Tips for The Best Way To Clean Tile Floors
To say your bathroom has the potential to be one of the most beautiful spaces in your home is an understatement – and yet proper maintenance is often overlooked.
Too often we get so caught up in the world of elegant faucets and gleaming tiles that we don’t think about what moisture and mold can do to them until it’s too late.
You don’t want your beautiful bathroom to give way to a ghastly odiferous gouty mess, which is why you’ll want to take care to follow these seven basic steps for grout cleanup and basic bathroom maintenance.
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Best Way to Clean Tile Floors – Tools & Materials
#1. Regular Washing
Before we get to the Best Way to Clean Tile Floors, it’s worth noting that some regular scrubbing with soap and water can help, too.
This basic brushing and regular washing routine can help maintain your grout a lot better than if you wait for weeks or months and then try and catch up.
The more you let grout get settled, the more difficult it will be to finally banish it.
What’s more, besides the fact of letting grout build-up is simply gross and an odiously-awful non-solution, the longer you let it sit, the more damage it can do.
You’ll thus want to make sure to buy some detergent and a cleaning implement.
While a sponge might be a good start, to get the deepest clean possible, you’ll want to invest in a stiff-bristled brush.
A sponge can be squished and rubbed over the surface of a grout buildup, but those stiff bristles allow you to “dig deeper” into the infestation.
Before we get into some of the more specialized grout cleaning methods, therefore, let’s first touch on some simple yet effective tile cleaning tips:
Vacuuming your tiles can be a game-changer.
After all, no matter how hard you scrub, you still might not be able to get rid of every last particulate.
That’s why vacuuming up after yourself can add another weapon to your cleaning repertoire while making it easier to clean up the debris your stiff-bristled brushes jostle loose.
When you wash pots and pans, you typically do so with hot water because it works better with soap and thus makes it easier to get the gunk off.
The same holds true with tiles.
Preheating them by splashing them with hot water before scrubbing them can make it a lot easier to eliminate grout Working from top to bottom can also be a gamechanger.
If that seems arbitrary, consider that when you start washing a surface, the soap and water pour downward.
By starting from the top and working your way downward, you thus have that soap and water running down the tile, “prewashing” the tiling at the bottom.
Let the detergent sit for a few minutes in each area before going over them again.
Rinse the surfaces with water after you’ve already cleaned it with detergent or other cleaners so as to remove the chemicals.
Letting water or soap sit can produce their own stains or even help start a new buildup of contaminants, so dry everything when you’re finished.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into some of the more advanced grout cleaning techniques.
The following steps on how to clean grout are centered around doing so with a vinegar solution, which means you first have to know how to mix one up properly.
#2. Make Your Grout-Cleaning Vinegar Solution
Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need.
As with any DIY approach to cleaning grout (or any other mess, for that matter), you can fiddle around with the variations among the ingredients listed here.
There are plenty of types of baking soda out there, for example, so feel free to use whichever you have laying around or is most cost-effective and convenient.
This should ideally be distilled and already professionally curated.
That said if you’re brave enough to try vinegar that you cultivated on your own from the fruits of a backyard garden, by all means.
However, if that doesn’t work the first time, you should probably stick to the professional-grade options.
Then there’s hydrogen peroxide.
This is a more optional ingredient, but it can be useful for getting out especially stubborn stains.
Next, you need a delivery system – or, in less fancy terms, a spray bottle.
Now, this can be any old spray bottle, of course, but since you’ll be spraying a healthy amount of this solution on the affected areas, it should ideally be relatively sizable, with 32 oz being a good size.
You’ll also need that aforementioned stiff-bristled grout brush and a small bowl in which to mix up the solution before pouring it into the spray bottle.
The vinegar and water should be at a 1:1 ratio to one another. Mix as much as you need, and then let it sit for at least five minutes.
Next, you’ll want to add the baking soda.
When you do, it should start to create a paste. If it doesn’t, something has gone wrong. If you are going to add hydrogen peroxide, you should do so at this point.
Be sure not to overwhelm the existing baking soda-water-vinegar ratio.
Rinse with warm water, stir, and repeat until you have a more liquified solution, at which point you pour it into the spray bottle.
Now that you’ve mixed up that DIY solution, it’s time to put it to good use in getting rid of that grout.
Spray your grout-killing solution on the affected area and scrub vigorously with your stiff-bristled brush.
Remember to start at the top and scrub downward so the soap and water mixed with your grout-killing solution trickles downward and prewashes the tiling beneath you.
If that makeshift cleaning solution doesn’t work for you, never fear – you can just as easily buy a grout cleaning solution on Amazon.com.
Find Below Best Products For Your Daily Cleaning Routine!
The following products are the crème de la crème in that regard, with each having been tested and well-received by site users to eat through the grout and get your bathroom tile back to its former, rightful place of pristine cleanliness:
Product #1: Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash
Which is inexpensive, can be used around kids and pets with greater ease, and does not leave much residue behind. (check it on Amazon).
