How to Most Effectively Clean your Tile and Grout

Tile gives your bathrooms and kitchens a clean, polished finish. When you use an effective cleaning method on a regular basis, you easily can keep your grout bright white and your tile shiny. A variety of commercial cleaners are available at discount stores, or you can use basic household items to obtain the super-clean look you want in your home.

Regular Cleaning

For a simple everyday cleaning option, use a steam cleaner on tile floors. The steam is hot enough to disinfect the tile without using commercial cleaners. If you do opt for a steam cleaner, wipe your tile down with white vinegar once weekly to prevent mildew. The smell of vinegar dissipates quickly, and vinegar is acidic enough to kill the spores that cause mold and mildew stains.

You can find grout brushes in your local hardware store if you prefer a tool specifically designed to clean grout. If you have newly installed tile floors or backsplashes, apply a clear sealant to the grout to prevent stains. You should reapply the sealant at least once annually to maintain the like-new look of your tile and grout.

Stain Removal

To clean tough stains on grout, BHG recommends combining 3/4 cups of bleach with a gallon of water. Use the cleaning solution and a toothbrush to scrub the grout, and rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after scrubbing. Avoid using chlorine bleach too often since it can cause damage to the grout.

For a more grout-friendly stain removal option, combine hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish detergent to make a thin paste. Apply the mixture to the stained area, wait five minutes, and scrub the area before rinsing with clean water.

Baking soda and vinegar are also an option removing stains on grout while cleaning the tile. Just make a paste of baking soda and water to spread on the stained area, and pour white vinegar over the baking soda. Scrub the area after the cleaner stops foaming, and rinse with clean water to clean the tile and grout while removing light stains.

Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach is a more eco-friendly alternative to chlorine bleach when you want whiter, brighter grout. Just combine powdered oxygen bleach with water, and spread the mixture over the area you want to clean. After 15 minutes, rinse the area with clean water. With regular cleaning and a few stain remedies, your tile can look brand new for many years to come.

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