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How to Deep Clean Tile and Grout Flooring

March 3, 2024
How to Deep Clean Tile and Grout Flooring

Introduction

Keeping tile and grout floors clean can be a challenge, but with the right techniques and products, you can get them looking like new again. A deep clean periodically is important to remove built-up dirt, stains, grime, and bacteria. Read on to learn my tips for deep cleaning tile and grout floors.

Supplies Needed

Before starting, assemble the necessary supplies:

  • Grout brush – Stiff-bristled brush to scrub grout lines
  • Grout saw – Handheld tool with carbide blade to clean wide grout lines
  • Grout cleaner – Chemical cleaner formulated for grout
  • Spray bottle
  • Cleaning cloths and towels
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Knee pads (optional)

Tile cleaners like soaps, acids, or enzymes will also be needed for cleaning the tile itself. Have on hand the appropriate tile cleaner for your type of tile.

Prepare the Floor

First, thoroughly sweep, dust mop, or vacuum the floor to remove all loose debris and dirt. Mix the grout cleaner with water in a spray bottle according to label directions. Saturate the grout lines completely with the cleaner, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes. This dwell time allows the cleaner to penetrate and break down built-up dirt and stains in the grout pores.

While the grout cleaner sits, mix up your selected tile cleaner according to directions and fill your bucket. Dip a scrub cloth or brush in the tile cleaner and scrub the tile surface all over to lift up ingrained grime. Let the tile cleaner sit briefly as well before rinsing.

Scrub the Grout and Tile

Use the stiff grout brush to scrub all grout lines vigorously, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Scrub off any loosened dirt. For wider grout joints, run the grout saw blade back and forth to clean deeper down.

Rinse the floor several times with clean water, using a mop or wet vacuum to remove the dirty water. Thoroughly scrub all tiles again with the tile cleaner using a scrub brush or pad. Let the cleaner sit briefly before rinsing again.

Repeat the rinsing, grout brushing, and tile scrubbing steps as needed until both grout and tile are free of grime and stains.

Final Rinses and Drying

Give the floor several final rinses with clean water to remove any residue. With a towel, soak up as much standing water as possible. Allow air drying completely. Running ceiling fans or positioning floor fans helps speed drying.

Grout Sealing and Finishing Touches

Once fully dry, consider applying a penetrating grout sealer, which will help protect grout from future stains and damage. Carefully apply along all grout lines according to product instructions.

Buff the tile gently with a soft cloth to polish and shine. Stand back and admire your like-new tile and grout floors! They will be much easier to maintain if you perform periodic deep cleaning.

Tips for Ongoing Maintenance

  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum weekly to prevent dirt buildup
  • Use grout brushes and gentle cleaners for periodic upkeep cleans
  • Re-seal grout every 1-2 years
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals like bleach long-term
  • Address spills quickly to prevent staining

Thorough deep cleaning and re-sealing at least annually will help keep tile and grout floors looking their best.

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