Expert Tips For Bathroom Tile Cleaning

Isn’t it ironic that what you do to clean yourself in the bathroom only ends up dirtying your ceramic tile? Water, soap, and dirt can make your attractive tile look dull. In order to clean your ceramic tile and get it looking like new, you may need to employ cleaning methods that are slightly different than what you use for the rest of your bathroom. Here’s how to do it.

Regular Maintenance
The bathroom is one place you need to clean regularly, or you’ll be paying for it later when you need to remove tough stains, soap scum, and mildew. It’s important to get to all the grime before it builds up on you, so be sure to wash your ceramic tile often with a liquid detergent and then rinse. You can also try cleaning your tile with vinegar for a more natural approach. Do not use an ammonia-based cleaner, because that can discolor your grout.
If you notice spills or stains, clean them immediately before they set into the grout and discolor it. After you shower or use the sink, dry up any wet spots on the tile; this will help prevent mold from growing.
Cleaning the Grout
The grout lines in between your tiles are more difficult to clean than the tiles themselves, and this is where the worst mold and grime will be. Pay attention to the grout lines when cleaning. Scrub them with a toothbrush, or use a cotton ball dipped in cleaner to get harder-to-reach areas. The grout lines around your bathtub and shower door runner are some of the most mold-prone areas.
If your grout lines are non-epoxy (most are), you can apply a silicone-based grout sealer, which will repel water and help prevent mold growth. The sealer will need to be reapplied every 6-12 months.
Soap Scum and Hard Water Stains
You can scrub away soap scum with a toothbrush or sponge with liquid detergent. You might need to let the detergent sit on top of the scum for a couple hours before it’s easy to remove. Hard water stains can be removed with an acid-based cleaner, and vinegar can work, too. Give the cleaner or vinegar a little time to dissolve the stain, and then wipe it away with a sponge.
Getting Rid of Mold
Mold can still grow in the cleanest of bathrooms; all it needs is moisture and a little darkness or humidity, so most bathrooms are the perfect breeding grounds for mold. When you notice mold in the grout of your bathroom tile, the only way to truly remove it is with an acid-based cleaner. Make your own bleach cleaner with a mixture of one part bleach to two parts water. You can also try vinegar. Spray onto mold, and wipe away.
If you want to keep mold from coming back, reduce moisture by drying the tile when it’s wet and running an exhaust fan to reduce humidity. When you’re showering or blow-drying your hair, leave the bathroom door cracked or open.
Lizel Smith provides consultative services at Chicago kitchen and bath showroom for CHS. Lizel is also a passionate home renovator with a heart for restoring in lieu of replacing.