Elegant, versatile and durable, tile is the perfect flooring option for homeowners who want a clean and modern look that requires as little maintenance as possible.
Over time, though, tile can build up a layer of dirt and grime that not only looks unsightly but acts as a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Cleaning tile grout is essential to keep your tiles shiny for years to come. Fortunately, you can remove stubborn stains using simple home remedies that are safe, effective and affordable.
Home Remedies for Cleaning Tile and Grout
Daily exposure to moisture, a lack of ventilation and soap scum buildup are the most common reasons behind stained and discoloured tile flooring. Here are some natural DIY cleaners you can make using one or more items in your pantry.
Baking Soda Scrub
Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, ¼ cup baking soda and two gallons of hot water. For a fresh fragrance add a few drops of essential oil. Apply this mixture to stains and grout lines and leave on for awhile. Mop with warm water. This is a versatile cleaner that works for almost all types of tile flooring, except some natural stones like marble or limestone.
Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture
A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda works as a bleaching agent, while liquid soap helps remove grease. Make a paste by mixing one part hydrogen peroxide, three parts baking soda and one tablespoon liquid soap. Apply on the tiles and grout lines with an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush. Let the paste sit for 10-15 minutes, then clean by pouring hot water. Use a dry towel to clean away the remaining paste, then mop with water.
Combine equal parts water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol; add ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Use a bucket or spray bottle to dispense the mixture onto the floor as you mop. The strong peppermint scent deters ants and mice.
Salt is an effective remedy for killing single-cell organisms such as bacteria and mould as it dehydrates them through osmosis. The bacteria-killing ability of salt is useful for cleaning tiles and grout as well.
To get rid of mould and mildew from tile floors, keep the area wet or rub it with a damp cloth. Then sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the surface and scrub it into the grout lines. Let the salt sit overnight and then clean it in the morning with water.
Add a capful of mouthwash to a gallon of warm water and use this mixture to clean and disinfect tile floors. While this mixture works great on tiles or vinyl, it isn’t good for wooden floors.
Lemon Juice Mixture
Lemon juice is known for its skin lightening and antioxidant properties. Just like vinegar, fresh lemon juice is acidic and works as an effective stain remover for tiles and grout. Its antimicrobial properties also help keep mould and mildew at bay. This cleaning ingredient works best when combined with baking soda.
Borax is a multipurpose cleaner used to clean countertops, wash clothes and remove stains. To remove dirt and grime from grout and tiles, mix ¼ cup borax with ½ cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons liquid soap and one gallon of warm water in a bucket. Wipe the floors with a mop dipped in this mixture and repeat until the floor is clean.
Bonus Idea: Steam Cleaner
Although neither a solution nor found in your pantry, it’s a safe and effective way to clean and sanitize all types of tiles and grout. The best thing about it is that there are no chemicals involved and it’s suitable for those with chemical and mould allergies. Just make sure the steam cleaner you use has the right attachments for cleaning grout; for example, a steam hose and small brush. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions to assemble, fill and use the steam cleaner.
|Pro Tip: Once the grout is clean, generously spray the area with a vinegar and water solution on a regular basis. This will prevent stains and odours.|
Nothing spoils an otherwise clean kitchen or bathroom like dirt between the tiles. While grout stains can be difficult to get rid of, these home remedies can be a real help. Unlike commercial cleaners that can damage and discolour tiles, DIY cleaners are safe and gentle on your flooring.