Tile is very durable. But it does need maintenance to keep on looking good for years to come. We’ve got some tips for helping you take care of your tile.
If you are using natural stone tiles in a shower, squeegee the tiles after every shower to prevent the buildup of soap scum. If you do have to clean soap scum off the tiles, use a non-acidic soap scum remover recommended by the tile manufacturer. For regular cleaning, use a mixture of mild dishwashing soap and warm water. Clean the tiles, then rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel or microfiber cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or cleaning tools.
Sweeping or vacuuming a ceramic tile floor regularly will help protect the glaze. Use a mild detergent and clean water to wash the tiles. Rinse well to keep dirty water from settling into grout. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or scouring pads.
Regular vacuuming or sweeping protects the porcelain from further wear. There are commercial cleaners available for porcelain tile. Check manufacturer’s instructions for recommendations. An environmentally-friendly alternative is to mix ¼ cup white vinegar with two gallons of water. Mop the floors with that solution, then rinse well with clean water and dry the surface thoroughly with a clean towel or microfiber cloth.
Things like soap scum, grease from cooking, and mineral deposits from water can dim the luster of glass tiles. An easy (and eco-friendly) way to clean glass tile is to combine equal parts white vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the tiles and grout. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then gently scrub both the tile and grout with a soft-bristled brush. Mild household cleaners, as well as the vinegar and water mixture, can be used on glass tile backsplashes in the kitchen. Never use abrasives on glass tiles.
Good old-fashioned elbow grease is the only way to get grout clean. Household hints expert Heloise has an easy recipe for grout cleaner: Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of borax. Add hot water until it makes a thick paste. Apply the paste to the grout. Gently scrub with a soft brush and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. For tougher stains, mix ¾ cup bleach with 1 gallon of water. Use rubber gloves and eye protection. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush to apply the solution to the stained area, making sure to not let the liquid splatter onto the tiles. Let it sit for several minutes. Scrub, then rinse. Never use abrasive cleaners on grout. Grout should be sealed once a year.