Cleaning your ceramic tile and grout need not break your budget. Free yourself from bondage to expensive commercial cleaning products and use common household items instead. Taking care of your tile and grout will save money over time. According to the World Flooring Association, “Regular care and maintenance will keep your ceramic tile looking new for years to come.” You can succeed as a frugal homemaker while keeping your tile and grout squeaky clean.
Plain water goes a long way toward cleaning ceramic tile floors. Mopping tile floors with hot water loosens dirt and leaves a streak-free shine. To clean grout , boil the water first and pour it along the grout lines. Hot water displaces a surprising amount of dirt and debris. Simply mop or vacuum the dirty water with a wet-dry vacuum. The best aspect of using water for cleaning is that it is practically free.
Vinegar cleans ceramic tile floors, showers, counters and grout too. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water; use the solution to mop your tile floor. Apple cider vinegar cleans tile effectively and leaves a beautiful shine, which rivals that of any waxed floor. It does an excellent job of cleaning grout. Pour the vinegar directly on the grout lines. Allow it to sit a few minutes and use a toothbrush to scrub the grout. The toothbrush cleans the grout, but will not scratch the tile. Mop the floor after you clean the grout. To clean shower tile and grout, spray the vinegar solution over the shower, and allow it to work for a few minutes. Use a toothbrush to scrub the grout and a sponge to wipe the tiles. Rinse the shower when you finish. This same process can be used to clean ceramic tile counters. Ounce for ounce, vinegar is much cheaper than commercial cleaning products.
Chlorine bleach is economical, and it cleans grout well. Mix 1 cup of bleach with 3 cups of water. Apply this solution to the grout lines with a spray bottle, and allow at least 10 minutes for the bleach to work. Scrub the grout lines with a toothbrush and mop the floor several times to remove any residual bleach. For showers and counters, use a toothbrush on the grout and rinse well. Make sure you have adequate ventilation when you use chlorine bleach.
Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive item found in most household medicine cabinets. In addition to being a good disinfectant, it also cleans grout effectively. Mix one-half cup of hydrogen peroxide, 2 cups of salt and 2 cups of baking soda. Apply the mixture to the grout lines and scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse well and mop the floor. Be aware that baking soda may leave a haze on your tile, so you may have to mop several times to remove it. This same mixture works for cleaning the showers and counters as well; just make sure that you rinse well.