Dirt, mildew and grime can make your grout lines look downright tragic. If you have the ability, DIY tile and grout cleaning is definitely doable. Your main obstacles are time, project size, availability of the right materials and effort. Your first step in tile and grout cleaning is making sure the surface area is cleaned of basic dirt and buildup and wiped down. Be sure not to use a bleach-based cleaning agent, which could react dangerously with the vinegar used in later steps.
Depending on the delicacy of your tile and grout, it may be wise to start with water and friction before proceeding to a cleaning solution. In the shower you can spray the area while brushing gently, or use a spray bottle filled with warm water on countertops or floors. If water won’t do the trick, try a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar, and repeat the gentle brushing motion. This combination should begin to lift dirt and grime from the grout. For additional tile and grout cleaning power, baking soda applied directly to grout lines and sprayed with your water vinegar solution can help suds off sticky grime. If your DIY cleaning solutions aren’t doing the trick, store-bought sprays and pastes may have more cleansing power. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and enjoy your sparkling clean grout.
Tile and grout cleaning supplies include:
- Old standard or electric toothbrush
- Stiff bristle brush
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Commercial grout cleaner
Like your carpets, area rugs should ideally be cleaned at least once a year to remove dust and dirt and help them last longer. In general, carpet cleaning professionals also clean area rugs. Some rug cleaners bring their cleaning equipment to your home, while others remove your area rugs and clean them at their facilities. Either way, the rug should be cleaned with the solution most appropriate to its specific fabric and construction. It should also be completely dry before you return it to the floor.
Dirty carpets can be unhealthy for the people living in the home, particularly those who have allergies, so it’s important to have them cleaned regularly; simply vacuuming once or twice a week isn’t enough. Carpet cleaning should be done by a professional carpet cleaning service at least once a year to remove grime and help extend the life of your carpet. Most carpet manufacturers recommend professional steam cleaning, which penetrates deep into the carpet fibers and lifts out both dirt and the pollutants that get tracked inside. Steam cleaning also removes most of the moisture, so carpets dry quickly enough for homeowners to resume using them the same day. Between professional carpet cleanings, your carpet may need an emergency spot cleaning. Pet accidents, food or drink spills, and more can often be effectively cleaned with some water and a drop of white vinegar, although many cleaners will also make house calls for smaller spills and hard-to-clean spots like wine or grease stains.
National average carpet cleaning prices range between $100 and $130. Carpet cleaning prices depend on how many square feet of carpet you want cleaned, how many rooms in one house or building will be cleaned, how stained your carpet is, how much the carpet cleaning company charges, your ZIP code, and the type of carpet you have. Cost per square foot can range from 20 cents to $1 or more, based on the above variables. Synthetic carpets are typically the least expensive to clean; natural fibers like wool cost more, as they require more care and attention, as well as more drying time. Excessive stains, challenging locations such as stairs, and accessibility also factor into your carpet cleaning price. Companies may charge a minimum service fee for cleaning a small carpet to cover their business expenses (paying employees, transporting the special equipment to your home). If your pet has repeatedly saturated the carpet with urine or if the fibers are extremely matted down, it may make more sense to completely replace your carpet than to continue to have it cleaned.
If you need tile and grout cleaning and don’t have the time or mobility for scrubbing your entire house on your hands and knees, it’s time to turn to the pros. Tile and grout cleaning professionals have industrial-grade machines designed for the sole task of cleaning the porous materials of grout and tile. Typically, a cleaning pro will come out to assess the job and provide you with a quote. Often they charge per square foot (for example, 75 cents per square foot), with higher prices or an hourly rate for areas that will need hand cleaning. The national average cost for tile and grout cleaning ranges from $190 to $250. Once onsite, the pros thoroughly clean the area by wiping or sweeping down and then vacuuming up any dry dirt. Next a chemical tile cleaner is sprayed over the surface, causing dirt to loosen and adhere to the spray; the industry term for this is “suspension.” The pros then clean the floor with professional-strength machines, which often use a combination of steam, brushes and vacuum to loosen, agitate and lift entrenched dirt. Your floor is then rinsed, removing all the spray. Usually a small room can be cleaned in under an hour. Applying a sealant afterward is recommend and will also affect cost.