How can I get my grout clean?
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
How much does it cost to clean tile and grout?
The national average cost for tile and grout cleaning ranges from $190 to $250. Pros may charge a flat fee or by the square foot. Rates can vary depending on the type of tile and grout you have (more delicate tiles may mean specialized products or careful handwashing), how dirty your tile and grout are, and what part of the country you are in (regional labor rates and costs to do business affect costs). For example, one floor cleaning company charges 75 cents per square foot for tile and grout cleaning for projects that permit cleaning by machine. Another company may charge $30-$50 per hour for hand-cleaning of tiles. Companies often charge a minimum fee for services to ensure their business expenses are met when they accept a job, no matter how small. In addition, a tile and flooring cleaning professional may charge added fees, such as $25 or more, to move heavy furniture or appliances.
How do professionals clean tile and grout?
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.
How do you clean hardwood, concrete, vinyl and laminate floors?
After you get new floors installed in your home, make sure you maintain them. Use these tips to keep your floors clean, shiny and polished.
How to Clean Concrete Floors
Start by sweeping or vacuuming the entire surface to remove loose debris. Mopping will require different substances based on the type of concrete floor. For a polished concrete floor, use a specialized polished concrete cleaner. For a painted concrete floor, use a mild all-purpose cleaner. A sealed concrete floor can be cleaned with dishwashing liquid, while an unsealed floor is best cleaned with trisodium phosphate and stain removers. Use kitty litter or cornstarch for grease stains, and distilled white vinegar for rust stains.
For more tips on how to clean and maintain your concrete floors, consult with your professional concrete flooring contractor.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors
Cleaning hardwood floors typically requires a mop, bucket and some type of hardwood floor cleaner. Start by removing furniture and objects. Vacuum up all debris (or use a dust mop), moving with the grain. Spray your cleaner on a small section of the floor, and mop in a figure-eight motion, working backward. Make sure there are no puddles.
In high-traffic areas, you should mop one or two times per week. Low-traffic areas should be mopped at least once per month.
To ensure you're cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors properly, speak with your hardwood flooring installation specialist.
How to Clean Laminate Floors:
Start by vacuuming to remove dust, dirt and other debris. The best mop for laminate floors is a microfiber mop with a sprayer feature. Spray and mop one small area at a time to avoid standing liquid on the floor. Go over the floor with a dry microfiber cloth after mopping to make sure all liquid is gone.
Although you can use a damp mop, never use a wet mop on laminate floors. Moisture can cause the flooring to bubble, swell and buckle. Instead, use a dedicated laminate floor mop with a laminate floor cleaner spray. The best mop for laminate floors is typically made with microfiber, which picks up dirt and absorbs moisture well.
Consulting with your laminate flooring installer is a good idea if you've never had laminate floors and need more tips on how to clean them properly.
How to Clean Vinyl Floors
Cleaning vinyl plank flooring is easy. Start by sweeping and vacuuming up dirt, dust and debris. Then use a damp — not wet — mop or rag with warm water. While vinyl is waterproof, an excessive amount of water can leak between the seams and affect the glue bond with the floor. When you feel a chemical is needed, make sure to choose cleaning products safe for vinyl planks.
Reach out to your vinyl flooring installer for tips on how to further maintain and care for your vinyl floors.
For more tips, read our guide on how to clean and maintain all types of flooring.
How do you clean epoxy floors?
Cleaning an epoxy floor is an extensive job in any warehouse or larger space, making it a job best left to a professional who can get it done quickly and effectively. However, there are several bits of maintenance you should perform by yourself in between professional cleanings. For example, you can remove grit from the floor with a broom, dust mop and/or shop vacuum. Make sure you wipe away chemical spills like automotive fluids before they become permanent spots on the floor.