How to Clean Tiles with Vinegar
Tiles are a wise choice for places that are prone to get wet, like the kitchen, bathroom, etc. They fit well in other places too, making the decoration look sophisticated and elegant. But how about when they get dirt all over them? I assume you are looking at this article because you have tiles installed in your house, I bet you know how much of a chore cleaning tiles really are. And not to mention how noticeable the built-up dirt and stains get on white tiles. But did you know that you actually have a cheap and also less time-consuming tile cleaning solution in your house already! Can you guess what that is? I’m talking about vinegar fellas! While you are spending a lot on various cleaning liquids why not give this a try? No harm, right? In this article, I’m going to tell you all about how to clean tiles with vinegar and a few tips and tricks along with it.
Since vinegar is a mild, non-toxic and a natural acid, it disinfects the floor and easily cleans grease, hard water stains and other dirt from tiles without leaving any harsh fumes. Using vinegar to clean to clean tile requires very little of your time and energy comparing to all the scrubbing you did before.
The Tools That Are Going to be Necessary
Knowing what objects you are going to have to use and gathering them near you in advance will make your cleaning easier. And will save you the trouble of running about the house with wet hands searching for something you need after starting the cleaning work.
A Large Bucket – the vessel to hold water.
Broom or Vacuum cleaner – to clean the targeted area beforehand.
A mop – the main weapon to spread the mixture and clean.
A Towel – to soak water and help dry.
White vinegar – your choice of vinegar, other high potency type vinegar will work too.
A Brush – to scour the dirt away. The stiff the bristle, the better.
Baking soda – for cleaning grouts.
Cleaning Tiles with Vinegar (Step by Step)
Move or replace all the furniture and objects on the targeted cleaning place that has a possibility to get damaged by water. Better if you vacuum or sweep the floor before water cleaning, you wouldn’t want to deal with the dust or debris then.
Fill a bucket with hot water. It should be big enough for the mop to go in completely. Mix half or a full cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. The amount of water will depend on how much you are going to clean. If you are not cleaning a larger area, a couple of gallons should suffice. Don’t forget to use hot water; the warmer it is, the better it will clean.
After adding the vinegar, blend the solution carefully. As a mild acid, vinegar can dissolve hardened components and clean the place. If you don’t have white vinegar using apple cider vinegar can also get the job done.
Get a mop and soak it in the solution, then swipe the mop all over the tiles in a circular manner or side to side. Just pay attention that the whole targeted surface gets covered by the solution. Remember to clean beneath carpets and baseboards too.
After getting that done, empty the bucket and fill it again with fresh warm water. Do the tiles once more but this time with clean water so that the vinegar gets rinsed away. Re-soak the mop after every few feet, that way you will be able to clean better because the leftover vinegar will smell and leave spots.
Absorb the water from the tile with a towel or sponge, and then allow the floor to air dry. This method will prevent footprint and other marks from placing on the tile.
After having the tiles clean, it is time you clean those grouts. No matter how clean the house is, if you have dirt piled up on grouts, the gap between tiles, it will always look damn awful, and all your effort to make your home attractive will go on vain.
To clean the grouts, you’ll have to make a different solution of vinegar. Fill half of the bottle with vinegar and the rest half with water. To be more comfortable, use a spray bottle. Shake the bottle, and the solution is ready to work its wonders.
Take an amount of baking soda and spread them over the grouts, while doing that follow a pattern to ensure efficiency. Go over the baking soda with your finger or a brush.
Take the spray bottle and sprinkle the vinegar mixture in line over the baking soda. That will trigger a chemical reaction resulting in fumes and bubbles, let them sit for 10-12 minutes, so the stubborn stains and dirt have enough time to get eaten away. It will be a bit muddy, but that’s how you’ll know it is working.
Use a brush with stiff bristles to scrub the space between tiles with force. You can consider grout brushes which are specially designed to clean grouts; if not possible then an old toothbrush is fine too. That should be enough for the filth to come loose. Rinse it thoroughly with wet sponge or rag. This phase is the most effective against dirt. This method can be used in the same way to clean the stains of hard water from bathroom tiles.
Tips and Tricks of Cleaning tile while using Vinegar
If any stain is too resistant, make a paste using baking soda and vinegar. Add little amount of vinegar to baking soda to form the paste; use a brush to apply it over the stain. Keep it as it is for some time then scrub it off using a stiff bristled brush or rag. You can also keep the paste applied for a night to have better cleaning result or if you think a few minutes won’t cut it.
Similarly, before scrubbing the grout, you can wait until the foams have died down. It ensures a cleaner grout; it will also need less force to scrub the dirt away.
Vinegar is mildly acidic so it can smell a bit; it shouldn’t bother you much since the smell isn’t permanent. But if it does, you can ventilate the area after cleaning. If you want to add aroma to the solution, add lemon drops or oil essence in it. It will leave a fresh fragrance to the cleaned place.
Remember never to mix vinegar with bleach. You may think this will disinfect and clean better, but in reality, it generates a toxic chlorine gas. That can be harmful if inhaled.
Vinegar can clean porcelain floor and ceramic tile wonderfully. But it is not wise to use a vinegar solution to clean marble or granite floor. While they are minerals, vinegar is an acid, it may be mild but using vinegar to clean them on a regular basis will result on damaged surface. So refrain from using any type of acidic cleaners on marble or granite, but use cleansers specially made for them.
Preserving the tile floor
Taking care of the tile floor and maintaining it accordingly will result in the longevity of tiles. As we know, prevention is always better than cure. The tiles will look like new for a long period only if you know how to take care of them, while not cleaning them regularly or ignoring the dirt will result in the opposite. You already know what you want so why the delay?
Sweeping and cleaning the tiles regularly are mandatory if you want the tiled area to clean. Doing that means not letting dirt to sit on for a long period of time, so stubborn stains will not get a chance to form. Schedule to give the tiles a thorough cleanup including the corners, beneath and around the baseboards, where the specks of dust are prone to collect.
If anything spills on the tile or messes it up, treat it as immediately as you can so it doesn’t leave a mark. Apply the vinegar solution on the stain and carefully wipe the mess away. Or if the dirt is solid such as food particles, debris then sweep those first. Also if you have white-ish or any light colored tile, then the stain will be more noticeable if you don’t remove it right away.
It is advised that you avoid chemical cleaners to clean tiles. Those can gradually make the shininess of the tile to fade away also harm it along the way.
Vinegar cleans up tiles pretty effectively and immediately. And the side effects are close to none. On top of it, they come at a really affordable price. So what’s there not to love! You can save money, time and energy by using vinegar to clean tiles. Vinegar will treat your tile with care by cleaning and disinfecting it, so you get a healthy atmosphere in your house.