Maintaining Sparkling Tiles: Long-lasting Solutions for Cleaning and Brightening Bathroom Grout

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Updated on:

June 5, 2023

Top Secrets Revealed: Cleaning and Brightening Bathroom Tiles and Grout Like a Pro

If you have come to enjoy the beautiful tile in your bathroom, you will probably want to clean and maintain it’s look and functionality. There are two surface components of your bathroom floor and shower. The dirty tiles and the grout often need to be treated differently when cleaning. Cleaning these surfaces can sometimes be challenging. There are several cleaning agents and techniques that can keep your floor tiles and grout looking their best. Many of the cleaning solutions are DIY, like baking soda and vinegar. They can be easily found in your cupboards or your favorite store.

In addition to cleaning with methods using water, cleaners, a brush and a cloth, a steam cleaner is often the most effective choice.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Effective Tile Cleaning Methods: Use dish soap and water, vinegar and water, or a tile cleaner. Scrub, rinse, and wipe for a clean shine.
  2. Grout Cleaning Tips: Clean with vinegar, baking soda paste, or hydrogen peroxide. Scrub, rinse, and dry.
  3. Benefits of Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaners dissolve dirt, grime, and mold. Rinse for clean and sanitized tiles.

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Table of Contents (Show)

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How To clean Bathroom Tiles

How To Brighten Tiles Grout

Commonly asked Questions

1. Methods to Clean Bathroom Tile

before and after tile cleaning

1.1 Cleaning the Tiles With Dish Soap and Water

Tiles represent the largest surface area of your bathroom floor or shower walls. Ceramic and porcelain are common types of tiles. You can clean these types of tiles in the same manner and technique.

Soap scum, overspray from personal care products and water stains build up on bathroom tile. Dirt accumulates in the grooves and ridges of the tile. You can use dish soap and warm water. Get the water to a good warm temperature in a bucket and mix with dish soap. Use a brush, and scrub in a circular motion with generous amounts of water and soap. Use a cup to rinse the tile. Wipe the tile with a dry cloth for a clean shine.

1.2 Cleaning the Tiles With Vinegar and Water

For tougher stains on dirty tile, you can use a vinegar and water solution to clean the surface. Many people mix the vinegar and water 50/50 in a spray bottle. If you do not have a spray bottle, you can mix it in a dish. Warm water is best. Spray or spread the mixture on the tile, and let it sit for five to seven minutes. Scrub with a stiff brush until you remove the dirt. Rinse with water and wipe with a cloth. You can repeat the process for stubborn stains.

Vinegar will also help eliminate odors. Vinegar is very acidic. Do not use straight vinegar as it can seep into the grout and weaken the integrity of the tiled floor.

1.3 Cleaning the Tiles With a Tile Cleaner

If you choose not to use common household items as part of your cleaning method, you can purchase an off-the-shelf cleaning solution at your favorite store. Follow the cleaning instructions on the label. You may still have to apply a little elbow grease to get the dirty tile as clean as you want.

before and after tiles clesaning

1.4 Use a Mop if You Choose

You can always mop the tile floor in a traditional way. Choose your favorite cleaner and wet mop the floor. Be sure to soak up the excess water when you are done.

1.5 Cleaning Tiled Walls and Floors in the Shower

The shower presents unique cleaning needs because of soap scum and mold. You may want to go straight to vinegar and water for the soap that builds up on shower wall and floor. This level of grime will require a little elbow grease to get the stains out. Spray your vinegar and water solution directly on the tile floor and walls. Let it sit for five to seven minutes. Use a stiff brush and scrub in a circular motion. Run the shower water, and wipe down the walls and floor when your cleaning job is complete.

1.6 Cleaning Mold or Mildew Off of Tile With Bleach

If you have mold or mildew in your shower, you may have to use bleach to eliminate the problem. You have to be careful when using bleach as a cleaner. Mix in a spray bottle combining one part bleach with two parts water. Spray the cleaning solution on the infected area.

After spraying, wait five to seven minutes. The mold should begin to fade away. If there are sections where the mold is more persistent, use a stiff brush to scrub the mold away. You can use an old toothbrush for smaller sections and cleaning the corners. Completely rinse the surface of the tile with water after you are done scrubbing. To prevent mold from growing in the future, wipe down the shower daily to reduce the wet surfaces and moisture.

Check this guide for mold and mildew removal

tles on the walls cleaning

1.7 Cleaning Mold or Mildew Off of Tile with Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you are looking for a more natural cleaner to kill mold and mildew, you can use baking soda or white vinegar. Get a cup of baking soda and mix with water. Use a cloth, and spread evenly over the tile. Let the mixture sit for five to seven minutes. Use a stiff nylon brush, and scrub the floor or wall in a circular motion. Use a toothbrush for smaller areas. The mold and mildew should come right off. For stubborn or deeper mold or mildew on the tiles, repeat the process targeting those areas.

To use vinegar, mix the vinegar 50/50 with water. Spray the solution on the mold, and let sit for five to seven minutes. Use a stiff brush on the tile. Rinse and wipe with a cloth when finished cleaning.

1.8 Cleaning Mold or Mildew off of Tile With Hydrogen Peroxide

You can use hydrogen peroxide straight from the bottle. Apply to the mold-infected area. Wait three to five minutes. The bubbling action of the hydrogen peroxide will start to work. Use a medium-bristled brush for scrubbing. Rinse the brush in the process to keep it mold-free. After the area is cleared of the mold and mildew, rinse the area with water. Wipe with a dry cloth.

