Tile for your floors, walls and backsplashes always make for a beautiful feature. But, it doesn’t always keep that new look and shine, especially when it comes to the grout. Everyday wear and tear can cause dirt buildup and grime. Never fear, it’s easy to clean up with a solution and a little elbow grease. We’ve compiled four methods with different solutions to clean your tile and grout for you to choose one that fits your needs and lifestyle best.

Method 1: Bleach and Baking Soda

This method only works for white tile and grout since the bleach will stain anything that is colored. As always when you work with bleach, please take the proper precautions. That means protecting yourself with old, bleachable clothing, rubber gloves, safety glasses and opening a window. Once you’re prepared, mix 3/4 cups baking soda with 1/4 cup bleach in a bucket and stir with a painter’s stick until it’s the consistency of paste. Apply it to the grout and let sit for 5-10 minutes depending on the level of dirtiness. Then, use a stiff toothbrush or scrub brush to work the paste into the grout and across the tile in small circles. Let it sit another 5-10 minutes and rinse off.

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Method 2: Vinegar or Baking Soda

For simple stains, you can use a less intense solution. Either mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it onto your tile and grout, or mix a little water with baking soda to form a paste again. Still work the solution in using small circles and rinse after. You can also spray the vinegar solution onto the baking soda paste for some extra scrubbing power. Once the bubbles stop, scrub it in and rinse.

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Method 3: Steam Cleaner

If you have access to a steam cleaner or can rent one, this is one of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods. It works by using heat and pressure to release debris. Just don’t use it with old or broken tile and grout because it will cause further damage. Heat the steam cleaner to 350℉ and then move the detail brush in a forward motion along the tile and grout, working your way from front to back by going side to side in a continuous motion. Remove any excess residue and water with a rag.

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Method 4: Oxygen Bleach and Water

Again, this method works best for white tile and grout because of the bleach and works best for a floor. Mix 1 cup oxygen bleach with warm water according to the packaging directions. Pour the solution over the surface of your floor and let it seep in. Continue to add solution as it soaks in for the next 30 minutes or so. Then, begin scrubbing your tile and grout with a stiff brush by first pouring more solution on the area you’re working in. Make your way methodically across the floor and finish by rinsing with clean water. You can keep your floor looking sparkling clean by mixing in oxygen bleach with your mop water whenever you clean.

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6 Helpful Tips:

1. Clean your tile and grout with water first and allow it to dry to remove loose dirt.

2. Don’t use bleach on colored grout.

3. Test a small area of your tile and grout with the solution first to make sure it doesn’t damage or erode.

4. Don’t mix cleaners! This can cause harmful chemical reactions.

5. If your tile and grout are extremely dirty and none of these methods work, you can always try commercial tile and grout cleaners.

6. Keep your tile looking fresh between cleanings with grout sealer.

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About the Author:

Pro.com is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.