Product #2: Green Gobbler Ultimate Vinegar
Which boasts 30% vinegar concentrate. (check it on Amazon)
Product #3 Hoover Removal Multi-Surface Cleaner
Which is true to its name and can work with many kinds of tiling and hard surfaces. (check it on Amazon).
Product #4 Calyptus 45% Pure Vinegar
Which also boasts truthful advertising with 45% vinegar concentrate. (check it on Amazon).
3#. Try Oxygen Bleach
Let’s say you’ve tried both your makeshift grout cleaner and maybe one or two of the professional options above, and you still haven’t had any success.
If that’s the case, you may want to turn to something a bit stronger in oxygen bleach. (check it on Amazon)
This is a powerful cleanser that can cut right through a lot of thick, caked-on stains, including grout.
Industry leaders such as OxiClean are a good choice here.
It is chlorine-free and safe to the touch, lessening the chances of your skin being irritated.
That being said, if you do use bleach, you’ll want to make sure that you do so in a well-ventilated area.
The last thing you want is to accidentally breathe in those fumes or, worse, have them build up in an area where there’s something flammable.
Every Oxygen Bleach solution is a bit different, so be sure to follow the directions on the manufacturer’s box or bottle.
In general, it’s a good idea to let the solution sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before it’s Warm Water and Rinsing Time once more.
#4. Be Careful About Chlorine
One of the most common tricks to taking out heavy stains of all kinds is to turn to chlorine-based cleaners.
However, while these chemicals can be quite effective in eating through stains, you need to be careful when using them as a grout cleaner.
These options have a Flamethrower-Esque effect insofar as they can be extremely potent but extremely dangerous.
You could obliterate deeply set grout infestations with a bit of chlorine, but you could risk damaging your tiling.
In fact, if your tiling is particularly sensitive, it is probably best not to use this method.
What’s more, it should be noted that you should never under any circumstances mix vinegar with bleach.
The resulting mixture can create chlorine gas which could severely damage your lungs.
Even if you do decide to use a chlorine cleaner, it should be more to get rid of an especially bad buildup rather than part of your usual cleaning routine.
The more you use it, the greater your chances of accidentally damaging your tiling.
That said, if you think your tiles can withstand the strength of the chemical reaction that will take place when you use this as a cleaner, it can be an effective method of obliterating a lot of grout at once.
#5. Steam Cleaning Your Grout
One commonly overlooked option when it comes to cleaning grout buildup in your home is to simply steam clean it.
This can be a much more environmentally-friendly way of getting rid of a disgusting grout buildup than turning to some of the more chemical-based options on this list.
That said, you want to make sure that you approach this technique with the same degree of caution as you would any other method, lest you run the same risk of inadvertently worsening things or causing harm to yourself.
Both Bissell and Oreck make steam cleaners and solutions that are especially good for use on residential properties’ tiles for situations such as grout buildups. Check below the two products we recommended.
BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop for Hard Floors and Area Rugs
Comforday Multi-Purpose Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessories for Stain Removal
To get the most out of this method, it is typically a good idea to first spray vinegar on the site and then apply whatever solution you may normally use in conjunction with your steam cleaner.
You should not have to use too much cleaner to break through the grout.
#6. Straight Hydrogen Peroxide Application
The same holds true for hydrogen peroxide.
This makes sense, since after all hydrogen peroxide, like rubbing alcohol, is essentially made for cleaning and sterilization purposes.
Both of these solutions are particularly good at killing germs on contact.
If you go to a hospital or urgent care center, you are bound to find the place smelling of hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol after they have cleaned the areas, and that’s part of the reason why.
That being said, as with the chlorine and steam cleaning, you should use this method sparingly, lest you risk damage to sensitive tiles.
What’s more, you should make sure that the area in which you are using your hydrogen peroxide solution is well-ventilated and that there is nothing flammable and no source of extreme heat nearby.
Conclusion on Best Way to Clean Tile Floors
So where does that leave us visa vi your grout cleaning needs?
It really depends on what shape those needs take, and just how dire they are.
If you are looking to clean a surface regularly, then warm soap and water with a stiff-bristled brush that can get into crevices and jimmy loose all that gunk and grout is a good starter option.
For grout cleaning purposes, in particular, the aforementioned baking soda and vinegar mixture is a good starter option and can be employed regularly without damaging your tiling.
Escalating beyond that will depend on just how bad things get.
Steam cleaning can be used if you have a bad infestation and want to clean a whole tiled floor at once.
Chlorine solutions are the cleaning equivalent of napalm bombing your grout infestation – potentially extremely effective, but dangerous to the surrounding area if you do it too often.
Whichever method of grout cleaning works best for you, choosing one is the first step toward banishing grout and reclaiming and beautifying your bathroom once more.