Bathroom tiles tend to accumulate more mold, mildew, and dirt due to moisture. A simple daily wipe down of the tiles with soap and water can easily rectify this scenario. Utilizing an old toothbrush to clean the grout on a weekly basis will prevent buildup and eliminate the need for harsh abrasives or chemicals.
Kitchen tiles, conversely, accumulate dirty residue from dropped food and foot traffic. Mold or mildew is not a common problem in the kitchen other than the sink area. Nevertheless, if cleaning is performed before dirt mineralizes into calcified or otherwise hardened residue, your tiles will retain their sheen and your family will appreciate the sanitary nature in the home. Once again, chemically abrasive cleaners are unnecessary if regular cleaning is performed.
For routine grout cleaning, we recommend vinegar which is highly effective. Vinegar can be applied as is or diluted with water. You also have the option of mixing the vinegar with a stronger grout cleaner product if desired. Be sure to scrub in a circular motion with a soft, non-abrasive brush. Rinsing your floor with a sponge or wet mop completes the process.
A baking soda, water and vinegar solution also works well. Regardless of maintenance, grout will eventually become discolored. Lemon juice is an excellent stain remover and can also help the grouts and tiles recover their original color.
Should your tiles and grout require a more serious cleaning, you may wish to consider bleach solutions. Household cleaners containing bleach are recommended. Bleach products are particularly suited for removal of mold and mildew.
If a bleach product is ineffective, you may wish to consider a commercial product. Keep in mind, however, that most commercial grout cleaners contain harsh chemicals. Should you decide to go this route, ensure the products you purchase are pH-balanced but be careful not to use them too often as they contain abrasive ingredients which will damage your tiles over time.
Regular cleaning of your tiles and grout will inhibit the greasy, slimy buildup which requires the most effort. Once you get past the initial cleaning, routine cleanup will prove far less time-consuming and minimize the need for elbow grease!