Green Methods to Cleaning Your Grout and Tile
Grout and tile cleaning is never a fun chore. Cleaning tile is easy enough. You can usually just wipe them off, but grout seems to be a never ending battle sometimes. However, the great thing about tile is that if it is regularly taken care of, it can last a very long time. The easiest tile to take care of are the larger tiles, because the larger the tile is, the less grout there is, resulting in a much cleaner look ,even if you aren’t that great at grout cleaning.
The best way to clean tile floors is mopping them. Remember, this is just about cleaning the tiles right now. Grout comes in a minute. Usually, if you keep up on your tile floors, a good once over with a broom and a mop using your favorite floor cleaning solution should do the trick. Floor tiles are generally pretty easy to clean off.
Porcelain or ceramic tiles, like the kind on bathroom walls, can be a little more difficult. If you have hard water, the droplets can collect without you even seeing them, dulling down the surface of the tile. So, how do you get rid of grime and hard water? Vinegar !
Vinegar is a fantastic green cleaning agent. If you adda few essential oil drops of lemon or lavender, you can help dull the the smell. However, it’s not a problem if you don’t do that because the vinegar smell doesn’t stick around very long after you are finished cleaning. It’s strong when you are the midst of it, though !
For porcelain finishes, apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar will work equally well. All you have to do is mix about two gallons of warm water with one quarter-cup of vinegar and wipe the tiles with a cloth dipped in the mixtures, and then rinse it off afterwards. For better results, leave the vinegar and water mixture on for about 10 to 15 minutes before wiping and rinsing.
Grout and tile cleaning really does come down to the grout. The tiles can be as shiny and clean as possible, but if the grout between the tiles is still off colored and dirty, it will take away from the tiles. Many people try to bleach grout, but that can actually make it worse by discoloring the grout. Here is a step by step process to cleaning grout.
You can first use the vinegar mixture above to clean the tiles. This will also help remove any loose dirt in the grout as well. If cleaning a floor, sweep or vacuum it after it’s dried to ensure all loose debris is caught up.
There are several things that you can use for grout cleaning, the best probably being a steam cleaner, which would be good for both grout and tile cleaning.
But if you are trying to clean on a budget or just simply don’t want to go get anything else other than what you have on hand, give this home made solution a try:
Add water to baking soda to make a thick paste. Using a toothbrush, scrub it into the grout between the tiles and let it sit for a minute and then spray with a half and half solution of vinegar and water. Scrub all the grout joints first and then go back to where you started spraying.
Try not to step on the baking soda in the grout joints if you are cleaning the floors. When you spray the vinegar and water, it will react with the baking soda and cause it to foam. When it stops foaming, use a soft brush to scrub once more, and then rinse it all off.
If you do this every few months, you’ll have gleaming floors, walls. Grout and Tile cleaning will no longer be such a chore, since it is being well maintained.