Cleaning your bathroom tiles might seem pretty straightforward and it is so long as you understand the right products tools and techniques that you should be using to get the job done and that’s why in this article i’m going to teach you to clean your shower tiles like a pro.
Bathroom tile challenges: The three biggest challenges you’re going to face cleaning your bathroom tiles are as follows first up is soap scum, soap scum is a combination of hard water that comes out of your shower head combined with dead skin cells body oils and any products that you’re using when you’re in the shower when you are done your shower the water dries and anything that is contained in those water droplets sticks to the tiles over time that builds up and you have soap scum. The second issue that people run into is mold and mildew that’s because showers have a lot of moisture in them and if you’re not ventilating properly you’re going to get mold and mildew pretty quickly and it’s persistent so you’ve got to stay on top of it the third issue is not knowing the type of tiles that you have and cleaning them improperly a lot of people end up damaging what they have in their bathroom because they literally throw any and all products at it hope for the best and sometimes end up with damage so we’re going to eradicate all those issues right now.
Identify tile types: Now in a shower you’re going to have a glazed or a sealed tile that is a vitreous surface meaning it won’t absorb more than three percent moisture which is what you want the first type of tile that we most often see in a bathroom is a ceramic or a porcelain tile it’s very durable it’s very easy to clean and in fact when we were putting our bathroom together that’s exactly why we chose it we wanted easy and not temperamental for these you don’t have to worry too much about the products that you’re using you can’t really damage them with products but you do want to make sure that you’re using a non-scratching tool because you don’t want to ruin the finish cement tiles are also popular for the bathroom but you want to make sure that you’re not using any acidic cleaners whereas a porcelain or a ceramic tile can easily handle that next up are glass tiles now these are moisture resistant as well as stain resistant so they’re a good choice for the shower but when it comes to cleaning you want to make sure that you’re not using anything that’s abrasive that goes for both products and tools and then there’s the big old umbrella category of natural stone you know it it’s granite marble limestone slate quartz and travertine there are beautiful choices you can get them in a high polished finish or kind of like a more raw unpolished finish they’re pretty durable they look beautiful but you’ve got to be really careful when it comes to cleaning them an acidic product can etch or mar or stain essentially ruin those tiles so you’ve got to make sure that you’re using the right product and in terms of tool again I would treat them very carefully some are softer than other and the last thing you want is an inconsistent scratch because you tried scrubbing somewhere and you noticed that the tool that you were using was a little too abrasive so stick to a very ph neutral cleaner and a pretty gentle tool.
Cleaning Ceramic & Porcelain: When it comes to cleaning ceramic or porcelain tiles these are the most durable and they can handle just about any product that’s appropriate for tub and tile cleaning whether it’s something that you make or something that you buy and yes there are plenty of great store-bought products that you can use I always like starting off with something simple something that I make at home and then if that’s not working like if I were in a professional cleaning situation or I hadn’t cleaned my shower in a really long time the soap scum was really bad perhaps i’d buy a store-bought product and try something a little bit more powerful that said we have amazing diy recipes and I would always start there first, so for the tub and tile cleaner it’s just equal parts dish soap and vinegar I would use a half cup of each you can add 10 drops your favorite essential oil just to make it a little bit more fun and the technique that you’re using here is you’re spraying the product on the tile and you’re going to let it sit for a few minutes five minutes if it’s you know a relatively clean shower and if it’s sort of dirty you can let it sit for up to 10 minutes the idea here is you don’t want to spray it on and let it dry you want to spray it on and let it sit while it’s soaking wet so really hose those tiles down a wet product is a product that works now after that time has elapsed you can go in there using a non-scratch scrub pad and use the s pattern to go from top to bottom and scrub those tiles clean what you should see or feel if you can’t visually see it is the soap scum starting to come off the way you’ll know it’s coming off if you’re touching it is you’ll notice the tiles feel smooth and not that gritty sensation that you would feel if you felt soap scum on there before you started cleaning by the time that’s done you’re going to rinse everything down and then you can buff it dry now there are a few different ways you can buff it dry you can use a squeegee but I find after I clean the shower I think using like a large microfiber cloth like our utility cloth is a great way just to put that extra polish on a shower and if you have high tiles like I do you can actually use a mop stick the microfiber cloth on there and work your way up and down that way just to save your arms and your shoulders from doing some extra work if you’re looking for a store-bought cleaning product you can consider something like a bar keepers friend cream cleaners like them something that’s a spray on top and tile cleaner there are plenty of options out there even a steam cleaner is actually great at getting your tiles cleaned any type of tile so there are lots of different options.
