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Cleaning Tile and Grout with Household Items

You don’t always need expensive cleaning supplies to take care of a job. Sometimes you can get away with using simple household products, put together in the right way. If you want to clean tile and grout on your own, the guide below explains how you can do that with chemicals and objects you probably already have on hand.

What You Need

•    1 Cup Chlorine Bleach
•    1/2 Cup Baking Soda
•    Warm Water
•    Bucket(s)
•    Paper Towels
•    Paint Stirrer or Wooden Spoon
•    A Toothbrush or Nylon Brush
•    A Mop and Dishwashing Liquid (for tile)

Note that these ingredients are designed for use on white grout. If you have coloured grout, replace the bleach and baking soda with oxygen bleach.

Step 1 – Create the Cleaning Solution

Combine one cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach into a bucket. Stir using a paint stirrer or similar item that you do not mind throwing away when you are finished. The solution should become the consistency of paint once it is all mixed together. If it appears soup-like, add more baking soda to it. If it appears dry and clumpy, add a little more bleach. Do this until the solution becomes a thick paste.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Other Flooring

If you have carpet or hardwood floors that touch your tile, you may want to tape a towel onto the joint line using painter’s tape. This will keep the bleach solution from seeping into your other flooring and ruining it.

Step 3 – Scrub Your Grout with the Solution

Dip a toothbrush or nylon brush into your bleach paste so that it covers the top of the bristles. Apply this to the grout, scrubbing with the direction of the grout line. Work in a small area, and pay close attention to any spots where the tile touches another material. You will want to keep the paste at least two finger-widths away from those edges to prevent any sort of bleed-over with the bleach.
Allow the solution to set on your grout for about 10-15 minutes. If you clean your entire floor at one time, you should be able to start back at the beginning by the time you finish applying the paste throughout.

Step 4 – Scrub Your Grout Again to Remove the Paste (Optional)

You can just mop up the paste once you finish applying it everywhere, but we like to scrub it off because that provides a more thorough cleaning. A nylon brush works best for this step, but you can go back to using the toothbrush if you like. Rinse the brush off thoroughly and dip it into warm water. Scrub the dried paste off the floor, adding warm water as needed to loosen it up.

Wipe off the dirty water that comes up with a paper towel. You will have a big pile of these to throw away when you finish.

Step 5 – Mop Your Floors

Add dishwashing liquid to a bucket of hot water and mop your floors with it. You can use traditional floor cleaner as well, but dishwashing liquid works just fine. Mop the floor like you normally would, and admire the transformation that came from your hard work.

Bonus Tip: Use Pre-Made Cleaners the Same Way

If you do not want to make your own cleaning solution, use a pre-made cleaner instead. Try to find a thick cleaning product that comes out like the paste we mentioned above. Sprays can only go so far with tile and grout cleaning. Many bathroom, tile, and kitchen cleaners work well under the guidelines we set above. Play around with your options and see what works best for you.

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