The Easiest Ways of Cleaning Tile and Grout

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Whether you like to cook or prefer someone else to handle the stove, it is likely that your kitchen floor could use a good scrubbing. As 90% of people prefer a kitchen with a hard surface, such as wood or tile, you may need to deep clean the crevices occasionally. Cleaning tile and grout does not need to be complicated. The best way to clean tile floors is up for debate, but essentially you will apply either a paste, a spray, or steam the area. The one you should use depends on how dirty the grout is, and what you have in your kitchen cabinets.

The simplest method of cleaning tile and grout is to make a vinegar spray. Using white vinegar, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wet down the grout with the mixture, allow it to sit for a few minutes, then wipe up the excess with paper towels or a mop. There are many tile cleaning products in stores, but try to see if using what you have on hand is successful first.

If the stains or gunk are stubborn, apply a paste before using the vinegar spray. You can use baking soda and water to make a paste. Mix about one part water to every three parts baking soda. The amount you mix up depends on how much grout is exposed. Kitchens with tiles larger than 12×12 are popular because they have a cleaner look, and are easier to clean because there are fewer grout joints. So if you have small tiles, you will need a lot of baking soda. Apply the mixture to the grout and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Then, spray it with the vinegar and water solution. Start cleaning the tile and grout with a scrub brush once the area has stopped bubbling. This method works particularly well because of the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar; as the carbon dioxide forms the bubbling encourages the gunk to break apart.

Some stains need something a bit stronger. Oxygenated bleach works well for grout cleaning, but should be tested on an inconspicuous spot before dousing the whole floor. If it discolors the test area, do not use it. If everything looks fine, just cleaner, it is okay to start cleaning the tile and grout with a mixture. Combine the oxygenated bleach according to package instructions, and apply it to the grout using rubber gloves. Use a sturdy scrub brush to get a deep clean. Once you have scrubbed all of the grout lines, wipe the bleach solution away using just water, and allow to air dry.

One other method for cleaning tile and grout flooring is to buy or rent a steamer. It disinfects the area using just water. It is important to follow the instructions carefully when using the appliance, but it is a good option for those who are sensitive to strong smells, like vinegar and bleach.

A dirty floor is unsightly. If your floors look gross even after a good mopping, it may be time to look into cleaning tile and grout. It will take a bit of time, but it is a necessary part of home maintenance. Remember, a well-preserved tile floor can easily last decades; some have even lasted centuries! While yours surely does not need to hold up for that long, it will look so much better when properly cleaned.