Every day we put wear and tear on our home’s tile. From tracking in dirt to walking around in our bare feet to excess moisture from our shower or sinks absorbing into grout, the grout and tile in our homes get dirty and grimy. Proper cleaning is essential maintenance for your tile (all tile, not just flooring). But using harsh chemicals to clean your home is not always ideal and can potentially have an effect on your health.
However, the solution can be more simple than you think. Homemade, chemical-free cleaners can be effective and far more inexpensive than store-bought cleaners, and many of them can be made using items you already have in your home.
But with so many homemade solutions, it’s hard to know which ones to use. Here are our must-have chemical-free grout and tile cleaning recipes to remember for your space.
Tile can sometimes need a simple cleaning, while other times, it needs a deep scrub. Try to avoid the use of mops as they can spread dirt and muck into the grout through dirty water. Instead, create a chemical-free cleaning solution and scrub the dirt loose.
Here is what you will need for a great chemical-free tile cleaning recipe:
- Baking soda
- Castile soap
- Scrub brush or sponge
For a simple way to clear your tile of a thin layer of dirt or water stains, mix baking soda with vinegar to create a paste. Apply the paste to your tile and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse and wipe the paste off.
For heavier grime and deep stains, wipe your tile with a heavy coat of vinegar. Then mix half a cup of baking soda with enough water to create a paste. Add two tablespoons of borax and two tablespoons of liquid Castile soap. Apply the mixture to the wet tile and let sit for 10 minutes. Then scrub the tile with a brush or sponge and wipe clean.
Vinegar is acidic in nature, making it a great item to combat buildup on your tile. It is also anti-fungal in nature. Borax is used to disinfect and sanitize by converting water molecules into hydrogen peroxide when mixed. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, which helps loosen and lift dirt off the tile. The combination helps give a deep and sanitized clean to your tiled areas.
Natural Stone Cleaner
Cleaning natural stone and tile is different than cleaning porcelain or ceramic tiles. Acidic substances can cause etching in the sealant and harm your natural tile. Avoid using bleach, vinegar, lemon juice, or other acids on natural stone. But even with natural stone, you can still have a chemical-free cleaning.
Here is what you will need for a sanitizing, natural stone tile cleaning recipe:
- Rubbing alcohol (Vodka can also be used.)
- Castile soap/ essential oils (optional)
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber cloth
To get a sanitized cleaning of natural stone, mix half a cup of rubbing alcohol with one-and-a-half cups water into a spray bottle. Add in a couple drops of mild dish soap or liquid Castile soap. If you love essential oils, you can add your favorite fragrance for an appealing smell. Just make sure the essential oil does not contain acid substances like lemon or orange. Then shake the mixture thoroughly. Spray it directly onto the stone and allow it to sit for 10 to 30 minutes. Then wipe clean.
Because of grout’s porous nature, it is more likely to harbor mold and bacteria than tile. It therefore requires deeper cleaning than its counterpart. But you can still achieve a chemical-free grout cleaning.
For an all-purpose grout cleaner, you will need:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- Mild dish soap (optional)
- Toothbrush or sponge
- Face mask
Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Optionally, you can add a teaspoon of a mild dish soap. While the dish soap is not 100% necessary, it does help to remove trapped grease and give the grout a more thorough cleaning.
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic so it kills bacteria. It is also anti-fungal and anti-viral, which helps fight any mold that may be growing in the grout. It is used to lighten and brighten and is nontoxic, making it a far better choice for inside your home than bleach. Baking soda also helps to brighten, but its light abrasion helps to loosen dirt and grime that builds up in your grout. The combination helps lift and remove dirt while also disinfecting your space.
Once you have mixed these ingredients into a paste, apply the mixture onto your grout and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. (Leaving the paste for longer helps the product work even better.) Then scrub the paste into the grout, using a toothbrush or heavy duty sponge. Rinse and wipe the tile clean. Always wear a face mask when cleaning mold as spores can make their way into the air.
Overcome the Dirt and Grime in Your Tile and Grout
Using a process that is safe for the tiled areas of your home is essential to prolonging the lifespan of your tile. Hiring a professional grout and tile cleaning company can provide many benefits for your home, one being an understanding of what works to maintain your tile and what does not.
At Groutsmith Tulsa, we avoid the use of harsh acidic cleaners and high-pressure steamers while giving you a thorough cleaning that rids your tile and grout of mold, dirt, and grease. See our grout and tile cleaning services for more information on how our team can safely and effectively transform your tile into something to be proud of.