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How To Clean Tiles

With the right methods & products, bathroom & kitchen tiles are very quick to clean. Find out tips on how to effectively clean tiles and grout here.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

Dirty which needs steam cleaning, read on to learn how to use a steam cleaner

With the right methods and products, bathroom and kitchen tiles are very quick to clean – giving you more time to spend on yourself. This article provides three techniques and cleaning solutions to employ to make the task go smoothly, with a step-by-step guide for each.

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 mold and mildew inhibitors. Not only will the job go a little faster and easier, but you can also target any mold growing in the grout at the same time.

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 colored, but it also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, collecting stains from skin oils, dust and dirt in the atmosphere and encouraging mold 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 mold spores.

How to Clean Tiles

There are plenty of specialized tile cleaning products available. Some contain mold and mildew inhibitors to help reduce mold build-up, enabling you to spend even less time worrying about how to make tiles shine. 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

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

  2. Apply product, being 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.

  3. How to remove stains from tiles: leave product for 30 minutes to dissolve stubborn stains.

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

  5. Rinse clean.

  6. Dry area with an old towel.

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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

  1. Wipe surface clean with dry cloth.

  2. Work steam cleaner slowly over tiles.

  3. Wipe with clean dry cloth.

How to Clean Bathroom Tiles Without Purchasing Specialized 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

  1. Wipe tiles with clean dry cloth as above.

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

  3. Apply to tiles. Leave for 30 minutes as with commercial cleaning products.

  4. Scrub, rinse off, and towel dry as above.

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

See? Cleaning bathroom tiles and kitchen tiles can be a fairly swift and simple process, giving you more time to enjoy your home.

  • 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.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published