Tile itself is pretty simple to clean, but you need to make sure you have the right tools for your material. Cleaning porcelain or ceramic tiles is different from cleaning a porous surface like a natural stone or marble tile.
How to Clean Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
Glazed ceramic and porcelain features a smooth, non-porous surface that isn’t going to absorb any moisture or staining. That makes man-made tile really easy to clean and maintain.
Simply wipe down any dirty tiles with a household tile cleaner of your choice, and watch as they look just like new. There’s no mold, and no mildew. Just beautiful tile walls.
How to Clean Natural Stone Tile
Porous surfaces like real stone, marble, travertine, and limestone can be penetrated by caustic cleaners, which will stain the tile. Caustic cleaners include products like bleach and vinegar.
To gently clean natural stone without damaging the surface, it’s a good idea to use a dedicated store-bought stone cleaner
. This takes all the guess-work out of cleaning.
However, if you’re really invested in using a homemade cleaner, stick to gentle methods, like soapy water, or water and baking soda.
Regardless of what you use, you should always test a cleaning solution in a place that isn’t obvious, to confirm there won’t be any surface damage. Plus, as always, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.
How to Clean Grout
While tile is relatively simple to clean, grout is another matter. Unless you have epoxy grout, or a sealer was mixed in during installation, all your grout will have a porous surface that should be sealed regularly (about once a year). As you can guess, not a lot of people are actually doing this.
So what happens when grout isn’t sealed? That porous surface can absorb stains and moisture, which can then lead to mold and mildew build-up. No thanks!
There are plenty of methods to clean grout, ranging from homemade solutions to tougher, store-bought products. Most of the time, you can get the job done with a soft bristled brush, some soapy water, and a bit of elbow grease. For those tougher grout lines, there are other cleaning solutions you can try, including baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.