Tile is a great surface. It looks good, and when it’s properly maintained it can last years in conditions that would quickly ruin other household surfaces. However, like anything else, it still needs to be cleaned and maintained to stay functioning and looking its best. The only way to restore that band-new-tile shine is with a professional tile and grout cleaning. But there are a number of things you can and should do to keep your tile surfaces looking great in between cleanings.
Tips for at home tile and grout cleaning and maintenance
Make your own tile cleaner
Many old school tile and grout cleaning products contain toxic, hazardous, and carcinogenic chemicals. You can avoid that by searching out products made with non-toxic and environmentally friendly ingredients, but they can cost many times more. An easy and cheap solution is to mix your own cleaner using things available cheaply in bulk at the grocery store.
Vinegar and baking soda – while it might be best known for powering grade school science fair volcanoes, the power of vinegar and baking soda can also be harnessed for tile and grout cleaning. First, make a paste out of baking soda and water. Then, smear that paste on the grout joints of your tile. Next, mix vinegar and water 50-50. A spray bottle is a great way to apply the vinegar in a controlled fashion. When the vinegar hits the baking soda, it will start bubbling. That’s the reaction that will do the cleaning. Wait until the bubbles stop. Next, scrub the grout lines with a bristle brush. The brush should be stiff enough to scrub out the grout, but be careful – too stiff and it could scrape out bits of the grout. Lastly, mop the floor with water to clean up the solution.
One warning for this method – vinegar should NOT be used on natural stone tiles, as it could stain or damage them.
Check back soon for tile and grout cleaning – tips for keeping your tile shining, part 2. In the meantime, check out our page on tile and grout cleaning.