Do you have ceramic tile flooring in your home? Then you know all too well how quickly it can get dirty, especially in the grout areas. If you don’t regularly clean and maintain your tile floors, they will lose their luster and look perpetually drab. You may not quite be ready for a tile installation or repair project, but perhaps you just want some tips on how to keep your tiles and grout looking great.
Grout tends to get dirty fast because it is a porous material that absorbs dirt, grease, and other stains. You don’t have to get fancy with commercial cleaners. You can make your own paste comprised of baking soda and water. Just rub it into the grout and let it sit before scrubbing it and wiping it away. You can even keep future stains at bay by applying a silicone-based sealer to the grout.
Here are some more handy tips.
Scrub Dirty Grout
You have a few options when it comes to getting rid of dirty grout.
First, you can use a stiff-bristled brush and warm water. Just spritz some water on the stained areas and scrub with the brush, then let dry. Use a circular motion.
If this doesn’t cut it, use a spray consisting of equal parts water and vinegar. This may be needed on heavier dirt buildup or mild stains. Vinegar is a handy item that can be found in most kitchen pantries. Spray on the grout lines, let sit for a few minutes, scrub with the brush, and let dry.
Still not working? Cover the grout with a paste of baking soda and water, spray the vinegar solution over it, let it foam, then start scrubbing. Rinse with water.
For more stubborn stains, you may want to turn to the power of good old hydrogen peroxide. Spray it right on the grout, or make a paste with baking soda.
And for the worst stains of them all, the last resort may be to use oxygen bleach in powered form. Make sure the area is well ventilated, and wear a mask and gloves to do this. Leave it on for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Now that you have mastered how to clean the grout lines, here’s how to keep the tiles themselves clean all year long.
Cleaning Tile Floors
Many homeowners have glazed tile floors. These are fairly easy to clean, but you have to be consistent. Do this once a week or more often as need. Sweep or vacuum your floors to ensure they don’t get dull. It’s the sand and grit brought in by shoes and sneakers that can do a number on tile, scratching it and dulling the glazed surface.
To clean the tiles, mix a mild detergent and water, then use a rag or chamois to gently clean your floors. Don’t use a sponge mop, as these tend to push dirty water right into the grout lines, ruining the hard work you’ve done to get them sparkling again. Change the water frequently so the dirty water doesn’t result in a cloudy floor.
If your tiles begin to look hazy, it’s probably all that soapy residue that’s to blame. No worries, You can get rid of this film easily. You just need a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner or a mild acidic liquid such as lemon juice. Side note: don’t use this mixture on marble, but for tile, it’s perfectly safe.
Be sure to rinse with clean water and then dry the floor with a lint-free cloth. Cleaning your tile flooring can be back breaking work, so take precautions. Give yourself frequent breaks, and if you have bad knees, wear knee pads as you work, or slide the cloth over the tiles using your foot.
Are you noticing stains on the tiles themselves? This is common, and can happen with everyday use. Kids spill juice, you may spill coffee, the dog may walk on the floor with dirty paws. Whatever the case, stains happen. First, wash the floor with hot water and detergent, followed by spot cleaning with hydrogen peroxide where you need it most. Got grease stains? Get rid of them with a blend of club soda and water, or opt for a commercial floor cleaner. Got ink stains? Soak a cloth or rag in diluted bleach and place it over the stain until it fades. Rinse thoroughly.
Contact Designer Wood Flooring
If you require new tile flooring or a repair of your existing tiles, contact us at 830-228-4866 in San Antonio.