by Karen Bates
(last updated June 29, 2015)
If your have tile anywhere in your home, you know that it makes a beautiful addition to any room. You have also probably noticed, however, that keeping tile clean isn't always easy. Keeping your tiled surfaces in good condition requires some dedication and hard work.
Tile and grout can become stained and dirty to the point that just wiping the surface isn't enough. Other issues, like soap scum or mold, can further complicate the process of cleaning. But whatever your situation is, you can count on one thing to make getting clean tile simple: prevention. Stopping messes from forming means dirt doesn't get a chance to build up. Your best tool for this task is a simple broom and dust pan. Be sure that you sweep floors often—at least once a week—and clean up any spills that occur as soon as they happen.
Beyond prevention, there are various ways to clean the tile in your home. Of course, if you have gone a long time without cleaning the tiled area you will probably be looking at a longer cleaning process. The first step is to gather your tools and cleaners. For tile floors, you will need water, a bucket, a mild cleaner, and scrub brush to get started.
Combine your cleaner with water in the bucket. Don't use a cleaner that is too abrasive, as this may damage the tile. Wet your mop in the bucket and wring. Begin mopping the freshly swept floor, making sure to cover the entire area. You may need to go over certain spots more than once to get a really good clean.
Cleaning tile on counters and walls (such as in a shower) takes a somewhat different approach. Soap scum and even mold can wreak havoc on tile and grout, so you will have to know just how to eliminate this problem to reveal your tile's true beauty again. A bathroom cleaner specifically formulated for bathroom tile and the tough conditions it faces will help you most effectively clean this area.
Grout can be the tricky part of cleaning tile. It always seems like the grout stays dirty no matter how often you mop. Because of this, you will have to give it some special attention in order to get it clean. Use a scrub brush and some cleaner to remove dirt from the grout. A commercially available grout cleaner might be your best bet, especially if it's in really bad shape.
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