Sometimes home maintenance can seem overwhelming. There are closets to organize and freezers to defrost. Luckily, one of the largest and most noticeable surfaces in your home is easy to keep in like-new shape. When you learn how to clean tile and grout properly, mopping your floors will no longer feel like such a horrible chore.
It’s easy to learn how to clean tile floors and grout.
Follow these 13 simple steps and learn how to clean tile floors and grout in the fastest and least expensive way possible.
1. Sweep daily.
Have you ever heard the expression, the best defense is a good offense? Well, it’s especially true when it comes to your floors. The easiest way to keep your tile and grout clean is to wipe up spills as they happen and sweep your floors with a microfiber dust mop daily. This takes just a few minutes and keeps the worst dirt and grime from sitting on your floors and building up.
Pro Tip: Create the habit of sweeping your floors right after you clean up the dinner dishes, that way it will always happen and becomes a part of your end-of-the-day routine.
2. Vacuum often.
Your vacuum cleaner isn’t just for carpet. If you have a “Bare Floor” setting on yours, turn it on and get all the sand and grit off your floors fast. Vacuuming tile is an easy way to clean up sand and dirt. Just make sure your vacuum has plenty of suction. Older or cheap models won’t actually remove the dirt, they just blow it around.
Pull out the vacuum once or twice a week, or anytime someone’s boots track in a pile of dirt.
3. Remove the dirt before you mop the tile.
One of the reasons vacuuming your floor is important is because the dirt is actually removed from the floor into the machine. The most common error homeowners make, when cleaning their tile and grout, is moping before loose dirt and grime is removed. When just mop, without sweeping or vacuuming, your creating residue and moving dirt around -- not cleaning.
Use your vacuum or a cloth dusting broom to remove dirt and dust before adding water to your floors.
4. Try a dry mop before a wet one.
One of the easiest ways to remove dirt from your floors is with a dry cotton or microfiber mop. Much of the time, especially in low traffic areas, your floor doesn’t actually need a full wet-mop. Just run the dry version over your tiles and remove daily dust and dirt.
5. Stay away from bleach and other strong cleaners.
Whatever you do, avoid bleach and other harsh cleaners. Even the ones designed for your home can erode grout and tile finishes over time. Harsh chemicals are best left to the professionals. Save yourself some cash, save your lungs, and keep your floors like new by using Mrs. Grout’s tile cleaner recipe instead of bleach or expensive name-brand cleaners.
6. Use Mrs. Grout’s 3-Cent Formula for floor cleaner.
Our 3-cent (or less) per-use formula is all most homeowners need to clean tile and grout on a regular bases. To use our cleaner, you will need a clean and empty 24 oz. plastic bottle (a single serving juice or soda bottle works great). Got it? Great! Now follow these steps:
Fill the container half full with water,
Fill the bottle the rest of the way full with plain white vinegar,
Add 2 drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid,
To add a pleasant scent use 2-3 drops of lemon essential, lavender, or mandarin essential oils.
That’s it. When you’re ready to clean your floors, just pour the contents of the bottle into a bucket of warm water. If you don’t need that much all at once, pour a ¼ cup of the solution into a spray bottle, fill with warm water, and spritz as you go.
Pro Tip: Click here to download a free printable label for your bottle. That way, you will always have a container and the recipe with your cleaning supplies.
7. Use a soft nylon brush to scrub larger problem areas.
Did one of your children spill spaghetti sauce on the dining room floor?
Did it happen last Tuesday and you’re just noticing it now?
No problem! Just grab your cleaning solution and a soft nylon scrub brush. The same brushes you might use to clean pots and pans are great for your tile floors too. Just keep one under your sink for scrubbing tough-to-remove spots and stains. Most of the time, our tile cleaner recipe and your scrub brush are all you will need to keep your floors in great shape.
8. Use a toothbrush for precision work and tough spots.
Grout lines and corners might require a smaller brush to clean properly. This is where an old toothbrush comes in handy. Keep it with your cleaning supplies and pull it out to clean stains from your grout or the crack between your refrigerator door and the wall.
9. Use a little baking soda for tough grout stains.
Unsealed cement grout is porous, which means liquids can seep into the surface. The easiest way to spot clean dirty areas is with a baking soda and water solution. Simply mix a bit of water with a teaspoon of baking soda to form a runny paste. Then, use your toothbrush to scrub the grout lines.
Pro Tip: Do not use abrasive substances like baking soda on color-sealed grout lines.
10. Test in a small, hidden spot first.
Even the most gentle cleaning process can have unintended consequences. Tile is made of different materials and formulas vary across brands, age, and other areas. Make sure to test the process chosen to clean your grout and tile on a small, inconspicuous spot first. That way, if there are unintended results you won’t have a whole floor’s worth of trouble.
11. Hire a professional for the really tough stuff.
When most of your grout is stained, dirty, or old the appearance of your floors can make a homeowner feel like the whole house is a mess. While you can spend your whole weekend cleaning the grout lines, there are a million and one things most of us would rather be doing.
When learning how to clean your tile and grout seems like an overwhelming task, just don’t. Hire a professional instead. Every five to seven years it’s a good idea to hire a professional team, like Mrs. Grout, to come in and clean your grout. These professionals will get rid of stains, seal the grout lines, and make your floors look like new.
It’s incredible how much professional grout cleaning and sealing changes the look of a home. Some companies, like Mrs. Grout, even use a color seal for your grout. That means you can give your floors a whole new look, without replacing them.
12. Keep your baseboards clean.
Sometimes it isn’t your tile and grout that needs cleaning at all. It could be your baseboards making the floor look dingy. Dust, dirt and grime build up on the wood and give the impression of less-than-perfect floors.
Take a few hours every three months or so to clean your baseboards thoroughly. No one will ever be able to point out why, but it will make a noticeable difference to the appearance of your floors.
13. Dry the floor with a towel.
You wouldn’t get out of the shower still covered in soap right? Yet most of us leave the floor that way after we mop. The last thing you should do, after cleaning tile and grout, is run an old white towel over the floor. This removes the dirt and let’s you see if the floors are really clean.
Clean tile and grout makes your home feel inviting.
It’s easy to learn how to clean tile and grout when you follow these 13 simple tips. Keeping your floors in beautiful shape is one of the easiest ways to make your home feel clean and inviting.