Tired of mopping your tile floor without seeing any results? That’s because mopping only cleans the tiles’ smoother surfaces, leaving the grout around them dirty and messy.
But don’t worry. Outlined below are four proven tips for keeping your tile floor looking fantastic even after years of use:
- Use a pasty mixture of baking soda and water
- Apply a mixture of oxygenated bleach and warm water
- Scrub with a solution of baking soda, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide
- Steam clean your tiles
Tip #1: Use a pasty mixture of baking soda and water
Make a pasty scrubbing compound with a 3:1 ratio of baking soda and water. This cleaning compound is versatile enough to work on various colours of grout.
Next, dilute 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water and mix them thoroughly in a spray bottle.
Apply the paste to the tile edges with your fingers and add a few sprays of the vinegar solution. This will immediately cause bubbling, which means the mixture is working. Leave it like that for a few minutes or until the bubbling stops.
Scrub vigorously with a nylon brush or a toothbrush.
Minimise the use of vinegar when cleaning natural stones such as marble or limestone as it can damage or discolour your tiles.
Finish the job by rinsing the tiles with plain water and mop the area to remove all traces of vinegar and baking soda. Alternate between rinsing the floor and mopping, making sure to rinse the mop each time to avoid recontaminating the floor with the residue.
Tip #2: Apply a mixture of oxygenated bleach and warm water
For this method, you need two cups of warm water and two tablespoons of oxygenated bleach. Mix the ingredients right before use to ensure a fully activated solution and the best possible outcome.
Be warned though that while the chemical is harmless on all tile types, there’s a tendency for it to bleach coloured grout. Test a hidden area first to make sure the solution is safe to use on your coloured grout.
Once you’ve determined your coloured grout is safe from bleaching, proceed to the next step.
Apply the mixture onto the tiles and surrounding grout, making sure the grout lines are thoroughly covered in the solution. Pick a corner and start there. Work your way across the room and back, doing one area at a time, thoroughly cleaning each section without soaking the entire floor.
Let the bleach solution do the hard work for you. Leave it alone for several minutes, allowing it to thoroughly react with the dirt, before scrubbing.
Next, scrub the tiles and grout with a nylon bristle brush or old toothbrush to allow the mixture to penetrate deep into the grout lines. Pay extra attention to the area around edges and corners or where there’s heavy buildup of dirt and grime.
For stubborn stains, place some bleach powder into a shallow dish, dip the brush there and scrub vigorously back and forth. This should take care of the problem in no time.
Rinse the floor with water and mop it dry with a clean towel.
Tip #3: Scrub with a solution of baking soda, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide
Create a pasty cleaning solution. You need one-fourth cup of hydrogen peroxide, one tablespoon of dish detergent and three-fourth cup of baking soda. Mix them thoroughly for a highly effective triple-action cleaning agent:
- Baking soda’s abrasive property helps in scrubbing away grease and grime
- Hydrogen peroxide undergoes a bleaching reaction with grout
- The dish soap serves to loosen dirt and stains
Hydrogen peroxide may not react favourably with coloured grout. Test a hidden section first before cleaning the entire floor.
Apply the paste uniformly around the edges of the tiles. Let it stand for several minutes to allow the cleaning solution to do its work before scrubbing with a toothbrush or nylon brush. As always the case, bubbling of the solution is an indication that it’s doing an effective job.
Rinse the floor, one section at time, and wipe dry with a clean mop or towel.
Tip #4: Steam clean your tiles
The fourth method requires you to have access to a steam cleaner. You can either purchase or rent one.
The main benefit of steam cleaning your tiles is it does not only remove stains and dirt but also sanitises your tile floor without using chemicals.
Make sure the steam cleaner’s reservoir contains only clean water with no chemicals or soap added. Heat up the steam cleaner following the instruction manual.
Using a back and forth motion as you work the steam cleaner’s brush over the grout. The steam will loosen the dirt and grime from the grout and also kill any mildew, mould and bacteria present; while the brush will physically dislodge dirt, grime and other fine particles, rendering your tiles spotless clean.
Your nightmare of stubborn grout stains and mildew is over. Armed with the above tips for grout cleaning around tiles, you should be able to keep your tile floor spotless clean and beautiful for many years to come.