5 Natural Cleaning Tips for Your Tile and Grout
People are increasingly looking for natural cleaning products that are safe to use around children and pets. In fact, a third of adults said they valued safety and environmentally friendliness just as much as other factors like product performance and ease of use in one study. And there’s good news: when it comes to cleaning tile and grout, you can get a great result without opting for harsh chemical cleaners.
In-home Steam Cleaning for Tile and Grout
Purchasing an over-the-counter steam cleaner for home use can be a great way to rid your tile and grout of dirt and bacteria, especially in the bathroom. Research indicates that these high-moisture areas develop a “adhesive self-generated slime” or biofilm that resists chemical cleaning products. Steam cleaners heat water to 200 degrees or more. That enables it to penetrate the biofilm surface and kill 90-100 percent of the organisms living beneath. As an added bonus, most steam cleaners come with a nozzle attachment for cleaning grout lines and around fixtures. You’ll still have to do some hand-scrubbing, but it’ll be a lot easier.
Professional Tile and Grout Cleaning
Scheduling professional tile and grout cleaning once or twice a year is an environmentally safe way to keep your home looking fresh and new. Tile and grout experts will use a eco-friendly solution that pulls dirt to the surface of porous grout joints. Then, a steam vapor cleaning system is used to eliminate traffic patterns that show up in grout over time. The final step is a clear penetrating sealer. This will help protect and keep grout looking like new for longer—without using harsh chemical cleaners.
Regular DIY Natural Cleaning of Tile and Grout
It’s fairly easy to make your own natural cleaning solutions for tile and grout using ingredients that you probably already have under your kitchen sink. Mix ½ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap in an old shampoo or any plastic bottle with a squirt lid. Squirt the mixture onto high-traffic or stained areas (or all over if needed) and let it sit for five minutes. The baking soda helps break up stains and hard water buildup. The hydrogen peroxide will help brighten grout and remove stains. Scrub stains with a soft-bristled brush and then wipe away with a paper towel. Rinse with water and repeat until stains are gone.
Seal Your Grout Every Year to Prevent Stains
Grout is very porous, so it’s easy for water and moisture to seep in. This causes stains and discoloration over time. Most people attack those unsightly areas with chemicals and store-bought cleaning products — but the best offense is defense. By having a grout expert seal your grout joints once a year, you’ll have to do much less cleaning because the penetrating sealer prevents water and dirt stains from happening in the first place. There are also a variety of over-the-counter grout sealers to choose from, including products that are sprayed on the entire floor and those that are brushed directly onto grout lines.
Recognize When It’s Time to Re-Grout
Sometimes even the harshest chemicals and cleaners won’t be able to get stains out of grout joints. That’s because absorption of water, dyes and minerals into grout lines can cause lasting stains. A grout expert might recommend staining grout lines a darker color. When there’s no damage to the grout line, staining can mask the underlying signs of wear. This freshens the look of a room. In some cases, however, mold can flourish inside porous grout in high-moisture areas. In that case, a grout expert might suggest replacing the deteriorating grout — which is a cost-effective way to prevent future damage while restoring the original shine to your tile and grout.