereas marks rarely show up on black grout, white and grey grouting can stain easily, and may make a room look dirty even if it’s clean. The tiles themselves also need a little attention every now and then, so a good tile cleaner should be an essential item in your cleaning cupboard.

You don’t have to spend hours scrubbing, however. If you’re wondering how to clean grout and tiles in your kitchen and bathroom, there are some excellent ways to tackle the dirt swiftly and easily, leaving you time for more enjoyable activities.

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What Tile Grout Cleaner Do I Need?

Choosing a tile grout cleaner depends on your preferences. Commercial products will offer good results with very little effort, but if you’d prefer to use something homemade, there are options available. Just be sure never to mix different cleaning solutions, as some combinations (bleach and vinegar, for example) are toxic.

Many different brands offer specialist grout cleaning solutions that are designed to bring back the brightness of your grout. When you’re looking at the different options, it’s best to choose one that has anti-fungal properties to help reduce the rate of mould growth – especially in the bathroom where warm, steamy environments encourage the spread of fungus.

Some homeowners swear by bleach products for cleaning grout – and for white and light grey grouts, bleach can certainly be very effective. Oxygen bleach and chlorine bleach are particularly renowned for their tile and grout cleaning abilities, but they should be handled with care, and should never be used on black or other colored grouts, as they might have a fading effect. Be sure to follow the directions on the label when using any cleaning product.

If you’d prefer not to use bleach products for tile cleaning, why not try making your own natural tile cleaner? Grout responds very well to the cleaning powers of acids – such as those found in vinegar – and the whitening properties of baking soda. To make an effective tile grout cleaner, simply mix these two products until they form a thick paste that can be easily applied to the grout.

Safety Warning    

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use

5 Essential Grout Cleaning Tips

Cleaning grout isn’t just about the type of tile cleaner you use; it’s also about the methods you employ for getting the stains out. The best way to lift the maximum amount of dirt and grime is to apply a solution and give it enough time to soak in and work, before scrubbing it off. Here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Use a dry broom or mop to wipe across the floor tiles, or a dry cloth to wipe wall tiles, before starting the grout cleaning process. This gets rid of any dust that’s accumulated, affording you better access to the grout.
2. Apply your chosen cleaning solution to the grout, ensuring all areas are well covered. You may find that you need to keep applying the solution regularly as it soaks in. You don’t want to saturate the floor, but you want to make sure the crevices are well covered.
3. Leave the tile cleaner for around 30 minutes – enough time to loosen the stains, making them easier to lift off.
4. Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the grout clean. DIY stores sell dedicated grout brushes, but you may find that an old toothbrush works just as well – just remember not to use it in your mouth afterwards!
5. Rinse the floor or wall with clean water and dry. For stubborn stains, you may find you need to repeat the process on a regular basis to see optimal results.

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Tile Cleaning Tips

When it comes to tile cleaning, it’s actually a very similar process. Stores sell specialized tile cleaner, but you can choose to make your own using bleach, or a similar thick paste of baking soda and water. If you’ve got marble tiles, however, it’s best to stick to a mild dishwashing soap, as acidic products – even things like vinegar – can cause damage. Apart from troublesome areas of caked-on food and dirt, you shouldn’t need to scrub as vigorously as when cleaning grout. A good quality cloth will usually suffice.

Cleaning Bathroom Tiles    

Cleaning bathroom tiles can be frustrating, as it can seem that grout becomes discolored almost as soon as it’s been cleaned. Bathroom tiles – especially wall tiles around a bath or shower cubicle – are also vulnerable to mould growth, which is particularly evident in white and other light colored grouts. White vinegar is good for tackling mould, but its worthwhile looking for a tile cleaner with mould inhibitors that prevent any further growth. You’ll need to clean regularly for these inhibitors to work to the best of their ability.

Tile and Grout Cleaning Maintenance

Make sure you include tile and grout cleaning as part of your regular cleaning schedule to slow down the discoloration of grout. Try to vacuum tiled floors on a daily basis, and mop or wipe on a weekly basis. It’s also beneficial to use a steam cleaner on tiles periodically to minimize ground-in dirt. Be sure to clean up any spills as soon as possible, to prevent stains from adhering to the floor.

Clean tiles and grout improve the appearance of any kitchen or bathroom, making the room appear brighter, cleaner, and larger. Try these tips, and the results will speak for themselves.

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More Tips for Cleaning Grout Lines

First of all, the best cure is prevention—a spritz of a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water once a week will keep those grout lines from getting mildewed in the first place. But if the damage is done, arm yourself with a stiff-bristled brush and get to work.

Start with a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Let it stand for five minutes before scrubbing. For tough stains, cover the grout with a paste of baking soda and water, then spray on the vinegar solution and watch it foam. Scrub with your brush and rinse it off with plain water. If the mildew seems hopeless, try a product that includes oxygen bleach, and be sure to follow label instructions carefully. Use chlorine bleach only sparingly, as a last resort, as it can break down the grout over time.

Because of its (typically) light coloring and porous composition, grout is prone to staining. In a tiled entry or mudroom, dirt and grime are the usual culprits, while in the kitchen, spills are more likely to blame. Soap, mold, and mildew meanwhile make it difficult to maintain clean grout in bathrooms. Fortunately, cleaning grout effectively is possible using only common household products and a bit of elbow grease.

With any cleaning project, it’s always best to start off with the mildest cleaning solution. When in doubt about a cleanser, test it in a hidden spot—behind or under an appliance, for example.

The following suggestions for cleaning grout are ranked from the mildest to the strongest:    

» The best way to begin is with plain water and a stiff-bristled brush; most home centers and hardware stores carry an assortment of brushes specifically designed for this purpose. Simply spray warm water on the grout lines and scrub in a circular motion, then let dry.

» For heavier dirt and mild stains, turn to that trusty old standby, vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water. Spray on the grout, let it stand for five minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.

» To bring even more cleaning power to the party, make a paste of baking soda and water, cover the grout lines with the paste, then spray on the vinegar solution. Once the mixture stops foaming, scrub with a brush and rinse with plain water.

» For moderate stains, you may want to use hydrogen peroxide, which is available in most drug stores. You can use the product straight or make a paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

» For tougher stains and really grimy grout, try using oxygen bleach (most often sold in powdered form). Some common brands include OxiClean, Clorex OxiMagic, and Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus. Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions, and make sure the area is well-ventilated. Generally, you will want to let the oxygen bleach solution work for 10 or 15 minutes before rinsing. Always rinse with clean water so that the dirt doesn’t resettle into the grout lines.

» Chlorine bleach and commercial cleansers can be used sparingly in extreme cases. One of my go-to products when all else fails is Clorox Clean-Up spray. Long-term use of caustic cleaners will erode grout, so these products should be used on a limited basis.

» Steam cleaners can be an effective and environmentally-friendly method of cleaning grout—or for that matter, many other surfaces around the house. Bissell, Oreck, Ladybug and Hoover all make steam cleaners for residential use.

To keep your grout clean and stain-free, it’s a good idea to spray it with vinegar and wipe it down once a week. You can also wipe grout with alcohol to keep mold and mildew at bay. In any case, just a few spritzes and wipes a week can save you a lot of time and effort cleaning, preserving the attractive appearance of your home in the process.   


Tile & Grout Cleaning Tips