Cleaning other tile types: I’m going to treat cement glass and natural stone tiles all with the same type of product in tool recommendations because they’re much more delicate than your ceramic and porcelain tiles so we’re just going to use the same products for all of them now as I said if you have a steam cleaner that’s a perfect thing for you to use you want to stay away from anything that’s acidic and anything that’s abrasive there are fabulous store-bought products that are specifically designed to melt away soap scum and the way that you want to apply them is to follow the package instructions everybody’s a little bit different but essentially you’re going to put them on the tiles let them sit for a period of time you’re going to use a non-abrasive scrub pad you’re going to scrub it off and give it a good rinse.
Shower Floors: Now a tip for cleaning shower floors because unless you want to get down on your hands and knees and scrub I have an easier solution for you, you can use something called a deck brush it’s a pretty easy thing for you to find online you would need a rectangular sized bucket and then you can dilute your cleaning product into that bucket alternatively you can kind of squirt it on the floor and then you can agitate it with the deck brush that way you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees and do the scrubbing hey if you want the exercise i’m not going to stop you but if for whatever reason you don’t want to do that or you have a mobility issue that’s a great alternative finally i’m going to tell you this about cleaning showers I always start with the tiles first and I do the floors last in fact you want to keep the floors as dry as possible so that you don’t slip and when you’re doing the floors you want to start at one side of the shower the shower that’s the side that’s closest to the back corner and you want to work your way out so that way you’re not stepping over anything that’s really wet.
Grout: And now the thing that holds it all together grout, grout is the binder that holds your tiles in place and also prevents moisture from getting in but funnily enough grout is porous so every time you shower it is absorbing a little bit of something that you might not want getting behind the wall whether that’s moisture or the stuff that’s coming off your body the stuff that’s contained in soap scum that’s also getting into your grout the only difference between your tile and your grout is it’s really hard to penetrate the grout and get all the dirt out to clean your grout you can do a couple of different things a great diy recipe is to use one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts baking soda you can whip up a paste and apply it with a cleaning toothbrush let it sit for about minutes and then give it a good scrub rinse it and buff it dry now if you have a really stained tile and you want to up it you can mix up a solution of oxygen bleach like oxiclean and you can apply that instead something else you can consider doing if you notice that your grout gets pretty dirty pretty quickly is to apply a grout sealant this is pretty simple you pick it up you clean your grout you let everything dry and then you apply it with a paintbrush you don’t have to be a michelangelo you just have to follow the instructions and let it dry that sealant is going to protect your grout for a good period of time several months from anything getting in there which means it’ll retain its beautiful color and you don’t have to worry about scrubbing it clean so much.
Sealing natural stone: Another maintenance thing to do if you have natural stone tiles in your shower is to seal it you can pick up a natural stone sealant any reputable brand will be fine you follow the package instructions apply it accordingly and the most important thing is that it beautifies it which means it restores it to its original glory but it also protects it from stains and damage and so on and so forth you can read about the frequency in which you should be sealing it on the particular product itself but it is a good habit to get into.
Mold & Mildew: In the bathroom particularly in the shower there’s going to be an ongoing battle between you getting clean and you preventing mold and mildew from building up in there the easiest way to do that is to stay on top of the moisture in the shower which means after every shower every family member picks up a squeegee and swipes the walls, it takes less than a minute to do our whole shower we’ve gotten pretty good at it but it makes a huge difference also ventilate during and for at least 30 minutes after your shower that way you won’t have tropical destination environment in your bathroom which is perfect for mold spores now if you happen to notice any mold or mildew building up first of all try to get into that habit of removing moisture like I just talked about but you can also treat it with a few different product options you can of course diy it you can use an equal parts bleach and water solution to try and tackle it if you’re not a bleach fan you can use oxygen bleach to try and do it or you can pick up a store-bought, you would follow the package instructions you want to spray it onto the surface let it sit for the prescribed amount of time scrub it off and rinse it clean you might have to retreat the area several times to remove the staining and to provide a level of protection from mold and mildew coming back but staying on top of it is very important because if you see it there it means it can start getting into the drywall.
Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next time.