by Lee Wyatt
(last updated January 4, 2016)
Your kitchen may have a significant portion of its area covered in tile and grout—that's common nowadays. The tile and grout plan can look great on a kitchen floor, walls, and countertop backsplash but you do need to be aware of how to effectively and efficiently clean it. Let's face facts here, the kitchen isn't exactly a room that can stay clean very easily is it? Kitchens need to be cleaned on a regular basis for them to really be clean. If you want the tile and grout in your kitchen to stay clean and looking great, then you need to clean it on a regular basis and use the proper techniques.
The tile itself is super easy to clean and doesn't take too much scrubbing. If the tile is on the floor, you just need to mop the floor with soapy water and let it air dry. When cleaning backsplash tile, you just need to use a rag instead, and make sure that you really wipe down the tile surfaces to remove any stains or mysterious substances.
A word of advice, though, as you clean your kitchen's tile and grout—it is strongly advised that you use bleach as your cleaning agent. The reason for this is that bleach is going to help you kill and remove any germs, mold, bacteria, or other forms of general yuckiness that you may not easily see. However, if you are going to use bleach to clean then you are going to want to conduct a close inspection of the tile.
Once the tile and grout dries, if you happen to see a thin film on the tiles, then you need to rinse again. This is because as bleach dries, it can leave a powdery film that can present a serious health risk to you and your family. To prevent this health risk, while still being able to use the strength of bleach to help you clean and sanitize your floors, rinse your kitchen tile and grout as often as necessary to make sure that you have removed the bleach residue. Often this entails about two to three rinse cycles before it has been accomplished.
Cleaning your grout—the cement that holds the tiles together—is often more of a project since it takes a few more specialized tools. Begin by putting on a pair of latex gloves since you are going to be using some harsh abrasive materials, and you might just want to keep your hands nice and clean. Next, if your grout isn't particularly dirty, you can use regular grout cleaner. However, if the grout is particularly dirty or grimy you are going to want to use a more heavy-duty grout cleaner, which can be purchased at any local department store.
Once you have your cleaner, spray some of it onto the grout, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, you are going to take a stiff brush, or a grout brush, and scrub at the grout. Something that you will need to remember is that you may need to spend a lot of time scrubbing a small particular section of grout in order to get it completely clean; don't settle for semi-clean grout, but rather persevere until your grout is completely clean. After you've done the initial scrub, rinse the grout then spray hard-to-clean spots with an intense bleach cleaner and let it sit for about ten more minutes. This "bleach rinse" ensures that the mold, mildew, and bacteria are completely killed.
Finish off the job by doing one more intense scrub with the scrub brush, rinse, and you'll be good to go! If you want to keep your grout clean and sparkling, then apply some grout sealant to protect it and do minor cleaning touch ups every now and again to make sure that the grout stays fresh and clean.
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