How to Clean Tile and Grout

How to Clean Tile and Grout
Bathroom Flooring

This article details a way for tile owners to clean tile themselves. Cleaning tile for the do it yourself is a difficult, but doable project if the proper steps are taken.




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1. Assemble the necessary tools.A grout brush that is made to go down into the grout while you are standing up.A hand held pump up sprayer (it does not need to be chemical resistant)A mop of some kind to remove the slurry you will create (or a wet/dry vacuum)The proper alkaline or acid grout cleaner. Do not try to get the most aggressive acids or alkaline chemicals. Find an approved cleaner, perhaps at a local janitorial supply house.


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2. Mask areas you might be concerned with that could be harmed by chemicals.Stainless steel appliances need to be masked with plastic and taped. Carpet needs to be protected.


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3. Sweep or vacuum area to be cleaned.


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4. Mix cleaning solution according to manufacturers directions. If you want to truly do your best you will use both an acid and an alkaline. If you have heavy grease use the alkaline first, if not use the acid first.


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5. Apply solution to the grout joint and scrub with the grout brush. Use plenty of solution and let it dwell for at least 10 minutes, but do not let the solution dry. Add more if it is drying too fast, but keep it wet for 10 minutes at least. Your biggest advantage – beside using the correct supplies, is to let the chemical dwell. Dwell time is your friend.


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6. After 10 minutes mop up slurry with clean water. You may also use a wet vac to remove slurry. Additional agitation with grout brush may be necessary. We suggest using microfiber mops. Repeat process if you are using alkaline as well as acid cleaners.


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7. When your grout dries, if it is really clean, you may wish to add a sealer. We recommend a water based sealer as they are easier to work with when applying to a grout joint. Take care not to get sealer on the tile as it can form a sticky residue that will attract soil to the tile. If it is not really clean we don’t recommend you seal it because you will be essentially sealing the soil you couldn’t get off under the sealer, and if you are able to get it cleaned professionally in the future it will hamper that person’s effort. Do not use a topical, acrylic, mop n glow or any product designed for vinyl. Find an application tool to apply the sealer, and apply it to the grout only.


  • Use of acid is discouraged on marble.
  • Take appropriate safety precautions using any chemicals. Respirators, eye protection and chemically resistant gloves are suggested when working with chemicals.
  • Use chemicals as directed. If the product calls for 4 oz per gallon, mixing 8 oz will not help the cleaning process and can make the product harder to recover, and can leave a residue that will cause rapid resoil.
  • Mask all surfaces that might be sensitive to solutions, especially acids that could etch stainless steel and some natural stone.

Source: How to Clean Tile and Grout