I need a tile cleaning regimen!
April 14, 2006 3:11 PM   Subscribe

What is a good, realistic tile cleaning regimen? Method, frequency, and implements...

I hate to admit all of this, but I need help. I tore all of the linoleum out of my bathroom last year and replaced it with 3/4" Hexagon tiles. Now I have a ton of tiles and a ton of grout to keep clean but, to be honest, I really have no clue what the proper method is.

I found this thread but I'm affraid that I am even more novice than that poster. How often should I clean the tiles? What do I use? I tried spraying some tile cleaner and then scrubbing with a sponge but the grout eats up the sponge (little chunks come off) and then it never really gets totally clean. Is there some magic implement I am missing? So I just "spray and wipe" as the bottle says? That doesn't seem to work so well.
posted by bryanboyer to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Check out Zep's line of products -- more specifically, their Tile and Grout cleaner. You spray it, let it sit for 2 minutes, then rinse it off. Works really well for me.
posted by spiderskull at 3:26 PM on April 14, 2006

Response by poster: But what is the "rinsing off"? Wipe with a wet towel? I need some specifics. I am dumb about this.
posted by bryanboyer at 3:45 PM on April 14, 2006

Did you seal your grout? Grout that has been sealed before being regularly wetted in use will be far less likely to discolor due to mildew, or staining. But you will need to re-seal the grout in a shower used every day about once every 2 or 3 years, to keep the protection of the sealer.

If your grout wasn't sealed, and has become discolored due to staining or mildew growth, you may have to try to apply some kind of commercial grout cleaner according to package directions, something like this. In the case of mildew or fungus growth, how effective this will be will depend on whether the wall board backing your tile has become saturated or mold infested as well. Assuming you went the whole route as recently as a couple of years ago, and installed new wonderboard when you did the tile job, the mildew may not have penetrated to any great degree.

Commercial grout cleaners vary considerably in their chemistry and their approach to cleaning, and some are intended only for white grout, while others may be used on colored grout. Some are suitable for any type grout, while others are best used only on grout which was made up with epoxy additives. It would help greatly to determine the kind of grout you applied (maybe from the old packages?) and what is causing your staining or discoloration, before just slapping up some chemicals in an effort to fix the problem. Do the job wrong, and you'll be regrouting shortly, and in the meantime, you can set up water infiltration into the backing board, under the tile, which will be a real mess to deal with.
posted by paulsc at 4:25 PM on April 14, 2006

My guess would be to wipe with a wet towel a few times. A wet mop would probably also do the trick.
posted by spiderskull at 10:04 PM on April 14, 2006

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