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Tile is a very durable surface area for a kitchen, bathroom or living room. However, it will collect dirt and mold. Cleaning tile to remove this dirt is often a challenge because some cleaners harm tile or scratch the surface. Use these tips to help clean tile and return it to its former, bright shiny look.

Why Tiles Get Dirty

Tile gets dirty through normal use. Bacteria and mold grows on tile in wet areas. In the bathroom, soap scum builds up on tile and dirt is often embedded in this scum since it is soft and sticky.

Cleaning Tile Surfaces

Cleaning tile surfaces is fairly straight forward. As long as you use the right cleaner the job is a snap. Using a tile cleaner is always the best bet. These cleaners do not have powders which scratch and mar the surface. The cleaners also dissolve soap scum to help remove the embedded dirt.

A sponge or cloth is the best way to apply the cleaners. Be sure to wipe the tile down right away and sop up all remaining water with a dry towel to reduce the chance of water spots.

Cleaning Tile Grout and Mold

Most common ceramic and porcelain tiles collect lots of dirt and mold in the grout between each tile. This tile mold is easily removed with grout cleaners. A typical grout cleaner is one made to scour out the concrete grout. It is an industrial solution with acid and cleaners. Make sure it is designed for the type of grout your tiles have. Not all grouts are the same, as some are more porous than others.

To use the grout cleaner, spray it onto the grout inbetween each tile. Let it set for a few minutes and then scrub it off with a bristle brush and rinse with some warm water. The tiles themselves are then cleaned with a household cleaner as described above.

For tougher stains, scrub the tiles with a stiff bristle brush and wash with warm water. Tiles should be cleaned every six months to prevent mold build up in the porous grout.

Bleach can be used to clean tile but it could discolor certain types. If your tile does not have a glaze be wary of using any bleach containing products.