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Washing tiles until they sparkle makes the whole bathroom look cleaner, brighter and more beautiful. Knowing how to clean tiles thoroughly also stops them from becoming mouldy and discoloured, which is not such a good look. Here are some simple ways you can make your bathroom tiles shine – from how to deep-clean tile floors to removing mould from grouting.
What you need for washing tiles and cleaning bathroom floor tiles
- An old toothbrush
- A specialist mould and mildew cleaner (or homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture)
- A specialist bathroom tile cleaner (or homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture)
- Sponge or microfibre cloth
- Extra-absorbent Plenty paper towels
- Dust pan and brush
- Cloth-headed mop and bucket
- Floor cleaner
Before you deep-clean the tile floor, make sure you have selected cleaners that are compatible with your tiles, to avoid damaging the tile finish. Most cleaners are suitable for ceramic tiles but you may want to test your cleaner on a small area of tiles first, just to make sure. Even homemade solutions can be damaging; vinegar can tarnish marble, for example.
How to clean tiles: grouting
The best way to clean tiles properly is always to tackle the grouting first. Grouting attracts mould faster than tiles, creating a black grid of dirt that makes the bathroom look dirty no matter how shiny your tiles might be.
- Spray the specialist cleaner onto the grouting, holding it 5 cm away from the wall or floor. Leave it to work for 10 minutes, or as long as the instructions on the label recommend.
- Or… use a homemade cleaning solution. Just combine vinegar and baking soda and use a toothbrush to scrub it into the grouting, before leaving it to work overnight.
- Wipe the cleaner away with a sponge, scrubbing as necessary. If mould remains, repeat the process.
How to clean tiles: washing the tiles
Washing tiles is a little less labour-intensive than grouting.
- The best way to clean tiles is to start by steaming up the bathroom. Run your shower at a high temperature until the room is filled with steam. The condensation will loosen any grime and make it easier to clean the tiles.
- Spray your chosen bathroom cleaner onto the tiles and leave it to dissolve the dirt for a minute.
- Wipe the cleaner away with a moistened piece of paper towel, and polish the tiles with a dry microfibre cloth until they sparkle.
Plenty kitchen towels are so strong when wet that they’re wringable and can even be reused for scrubbing – ideal to use for washing tiles and buffing them to a high shine.
How to deep-clean tile floors
Cleaning bathroom floor tiles is a similar process to washing tiles on the wall, just don’t forget to tackle the grout first (see above).
- Clear the bathroom floor of all clutter and sweep it clean with a dustpan and brush.
- Create a cleaning solution in a bucket, ensuring you follow the instructions on the label of your chosen floor cleaner.
- Dip the mop into the solution and wipe the floor, starting at the far side of the room and working towards the door. Cleaning bathroom floor tiles is easier with a cloth-headed mop than a rectangular square sponge, as it can reach the grouting between the tiles more effectively.
- Put your feet up for a couple of minutes. Wait for the solution to dry before mopping the floor again with clean water.
- Use a Plenty paper towel to buff them. Don’t skip this finishing touch: it’ll make your sparkling clean tiles really shine.