12 answers

Cleaning Tile Floors

I am needing some tips to get my floor tile and grout clean in the kitchen. I mop and sweep, but that grout is so yucky looking. The builder told us he had sealed the tiles (wrong!), but the grout is still soaking in that wonderful dirty water when I mop. Any suggestions? I know I can call someone to do it, and I may still do that, but I would like to know if there is anything I can do to fix it.

4 moms found this helpful

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I have a lot of rental property and just finished adding tile to several units. My construction manager, who has done a lot of really good jobs for me, explained that he would not use the sealant that is sold at Home Depot or any of the "consumer" type stores; he said those kinds did not seal the tile properly and he insisted on buying the sealant from a store where he buys tile. He pointed out some properties that a maintenance man sealed for me with the "consumer" type sealant and the grout was already starting to come off. So maybe the tile was sealed but it was not sealed with the right kind of product. Re-doing it with something you buy at a consumer store may not be much better; I would do some research and see where the real tile guys buy their supplies. good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

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I have a lot of rental property and just finished adding tile to several units. My construction manager, who has done a lot of really good jobs for me, explained that he would not use the sealant that is sold at Home Depot or any of the "consumer" type stores; he said those kinds did not seal the tile properly and he insisted on buying the sealant from a store where he buys tile. He pointed out some properties that a maintenance man sealed for me with the "consumer" type sealant and the grout was already starting to come off. So maybe the tile was sealed but it was not sealed with the right kind of product. Re-doing it with something you buy at a consumer store may not be much better; I would do some research and see where the real tile guys buy their supplies. good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Again, there is manual labor involved, but I just did this the other night and my grout lines look brand new. I scrubbed each line with a Magic Eraser (the heavy duty or extra strength or whatever the higher powered ones are called). I did it after my son went to bed, so he wasn't exposed to the stuff. I couldn't believe how great they looked and how well it worked.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't seal the dirt and grime into the grout. It will look worse. You can take 20 Mule Team Borax and make a paste with water. Rub it into the grout and tile, let it sit for a few minutes and take a regular scrub brush and scrub it out. This works like a champ for white fridge handles too. It disolves, so you don't have to clean up a "grainy" mess. Personally, I use Borax for a ton of things, this is just one use for it and it is inexpensive too. Also, when I scub the tile, I kneel on a little "gardening knee pad." You could use anything soft, just protect your knees. Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

STEAM MOP! This will help remove the grout stains. Once you find a solution to get the grout clean & sealed use a steam mop going forward. There is no soap residue and it removes everything. I have had most everything spilled and scratched into my tile and my steam mop has removed all of it! Plus, if you have small children or pets, you won't have to worry about them getting the residue on their feet & hands (paws). You will pay around 100.00 but it is well worth it. It's the best 100 bucks I've spent other than $100 I spent on the steamer for my clothes!

1 mom found this helpful

I had the exact same problem. It was a long tough job, but I was able to get it all cleaned and then we sealed it ourselves. I just used a toothbrush and diluted bleach water to scrub the grout clean (my SIL had success with oxiclean, but it didn't work as well for me - I think my floors were too far gone!). I would scrub the grout with the toothbrush wipe up the dirty water with an old towel and I bought a new mop to mop up sections as I went. With a two year old I could only do small sections at a time during nap time and bedtime, so it took a few days to do my dining room,kitchen and entry way. But I was VERY happy with the end results, it made a bigger difference than I ever thought it would. My husband thought my whole project was an insane waste of time, but even he admitted it looked much, much better! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.! My parents had this problem (white tile and white grout that always looked awful!) until they bought a Floor Mate. I think it is made by Bissel. This machine is great; it releases water and cleaner that you put in, has scrubbers that do a great job and all the while, a vacuum action that sucks up all of the yucky water before it has a chance to settle into the grout. My poor dad used to get on hands and knees every week and scrub, but now the Floor Mate has changed all of that. Just be sure you dump the dirty water after each use or it gets smelly! lol

1 mom found this helpful

This is something I fight with on my floors as well.

I have been successful with the bleach water. I have also been successful with pure vinegar.

I have grout brushes (about $2) from Home Depot that have strong wire like bristles. I LOVE these brushes for clean ups.

Either way, it is a long pain in the butt sweat equity job that does look nice when you finish.

1 mom found this helpful

I HAVE THE CURE!

This is time consuming but wonderful. They see a Grout "Paint" at Home Depot that also seals. I chose the antique white and applied to all of my grout lines with a toothbrush. You need to be careful to wipe off of the tile.

They look better than new and repel liquid (I know with two toddlers and a Lab). When I did my fireplace I was very surprised at how it looked brighter that the original!

Good Luck!
E.

1 mom found this helpful

Try a solution made with Oxyclean and a Magic Erasure. Also, a bleach pen (suposed to be used for the laundry), worked great on our grout. Just mark it on, let it sit 5 or 10 minutes, then use an old toothbrush to scrub and rinse.

I own a carpet cleaning company, and we professionally clean and seal tile and grout. The problem may be the product you are using to mop with. They can leave a horrible residue, and it also transers on to your carpet. We recommend One and Done by Armstrong. Sold in most stores, and if you go into the floor stores, you'll see that is what they recommend. As for doing it yourself, I would get the scrub brush out and get down on your hands and knees and start aggitating an aggressive cleaner. Home depot sells some tile cleaners that work pretty well, not as well as what we use, but it will do the trick with elbow grease. Once it's cleaned, switch cleaners. We have found most households are using products that require rinsing such as Pine Sol - you have to rinse! We also believe the Swiffer is causing residue build up as well. Good luck!

Hi A.,

I just worked on my kitchen floors last Saturday night at 10:30 so my 10 month old would not be in it. Anyway I went to Home Depot and got a grout brush and the employee there told me vinegar and water. It worked and even better you are not using all of those chemicals. Good luck, it is a back breaking task. I am dreading the rest of the house.

K.

I will tell you what we did, and yes it worked although manual labor is involved. We got down on our hands and knees with clean mop water and a stiff bristled scrubber brush and scrubbed the grout clean. Then we went to Home Depot and bought some tile grout sealer (approx. $12 for 2000 sq ft), and have noticed a HUGE difference. In our higher traffic area (by the back door, and we have dogs) we bought some tile grout sealer that actually changes the color of the grout. We changed it from a really light gray to a really dark gray, this helped the looks tremendously too....AND keeps it from looking dirty. The only problem with that stuff is you have to literally paint the grout, which is quite tedious....but also why we didn't do the entire house!

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