How to clean your bathroom tiles
Cleaning your bathroom is a task few people look forward to. However, to keep the space looking fresh and inviting it is important to tackle the grime that a room often filled with moisture inevitably brings. The longer you put off a good clean, the more dirt will build up and the harder the clean will eventually be.
It is likely that bathroom tiles will be a large feature in the room and therefore can vastly influence the look of the whole space – if the tiles look grotty, your whole bathroom will suffer and, conversely, sparklingly clean tiles can lift the entire room. In this article, we will give you some guidance on how to successfully clean your bathroom tiles to help you keep your bathroom looking spotless.
You can often find that your tiles look fine whereas the grout in between has begun to look grotty with mould or staining. Grout is actually quite porous which is one of the reasons why it can get dirtier than tiles and require specific attention. Provided your grout isn’t coloured, a good technique for a thorough, deep clean is to make a paste of bleach and bicarbonate of soda and apply it to the grout with an old toothbrush. Scrub any marks and mould as necessary and leave the paste on for a while – around half an hour – to work; once the time is up, rinse off the paste and wipe down with a suitable cloth. Always ensure that the room is well-ventilated and that you are wearing rubber gloves when using bleach.
If you have dark grouting, or don’t think strong chemicals are necessary for the condition of your grout, an alternative cleaning paste you can easily make is a combination of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Apply, leave and remove in the same way as described above for the bleach-bicarb paste, but without the harmful chemicals.
After you have dealt with any unsightly, grimy grout, you can move on to the tiles themselves. Generally, bathroom tiles will be ceramic – a material which is somewhat porous – and glazed, as this makes the material more waterproof and less likely to stain. However, soap scum and mould can still easily build up on your tiling, leaving large areas looking far from their best.
A tip for cleaning tiles is to work after the shower has been running for a while as the resulting steam will help open up the ceramic’s pores and allow a deeper clean. For tile cleaning, you can use a dedicated product, general bathroom cleaner or make a cleaning solution yourself, depending on personal preference and the state of the tiles. Similarly to the DIY solution for grout cleaning, a good homemade tile cleaner recipe is a vinegar and bicarbonate of soda mixture which has been diluted with water. However, this solution should not be used on marble.
When cleaning your bathroom tiles in a well-ventilated room, you should spray all the tiles with your chosen cleaning solution and leave for a couple of minutes to allow the cleaning agents to dissolve and lift the dirt. Then you should wipe down the tiles, paying particular attention to any specific marks, and rinse them. As a general rule, you should use a sponge or microfiber cloth on tiles as harsher materials – for example scouring pads – can scuff and scratch your tiles and damage their finish.
An alternative method for cleaning tiles, whether that is floor or wall tiles, is using a steam cleaner. A steam cleaner utilises heat to cut through and lift offending dirt like soap scum, grime and mildew. Using a cloth attachment can then carry away the dirt from your surfaces with ease.
Now that your bathroom tiles are gleaming, make sure other surrounding aspects of the bathroom aren’t letting down your hard work. Laundered shower curtains, polished glass screens and scrubbed bath tubs will make sure the entire area looks welcoming, fresh and good-as-new.
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