Putting tile in your bathroom can significantly increase the value of your home.
It looks beautiful and is highly functional in moisture producing environments.
On the flip side, it can be difficult to keep clean especially as most commercial tile cleaners do not clean grout.
Purchasing a product for the purpose of cleaning the grout can leave a film on your shiny tile.
Plus, you probably already have some of the best items in your home for cleaning tile and grout.
So Many Options
An online search for home remedy cleaning products will net many results. Some suggest using vinegar mixed with water, some lemon juice, others swear by toothpaste. These are all effective cleaning methods; however, they often require many steps and a lot of scrubbing.
Personally, I do not enjoy spending hours cleaning. I prefer methods that require minimal time and effort. Of course, it also has to be easy to make; I am not a chemist.
Three Little Ingredients
It may surprise you to learn that baking soda, vinegar, and water can be used either alone, or mixed, to clean many types of surfaces in your home. Tile and grout is no exception: it is effective and relatively simple to make:
- Place some vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Make a paste using baking soda and water.
- Spray your floor with the vinegar.
- Using a toothbrush, rub the baking soda mixture into the grout lines. This will produce some bubbling foam; do not be alarmed. It is the reaction of the vinegar and baking soda. Think of it as “scrubbing bubbles”.
- Let the mixture work in for about 15 minutes.
- Spray again with vinegar.
- Rinse well using warm water.
- Use a soft cloth or squeegee to dry.
Your tile should be shiny, and your grout should be clean and free of mold. If for some reason this method didn’t do the trick for you, repeat the process, but this time allow the mixture to set longer. You can generally allow up to 8 hours without causing harm to tile and grout.
Things to Remember
It is always wise to test any product on your tile prior to use. While this remedy works well, the vinegar has a mild acidic content.
If your tile has an adverse reaction to acids, do not try this method. Instead, use water in your spray bottle. You will have to scrub more, but it’s much better than ruining your tile. You can also try other methods that don’t require harmful chemicals.
Many experts recommend sealing your grout after each cleaning. Grout is made with sand and therefore very porous. Sealing the grout keeps moisture and mold from soaking into the surface. It is a laborious and time consuming process, so I wouldn’t recommend resealing after each cleaning session. Personally, I reseal about once a year applying several coats.
Using the method described above prior to resealing removes all the dirt, mold, and debris leaving a clean surface for sealer application.