Unless you employ full-time help who takes really good care of your kitchen and toilet tiles, it is inevitable that the tiles and the grout in your kitchen and bathroom to get stained and dirty. Cleaning tiles and grout can be pretty frustrating. There is no easy way to do it. You really need to get down on your hands and knees and scrub the tile and the grout to remove the dirt.
But even if there is no easy way to do it, there is a right way to do it. If you don’t do it the right way you may end up causing more damage to your tiles. It is even possible to experience health issues if you accidentally inhale fumes from cleaning chemicals. There are some issues you need to watch out for when cleaning your tiles.
The Different Methods of Cleaning Tiles
There are many methods of cleaning tiles and grout. Some methods will work on your tiles while others may not. Make sure that you test a method on a small part of the bathroom before you begin scrubbing the whole bathroom of kitchen sink with a specific chemical solution. By doing a test scrub on a single tile or a small portion of the bathroom you are ensuring that you won’t cause any damage to your tiles or the cleaning materials that you are using.
The most common method of cleaning is through the use of chlorine bleach or chlorine solution. Because cleaning with chlorine is the most common method used in cleaning, chlorine bleach is easily available commercially. You can find chlorine bleach from grocery stores, convenience and home supply stores.
Chlorine is effective in taking out stains from tiles and in killing molds and mildew. You just need to create a chlorine solution of one parts water to 10 parts water and use a toothbrush to scrub the solution to the tile grout.
This method works best if the tiles and the grout on your kitchen sink and bathroom are white. The chlorine bleach may damage the color of your tiles and grout. Bleach may also damage rugs or other fabric in the area. If you are cleaning the bathroom using a chlorine solution, make sure you remove all rugs and other items in your bathroom that may be damaged by the bleach. Make sure your pet is also not exposed to the chlorine solution and its fumes as they can cause your pets harm. Make sure not to mix the chlorine solution with ammonium-based cleaning materials. The fumes from the mixture are dangerous for both humans and pets.
Another method you can use for cleaning tile and grout in the kitchen and bathroom is the use of oxygen bleach powder. Although not easily available unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach powder is safer to use than chlorine bleach. This can be used for colored tiles and grout because it will not damage their color. Oxygen powder bleach is mixed with water so you can use it to clean the tiles. The solution will not emit dangerous fumes so it is very safe for use even when you have a baby or a pet in the house. To use the solution, simply apply it on the tiles and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes or an hour, you can gently scrub the tiles and grout using a soft scrubbing brush. You can also use a clean toothbrush to clean the grout. Remove the dirty water from the tiles using a clean floor mop and then wash the tiles and the grout with clean water. Make sure you rinse the tiles thoroughly.
Tips When Cleaning Tile and Grout
To maintain the cleanliness of your tiles and grout and to eliminate the need to clean it with chlorine and other chemicals, you should try to keep your tiles clean and dry.
Use Warm Water
You can clean your tiles daily using warm water and a cloth rag. The warm water will remove some of the soap and other dirt that may be left on your tiles after using the bathroom. Weekly, you can scrub your tiles with a mild detergent and a soft brush. Make sure you rinse your bathroom with warm water to remove all the detergent and other residues from the tiles.
To clean soap scum from bathroom tiles, you can create a cleaning solution using the following: water softener, rottenstone and hot water. Using a sponge, apply the solution on the soap scum and you will notice that the soap scum will come right off. You can just rinse the tiles after sponging them with the cleaning solution.
If you haven’t been able to maintain the cleanliness of your tiles through daily cleaning, they may turn dark from soap scum and other dirt. To clean dark dirt from the tiles, pour liquid detergent (use extra strength) on the tiles and let it sit for two hours. After letting the detergent sit on the tiles, use a brush to scrub off the stains. Rinse the tiles using warm water. Make sure that you rinse the tiles thoroughly. If you don’t rinse them thoroughly, the residue from the laundry detergent will become the starting point of dirt building in your bathroom.
Keep Tiles and Grout Dry
Another important thing that you must remember is to dry the tiles every time you clean them. Keeping the walls and the floors of your bathroom and your kitchen dry helps maintain the cleanliness of the tiles and the grout. Wet tiles get dirty more easily than dry tiles. Moisture also attracts mold growth. Mold can damage the grout on your tiles and can also cause health problems when the spores are inhaled.
Keeping your tiles and grout clean goes beyond aesthetics, it is absolutely important to keep grout clean because dirty grout is the breeding ground of mold and bacteria. It is particularly important to keep kitchen tiles clean especially the ones on the sink and the kitchen working tables. Just imagine all the germs and bacteria that can easily get to your food when you work on an unclean kitchen working table. It is also very important to keep floor tiles clean especially if you have little toddler who like to crawl and pick up things from the floor. So for the health of your whole family, you should keep the tiles in your home clean. When you keep your home tiles clean you are also, in a way, saving your family money. When you take care of your home, you are ensuring that there will be less home repairs and less need to call in the professional cleaners to work in your home.
To keep floor tiles clean, make sure to vacuum the floor at least once a week. The secret to clean tiles is regular cleaning. The less dust gets left on the floor for a longer period of time, the less dirt will stick to the tiles and grout.
Apply Cleaning Solutions
To prevent mildew from growing on the gout again after you have cleaned the tiles, you can spray your tiles with a mildew retardant. You can also prevent the growth of mold and mildew by regularly cleaning your tiles with light detergents or cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda.
Aside from chlorine and oxygen bleach, hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean grout. It can be used to clean white grout. Simply mix half hydrogen peroxide and half water and place the solution in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture to the grout and let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, spray the mixture on the grout again. Do not use this solution to clean colored grout because the peroxide will damage the color of the grout and tiles. If there is heavy staining on the grout, you can cover the grout with plastic after spraying it so that the mixture does not dry up right away. If the stain on the grout is severe, you can try mixing baking soda in the solution. The baking soda will make the mixture bubble helping remove dirt from the grout. After the bubbling has subsided, you can apply the mixture to the gout. Let the solution sit and just spray on the solution as it becomes dry.
There are also commercial tile and grout cleaners available in the market that you can use. Remember to read the labels of commercial cleaners carefully and follow all the instructions on the label. This is so that you can get the desired results from the product and avoid misuse of the cleaning agent. The good thing about using commercial cleaners is that they are really designed for use with tiles and grout.
When you can’t remove the stains and the molds from the grout, you also have the option of hiring a professional cleaning company to remove the stains and clean your tiles. Of course, hiring a professional will also cause you a significant amount of money as compared to working on the tiles yourself. But if the damage is grave, it is best to hire a professional to take care of it to prevent further damage.