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How to Clean Tiles
Bathroom Cleaning

How to Clean Tiles

With the right methods and products bathroom and kitchen tiles can be cleaned quickly. Here’s a step-by-step process to clean the tiles effectively

Kitchen and bathroom tiles can develop dirt and grout overtime. This article provides three techniques and cleaning solutions to clean tiles smoothly.

Tile and Grout Cleaning

It’s important to keep tiling in your bathroom and kitchen clean for hygienic as well as aesthetic reasons. Tile grout is porous. This means that not only does it stain easily, particularly if it’s white, or pale coloured, but it also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere collecting stains from skin oils, dust and dirt in the atmosphere and encouraging mould and mildew to form. In fact, whatever cleaning method you decide to use when cleaning bathroom tiles, it’s a good idea to run the shower as hot as possible for five minutes beforehand, as this encourages the grout pores to open and release the tightly-held dirt and mould spores.

How to Clean Tiles

There are plenty of specialist tile cleaning products available. Some contain mould and mildew inhibitors to help reduce mould build-up, enabling you to spend even less time worrying about tile cleaning. Just remember to keep the room well ventilated, wear gloves, and always follow the instructions on the label of your chosen cleaning product.

Tile and Grout Cleaning using a Commercial Tile Cleaning Product:

You will need:

  • Tile cleaner
  • Hard-bristled cleaning brush or old toothbrush
  • Clean dry cloth
  • Old towel to dry afterwards

Step 1:

Wipe area to be cleaned with a dry cloth to remove any accumulated dust or surface dirt.

Step 2:

Apply product, be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, ensure the area where you’re working is well ventilated and wear gloves to protect your hands. If you’re not sure whether your cleaner is suitable for your tiles, do a test on a small, unnoticeable area first.

Step 3:

If necessary, leave the product for 30 minutes to dissolve persistent stains.

Step 4:

Scrub the area with an old toothbrush or dedicated grout cleaning brush to lift off the dirt and mildew.

Step 5:

Rinse clean.

Step 6:

Dry the area with an old towel.

For areas continually exposed to warm damp conditions, you may need to repeat this process regularly for optimum results.

How to Clean Tiles in Shower using a Steam Cleaner

If you can get hold of a steam cleaner, it will be very effective for cleaning both tile and grout. The heat opens up pores in the grout and dissolves surface stains enabling you to just wipe them off. Just be sure to consult the machine’s manual for instructions and to check that it is suitable to use on your tiles. Remember to wear protective clothing as steam cleaners can reach high temperatures that can cause burns if the correct safety measures are not taken.

You will need:

  • Steam cleaner
  • Clean dry cloth

Step 1:

Wipe the surface clean with dry cloth.

Step 2:

Work steam cleaner slowly over tiles.

Step 3:

Wipe with the clean dry cloth.

How to Clean Bathroom Tiles without Purchasing Specialist Products

Many readily available household items can be used for tile cleaning, but be aware that a targeted commercial cleaning product is always going to give you better results for less effort. Perhaps the simplest tile cleaning solution involves equal parts of baking soda, white vinegar, and water:

You will need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Dry cloth
  • Hard-bristle brush
  • Towels

Step 1:

Wipe the tiles with a clean dry cloth as mentioned above.

Step 2:

Mix equal parts of baking soda, vinegar, and water.

Step 3:

Apply to tile and leave for 30 minutes as with commercial cleaning products.

Step 4:

Scrub, rinse off and towel dry as above.

Key Steps:

  • An old toothbrush and a good tile cleaner are a great combination for scrubbing your tiles clean.
  • If you have a steam cleaner, this is a quick and easy alternative to use instead of cleaning products.
  • Be sure to take appropriate safety measures when tile cleaning. Follow the instructions supplied by the manufacturer on your machine or product, wear protective clothing, and ventilate the room.

It’s a common misconception that using household products to clean mean you can skip on safety precautions – you can’t. Wear gloves, and keep the area well ventilated (not least because of the vinegar smell). Test the method on a small, unnoticeable area of the tile first to prevent any damage.

So: cleaning bathroom tiles and kitchen tiles can be a fairly swift and simple process, giving you more time to enjoy your home.

Top Tip


While it’s often tempting to try using a homemade cleaner, Cleanipedia recommends opting for a specially designed commercial cleaning product when it comes to tile cleaning – these are also great because they often contain mould and mildew inhibitors. Not only will the job go a little faster and easier, but you can also target any mould growing in the grout at the same time.