2. Cleaning Tile and Grout with Steam

A steam cleaner is one of the most effective tools in cleaning bathroom tile and tile grout. When you clean showers, you will more than likely be dealing with more than just surface dirt and grime. Soap scum in the shower builds up on the tile and tile grout.

Portable Steam cleaners for residential use will dissolve and easily remove all of the foreign materials that have built up on the tile and grout. Outside the shower, a steam cleaner will also remove any personal care products, like hair spray, that have built up on the tile and tile grout. Using a steam cleaner does not require a lot of scrubbing because the cleaner does the work. Portable steam cleaners work best in the bathroom for tile and grout cleaning because you can easily maneuver them in small spaces.

Cleaning the tile and grout with a steam cleaner has another advantage. A steam cleaner delivers steam at high temperatures. These high temperatures kill the mold that resides on the tile and grout in the shower. Simply rinse and wipe any loose residue from the grout after cleaning. You now have clean grout and tile.

Steam cleaning grout and tile is a very natural and environmentally-friendly method to choose.

3. Methods to Clean Grout

Tile grout is a porous material on tiled floors. Grout typically has a texture to it also. Both of these traits can allow dirt, grime, soap scum and other stains to adhere to grout. There are still plenty of DIY methods for cleaning grout lines. The tips and techniques below will remove the grime and mold from dirty tiles in one process.

Based on the cleaning agent you choose, here are a few materials to gather for cleaning grout.

  • Grout brush
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Grout cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Toothbrush
  • Cup for measuring
  • Spray bottle
  • Bucket
  • Rag or cloth
  • Grout sealer
cleaning grout with toothbrush

3.1 Clean Grout With Vinegar

Some cleaners choose to pour hot water over the grout as a first step to loosen the dirt. Mix white vinegar 50/50 with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the grout and let it sit for five to seven minutes. Use a grout brush or toothbrush and scrub each section of the grout. Rinse with water when complete. Dry with a cloth or rag.

3.2 Clean Grout With a Baking Soda Paste

This grout cleaning method can be in two steps. Pour some baking soda in a dish or cup. Add water to make a baking soda paste. Ensure the paste is on the thicker side of consistency. This natural grout cleaner allows the paste to form a cleaning bond to the grout. Next, spray a 50/50 mix of warm water and vinegar on the grout. Scrub the baking soda paste on the grout with a stiff brush and rinse. Repeat the cleaning process for stubborn stains. Soak up the excess water with a cloth or rag.

3.3 Clean Grout With Hydrogen Peroxide

You can use hydrogen peroxide straight for cleaning grout. Apply it to the grout. Do this job in sections to keep the hydrogen peroxide active. The bubbling action will begin to act on the grout. It will loosen the dirt. Scrub with a toothbrush or grout brush along the grout lines. Rinse with water from a cup, and soak up the excess water with a cloth or rag.

3.4 Clean Grout With a Grout Cleaner

A commercial grout cleaner can be a great choice for dirty grout. You can purchase them at a general discount store or your favorite home improvement store. Some come with applicators. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

3.5 Clean Grout With Chlorine Bleach

Bleach should be used sparingly when cleaning grout. If you choose to use it, mix one part bleach to two parts water. Apply to the dirty areas and scrub with a brush. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and wipe the area.

If you are trying different cleaning agents, be sure to clear each agent before attempting another. Traces left of a grout cleaner, like vinegar, when mixed with bleach will emit a toxic chlorine gas.

3.6 Sealing Tile Grout

After you are done with your grout cleaning, you can apply a grout sealer. A grout sealer will help maintain your clean grout in the future. Grout sealers are easy to apply.

using brush to clean tiles

4. Commonly Asked Questions and Tips

How do you brighten bathroom tile grout?

Removing surface and ground in dirt will brighten up tile grout. There are several effective grout cleaning options. Cleaning the grout every two to three weeks will help maintain the grout’s appearance.

How do you clean and brighten grout?

For this DIY project, choose the cleaning agent that works best for you. Different types of grout in different conditions can respond uniquely to the agent you choose. Grout is a porous material. If one method does not work the way you expect, try another. Use a grout brush or an old toothbrush to clean grout lines.

How do I get my grout white again?

Most grout can be cleaned and whitened up again. Choose your grout cleaning agent and thoroughly scrub each inch of the grout. You do not have to do it all in one day. Break your grout cleaning up by section so it does not seem so tedious. Your grout will soon be white again.

What can be used to clean tile and grout?

For grout cleaning, you can choose a commercial grout cleaner, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda or bleach. Steam from a steam cleaner can be the easiest, effective the most efficient way to clean grout and tile floors.

About the Authors

Olga Drążewska
With a decade of experience in export operations and logistics, I bring a wealth of expertise to the field. I've navigated the complexities of logistics with precision, ensuring smooth operations and seamless exports. Cleaning expert.
Sabrina Tretyakova
In the world of cleanliness and hygiene, Sabrina Tretyakova stands as a beacon of expertise and dedication. As an ISSA-certified cleaning technician, Sabrina brings a wealth of knowledge and three years of unwavering commitment to her profession. Having served a staggering 1,200 clients

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