If you have tile in your home, you know it can be difficult to keep your grout clean. Grout is porous and absorbent, which means it traps dirt. How you clean your tiled floor matters, and your grout will show it.
How Should You Clean Tile and Grout?
Cleaning your tile floors the traditional way, with a mop, may be staining your grout more than cleaning your floors. Below are some more effective cleaning options that you can try.
Common Household Items
The simplest option for cleaning your grout is to use hot water and a scrub brush. Hot water alone may be able to clean your grout. To increase the effectiveness of this method, add about 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, and a teaspoon of dish soap to your bucket of water.
Vinegar is another effective cleaning method, but it is often too strong on its own. Depending on their material, cleaning with pure vinegar could damage your tiles. The better alternative is to dilute the vinegar 1:1 with warm water and apply it to the grout with a spray bottle before scrubbing. For extra cleaning power, apply a paste of baking soda and water to grout lines first. Rinse with plain water when you’re done.
Bleach is commonly thought of to clean difficult areas, but much like vinegar, it can be hard on your tiles. If you use bleach, be sure to dilute it with water before spraying it. Also be sure to rinse your tile and grout thoroughly before switching cleansing materials, as mixing bleach and vinegar will result in toxic gas.
Grout Cleaning Products
Sometimes, a commercial cleaner is an easy, effective, and fast option for those hard-to-clean areas. When choosing a product to clean your grout, consider how stained your grout is, its color, the tile material, and what room you will be cleaning. Some cleaners are better able than others to handle difficult stains, and some are made only for white grout. Acids and ammonia can damage stone tile, and sprays can increase the amount of harmful fumes that hang in the air. Especially if the space you are cleaning is small and confined, such as a bathroom, consider a product that bears the EPA Safer Choice label, which ensures it meets certain health standards.
Professional Cleaning Service
Keeping your tiles and grout clean can be a daunting and difficult task. A professional cleaner will ensure that your flooring is clean and disinfected while saving you time and effort. A professional cleaning will help remove bacteria, and give your floors a deeper clean without risk of damage. Professional cleaners have specialized expertise in keeping all kinds of flooring clean and protected, and also save you the trouble of getting down on your hands and knees to clean your grout.
Keeping Your Tile and Grout Clean
After a thorough cleaning, you want to be sure that your floors continue to stay clean for as long as possible. A weekly or bi-weekly cleaning in regularly used areas may be necessary for keeping your tile and grout clean. Bathrooms may need particular attention, as body oils and soap scum can coat your tiles and grout. When mopping tile floors, consider using a damp mop rather than a wet mop to keep the spread of dirt and grime to a minimum. Always vacuum or sweep before mopping.
In addition to regular cleaning, a sealant can help protect your grout from staining. You can choose to have a sealant applied when your tile floor is installed, and you will need to reapply it periodically to effectively keep stains and moisture out. Unsealed or improperly sealed grout will show more dirt and could develop a problem with mold.
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