What makes tile cleaning so challenging? Dirt and contaminants accumulate over time, causing your tiles to look discolored and even darken in some cases. Over time, if you do not use regular commercial tile cleaning products as recommended, you will find it necessary to change your tile cleaning products as well as your tile grouting cleaning solutions. When you are looking for a solution to a stubborn stain or dirty spot, you may notice that some commercial tile cleaning products can leave streaks that are quite difficult to get out of the grout. This is especially true when you have a heavily stained tile.
The first step to preventing this problem is to ensure that you never allow soap scum to accumulate on your floors. You can prevent soap scum from building up by not using commercial tile cleaning solutions that are highly concentrated. These products can actually leave residue behind, which can make the stains more difficult to remove.
Professional tile cleaning experts use hot water to loosen dirt and grime from tile and grouts. This hot water also helps to loosen any chemicals that may be in the cleaner. You should never clean tile with a harsh abrasive. Most professionals clean tile and grout with pH-balanced cleaners and mild dish soap.
Before scrubbing, thoroughly wash any area that you will be working on. For larger areas, use one cup of white vinegar and one gallon of warm water. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the area until the tile is thoroughly cleaned. Make sure you rinse all the soap away and then refill the tub with hot water. Never apply white vinegar directly to marble.
One of the biggest obstacles that homeowners face when they are mopping tile floors is getting the dirt out of the grout lines. You will have to work fast when mopping tile because if you leave the grout alone it will just build up and become a bigger mess. You can use a vacuum to get the dirt out of the grout lines, but you will need a power washer to get it completely out.
The grout lines are the unsightly places between the tile and the floor where the dirt builds. Use a mop to soak up the dirt as you go, but make sure the mop is only dipped halfway through the grout lines. Then, rinse the tile and grout with clear water so that you don’t trap the dirt back inside the tile.
Another great way to keep your floors looking clean is with baking soda. By mixing one cup of baking soda with two cups of water, you can create a paste that you can rub into the grout. The baking soda will absorb the excess dirt and then the scrubbing action will help pull out the stains from between the tiles. Before scrubbing, make sure you rinse the area with warm water to remove any soap residue.
Vacuum your tile floors often enough so that you don’t have to use abrasive cleaners on your tile surfaces. A good quality mop is all that you need to clean tile floors. For hard-to-reach areas that are particularly stubborn, you may want to use a steam cleaner. However, for general tile cleaning around the house or even in the garage, you can use your mop, wet paper towels and even vinegar to clean tile.
When it comes to grout, most professional tile cleaners use hot soapy water. If you want to go the environmentally friendly route, you can find plenty of organic products that you can use to make cleaning the grout easier. However, using chemicals to clean tile is not always a good idea. Some tile cleaners can actually cause damage to the grout, so it’s a good idea to test the product on an inconspicuous area first to see if you have a reaction. Some homeowners even opt for coal-tar or bleach-based solutions when dealing with stubborn grout.
Although there are plenty of ways to clean your tile floors, the trick is to start small and work your way up. You can save money by doing a homemade tile cleaner using ingredients that you likely already have. For example, you can make a simple scrubbing paste by combining lemon juice and club soda. Other ingredients that you can add to homemade tile cleaner solutions include borax and baking soda.
As you work on cleaning your tile, remember that you should alternate between wet and dry methods. This ensures that the grout cleaning products stay in contact with the tile and don’t lose their effectiveness. Some professionals suggest that you let the grout cleaner sit on the floor until it is fully dried before applying it with a mop or cloth. Before using the scrubbing pads, check the ingredients list on the grout cleaner to make sure it isn’t abrasive. You can also ask for assistance from a professional if you need extra advice about the best way to use the different grout cleaning products.