Establishing a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
Cleaning tile floors in your bathroom can sometimes be a real challenge depending upon how much traffic goes through your lavatory. Keeping your tile floors sparkling clean also depends on how often you shower. Of course the best solution for caring and cleaning of ceramic tile floor s in your bath is regular preventive maintenance like sealing grout lines to make cleaning easier.
But what can you do if you’ve put off cleaning your floor and your tile becomes marred and your dirty grout lines are an eyesore? There are powdered and liquid cleaners on the market or would it be better to just rent a steam machine to clean your dirty tiles?
Is one cleaning method better than the other and are there eco-friendly solutions for cleaning your bath tiles that are safe for both your pets and small children?
Well the good news about cleaning the floors in your home is that the tiles themselves can usually be cleaned with a damp mop and water. When using water, you can add about a cup of rubbing alcohol or vinegar to the bucket of water for better cleaning results.
The Downside of Commercial Scrubbing Products
Now there are also commercial household cleaners you can use (like Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner) but you should only use these in their diluted form, not because it will have an adverse effect on the tile but because the chemicals may penetrate the grout and affect the coloration of the grout lines if you are using a cement based grout that incorporates sand dye pigmentation, unlike an urethane grout which is color and stain resistant like an epoxy.
For really stubborn stains, a really diluted bleach solution can be used but this is in extreme cases only and like all chemicals, should be cleaned by moping thoroughly with clean water. One thing that we should mention is that using bleach and ammonia based products may inadvertently cause your grout to discolor over time so use these harsh chemicals vary sparingly.
And never use steel wool or other abrasive materials to clean your bathroom tiles as this will scratch and dull the surface and break through the protective grout sealant layer exposing the tile to excessive wear and tear.
Soiled Grout is an Eyesore
The thing that most homeowners soon realize after installing ceramic tile floors in their bathroom is that no matter how much they clean their tiles, if their grout lines are not taken care of also then their floor appears dirty and dingy.
As a special note, make sure your mop has filaments that can reach down into the grout lines to clean them and doesn’t just pass over the tile’s surface.
Another important consideration is to rinse your mop in clean water regularly because you don’t want dirty water drying in your grout lines to build up a dirty film. If you have neglected to clean your grout lines for a while .
The easiest way to clean them is with an old tooth brush and a relatively strong bleach solution of about two cups of bleach to one bucket of water. Just make sure your bath floor is scrupulously clean before you begin honing in on your grout lines.
Using the Proper Safety Precautions
Turn on your bathroom exhaust fan, put on rubber gloves and protective eye wear because you don’t want bleach splattering in your face as you clean the grout lines. Once you have cleaned your grout lines you need to thoroughly rinse the bleach off your tile floor by moping with clean water.
Wait for your tile floor to dry completely and then you can begin sealing your grout lines with a silicone grout sealer which you can apply only to your grout lines for a better seal. The only down side to this method is that it is time consuming.
If on the other hand you are strapped for time you can also purchase an all-in-one tile finisher and sealer which can be applied over your entire floor. While initially cleaning and sealing your grout line can be rather time consuming, in the future with a regular cleaning schedule, it will be a lot easier to clean and restore your bathroom tile in the future.
The Wonders of Oxygenated Bleach
One of the most effective eco-friendly nontoxic grout cleaning products on the market is powdered oxygen bleach. The great thing about this green cleaning product is that you just have to add warm water and the longer you let it sit on the problem grout stain, the more effective it is.
Let it soak into the grout for about twenty minutes or more and then using your toothbrush, using tiny circular motions scrub the grout stain, adding oxygen bleach solution as you scrub to help lift away the debris.
If you are planning on renting a machine to clean your grout tiles, you may want to look into a steam cleaner. Steam cleaner are an easy, safe way to have your grout sparkling clean and sanitized.
Examining More Green Stain Removal Options
If you are looking for another environmentally friendly way to clean the grout and tiles in your bathroom then steam cleaning may be the answer you are looking for. Once the walls or floor are thoroughly clean, the grout can be sealed. Your grout lines should be sealed about twice a year.
Your bathroom tile floors should be swept and mopped on a regularly basis to prevent damage to your tile grout and surface finish. A good preventive maintenance schedule is to do a quick sweep daily and round off the week with a light mopping with alcohol in the water to keep your floors looking pristine.
And try not to use a really wet mop as the calcium and other tap water minerals can build up over time and leave behind deposits that can dullen your tile floors. Also excessive dampness can lead to the formation of mold and mildew in your bathing space.
This can not only lead to dingy grout lines but can also create health problems because of the mold spores. To resolve this potential problem make sure your floors are hand dried after each moping and turn on your exhaust fan and open up your door to make sure the room is well ventilated.
Sealing and polishing your tile floors on a regular basis will also help to keep your washroom looking like new.
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