How to clean neglected tile and grout.

How to clean neglected tile and grout.

Man-made tiles like porcelain and ceramic are one of the most durable and resilient floor finishes you can have. For this reason it is almost always the number one choice for your kitchen floor.

Tile floors often get neglected because they do not require daily or even weekly cleaning; unlike carpet and hardwood floors. With years of neglect, a thick layer of dirt can accumulate in tiles surface pores and grout lines. While the tile surface can be easy to clean, the same can’t be said about grout lines.

Cleaning smooth surface tiles is fairly straight forward. Most of the time tiles can be cleaned with regular floor cleaning solution and a mop.

Tiles with porous surfaces pose more of a challenge. If your tiles are extremely dirty the grout lines will be as dirty. To make the cleaning easier choosing the proper cleaning solution will be the most important part.

Professional tile and grout cleaning solutions are highly recommended. You can purchase tile cleaning solutions at your local home hardware store if you don’t have a distributor of professional tile and grout cleaner in your area.

As a first choice you should use alkaline based tile and grout cleaner. Kitchen  floors normally do not have calcium build up. This type of dirt requires acid based cleaning solution.

Some cleaning products require dilution with water. Then they can be sprayed on the floor and left for 15 to 20 minute. Look for a cleaning product that has similar instructions. (We recommend alkaline tile and grout cleaning solution by ESTEAM.)

Keep in mind you should always test the solution in an  inconspicuous area first. Once you have tested the solution you will need the following solutions for cleaning.

A large squeegee, one small brush for grout lines, one larger brush for tile surfaces, a mop and a bucket, a few disposable towels and a spray bottle. A 1 gallon spray bottle will work the best. Usually these can be purchased at a home hardware store or Canadian tire for approximately $20.00.

Take a spray bottle and mix your tile and grout cleaning solution with water to the proper proportions. Once mixed, spray it on tiles on approximately 10 to 100 square feet. Most solutions usually take 10 to 20 min to set.

After the required time has passed, take your brushes and start scrubbing the grout and tile surface. It’s recommended that you start cleaning the grout first. You will see that dirt will come off with ease. Do not let cleaning solution dry. After scrubbing, take the squeegee and remove the excess cleaning solution and mop it up. Work your way out one section at a time. You can use the towels to dry the floors faster to minimize the sloping hazard.

Keep in mind that you need to use proper cleaning gloves and footwear. The surface of the tiles will be extremely slippery and hazardous. Placing towels on the floor as you work can greatly reduce but not eliminate how slippery the floor is.

After you have cleaned the entire floor, it is important to do a final rinse of the floors. You can use clean water or cleaning solution neutralizer. The latter can be purchases at the same location where you got the cleaning product.

Good luck on your next cleaning project and remember to stay safe. Having safety goggles will ensure that cleaning solution will not get in your eyes when you are scrubbing the floor. Never spray floor cleaner on cabinets walls or appliances as it can damage them.

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