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Get Grout And Tiles Gleaming With Our Tips

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Get Grout And Tiles Gleaming With Our Tips

Cleaning grout and tiles can seem like an endless chore, but with the right techniques and products, you can get them looking like new again. As a homeowner who enjoys DIY cleaning projects, I’ve discovered some helpful tile and grout cleaning tips over the years.

Why Grout and Tiles Get Dirty

Grout is the material that fills the spaces between tiles. It’s usually a cement-based substance that is porous and tends to absorb liquids, dirt, grime, and bacteria over time. Tiles also attract dirt, oil, soap scum, and hard water deposits from everyday use.

Here are some common reasons grout and tiles get dirty:

  • Food stains – Spills and splatters from cooking or dining leave behind grease, sauce, and food particles that discolor grout.

  • Dirt and grime – Grout easily traps dirt and debris tracked in from outside or other parts of the home. Tile also collects dust, dirt, and grime over time.

  • Mold and mildew – Moisture enables mold and mildew growth in grout lines and tile crevices, especially in bathrooms.

  • Hard water buildup – Mineral deposits from hard water stick to tile and grout surfaces leaving unsightly stains and residue.

  • Bacteria – Grout provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow as it absorbs moisture and organic matter.

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent permanent staining and damage. The good news is grout and tiles can be restored with the right maintenance.

Grout Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Here are some of my best tips for getting grout sparkling clean:

1. Vacuum and Sweep First

Before using any cleaning solutions, it’s important to vacuum or sweep the tile floors to remove loose dirt and debris. This prevents spreading the mess around while scrubbing. Pay extra attention to grout lines to pick up as much surface-level grime as possible.

2. Use a Grout Brush and Grout Cleaner

Grout brushes have stiff, short bristles designed to scrub into narrow grout lines. Apply a grout-specific cleaner or make a DIY solution of warm water and dish soap. Scrub the grout lines with the brush using circular motions. Let it sit briefly, then scrub again. The cleaner will break up stubborn dirt and stains. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

3. Try a Steam Cleaner

For a deeper, sanitizing clean, use a handheld steam cleaner on tile and grout. The super heated steam helps lift dirt from the grout and kill bacteria and germs without harsh chemicals. Steaming also removes soap scum and whitens discolored grout.

4. Re-seal Grout

Applying a sealant protects grout from future stains. First ensure grout lines are clean and completely dry. Apply the sealant by scrubbing it evenly into the grout lines. Wipe off any excess product with a clean cloth. Re-sealing makes grout more stain-resistant and easier to clean.

Effective Tile Cleaning Techniques

For shiny, streak-free tile, use these cleaning techniques:

1. Wipe Down Daily

One of the best ways to prevent heavy tile cleaning is by wiping down tile surfaces daily. Use a microfiber cloth or mop to quickly remove surface-level dust, dirt, footprints, and spills from tile floors, walls, countertops, and backsplashes.

2. Deep Clean with Tile Cleaner

For a deeper periodic cleaning, use a pH-neutral tile cleaning product. Spray or spread onto surfaces and let sit briefly before scrubbing with a stiff brush or cleaning pad. Rinse and air dry tiles completely.

3. Baking Soda Paste

For tough soap scum or hard water stains on tile, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste and let sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The baking soda is a gentle abrasive that breaks up buildup.

4. Whitening Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water for an all-natural cleaning solution that removes soap scum, hard water stains, and discoloration from tile surfaces. The mild acid in vinegar cuts through residue.

5. Prevent Water Spots

After cleaning tile, it’s important to dry surfaces thoroughly with a towel to prevent water spots and mineral deposits, especially in bathrooms. Wipe down tile walls after showering to keep them looking new.


The secret to maintaining clean tile and grout is regular upkeep and using the proper techniques and cleaning products for each surface. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas and bathrooms. Re-sealing grout annually also helps prevent stains and makes cleaning easier. With some elbow grease and the right tools, you can restore dingy tile and grout to a like-new condition. What are your best tips for cleaning tile and grout? Let me know in the comments!

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