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Make Grout and Tile Shine Like New

March 5, 2024

Make Grout and Tile Shine Like New

Grout and tile can lose their luster over time from dirt, grime, and just regular use. But with a little elbow grease and the right cleaning methods, I can make them shine like new again. Here are some tips and techniques I recommend to renew any grout or tile surface.

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need

To clean grout and tile effectively, you’ll need:

  • Grout brush – A stiff bristle brush is perfect for scrubbing grime out of grout lines. Look for one with short, sturdy bristles.

  • Grout sealer – After deep cleaning, sealing the grout will help protect it from future stains. Use a water-based sealer for glossy grout or an epoxy-based sealer for a matte finish.

  • Mild detergent – An all-purpose cleaner or dish soap diluted in water works well for basic tile cleaning. Avoid harsh chemicals.

  • White vinegar – Helps dissolve soap scum, hard water deposits, and grime. Mix with water for cleaning tile and grout.

  • Baking soda – Forms a mildly abrasive paste when mixed with water to break down stubborn dirt and stains. Also helps deodorize.

  • Bucket – For mixing cleaning solutions and rinsing. Use two buckets to keep dirty water separate from rinse water.

  • Scrub pads or microfiber cloths – For scrubbing and wiping down tiles. Choose abrasiveness based on needs.

  • Soft cloths – Old rags or microfiber cloths for drying and polishing tile once cleaned.

  • Knee pads – Cushion your knees when scrubbing floor tile grout on hands and knees.

Cleaning Methods

Here are some of the best methods for cleaning tile floors, walls, countertops, and showers:

Grout Lines

Grout tends to get grimy with regular use. Here’s how to clean it:

  • Mix baking soda and water into a spreadable paste. Apply to grout lines and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

  • Use a grout brush to scrub the paste over grout. Apply pressure to dig into stains.

  • Rinse with clean water and repeat if needed. Vinegar and water also works well for stubborn grime.

  • Once all grout looks clean, use a soft cloth to dry so it’s ready for sealing.

Tile Floors

Tile floors see a lot of foot traffic and can start to look dingy over time. To clean them:

  • Sweep or vacuum floors first to remove loose dirt and debris.

  • Mop floors with a vinegar and water solution. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a mop, brush, or pad.

  • Use a microfiber mop or pad for more scrubbing power on textured tile surfaces.

  • Rinse floors thoroughly to remove cleaning solution residue.


Kitchen and bathroom counters accumulate soap scum, food spills, and hard water buildup. Follow these steps:

  • Clear all items off counters so you can easily scrub the entire surface.

  • Sprinkle baking soda over counters and use a damp sponge to scrub. Rinse clean.

  • For stuck-on gunk, let a paste of baking soda and water sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing.

  • Disinfect counters using a vinegar and water solution. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

Tile Walls and Showers

Shower walls and backsplashes get coated with soap scum, mildew, and minerals. To remove:

  • Spray walls with undiluted white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.

  • Use a non-scratch sponge or brush to gently scrub stains away.

  • Rinse walls thoroughly with hot water. Repeat process as needed.

  • Dry and buff walls with a microfiber cloth. Use a squeegee on glass shower doors.

Grout Sealing

The final step is to seal the grout once it’s cleaned. This will protect porous grout from future stains:

  • Allow grout to fully dry after cleaning. Use fans to speed up drying time.

  • Apply a thin, even layer of grout sealer using the applicator bottle or a paintbrush.

  • Let sealer soak in for 5-10 minutes. Wipe up any excess.

  • A second coat of sealer is recommended for maximum protection. Allow proper drying time between coats.

And there you have it! With the right tools and techniques, you can make old, dirty grout and tile look brand new and keep it that way. Proper cleaning and sealing is the key to maintaining a sparkling finish.

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