Tips for cleaning tile

imageAt our house, cabin fever generally sets in about mid-March. I get really tired of looking at snow and driving in snow and staying inside to stay warm. One of the ways that I have found to distract myself is cleaning. I like to take a project that I’ve been putting off and tackle it over a weekend. This weekend I’m going to do some deep cleaning of the tile in my bathrooms.

Glazed tile is easy to clean. Just wash with a damp sponge and an all-purpose cleaner that has some ammonia as one of the ingredients. If you have a spot that requires heavy-duty cleaning use a non-abrasive scouring agent like liquid Ajax, Comet, or Soft Scrub. You can also use a paste made of baking soda on a nylon scouring pad. Remember to rinse with clear water.

Unglazed tiles can be cleaned the same way as glazed tiles. Often unglazed tile s require more aggressive cleaning techniques if the surface is rough or porous. Mold and mildew are not nearly as much of a problem in a kitchen as they are in a damp bathroom. The rough surface will still collect dirt and stains, however. If the above methods don’t work for cleaning the tile, try spreading a paste of scouring powder and water over the tile and allow it to stand for about five minutes. Then scrub the surface with a stiff bristle brush, rinse with clear water and dry. If the tiles still don’t come clean, a poultice-cleaning method can be used. The Ceramic Tile Institute recommends the following procedure: Coat the tile with an undiluted neutral soap (Fels Naptha). Allow to stand and dry and dry for several hours.  Then mix some more with warm water and wet down the tile rub. Rub the tile with a sponge and copious amount of water to remove all the soap; then towel dry.

If the grout looks dirty, clean it with a brush and an all-purpose cleaner or tub, tile and sink cleaner. For badly stained or mildewed grout, use a mildew stain remover or a solution of 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach in one gallon of water. Carefully apply the bleach solution, using a brush. Rinse thoroughly

If I get busy this weekend, I’ll have a nice clean bathroom to enjoy for the rest of the winter. Happy cleaning.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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9 thoughts on “Tips for cleaning tile

  1. Hi Paul, thank you for your interest in AnswerLine. There is no newsletter, but you have the option of receiving the blogs via email. On the AnswerLine blog page, , there is place right below the Answerline graphic to add your email.

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