Because of its joints, your tile may still look dirty even after cleaning. Transform your floors by scrubbing them too! Depending on the type of tile and the color of your joints, there are several methods of giving your floors a new look, either by using chemicals or by resorting to more natural methods.
Method 1 of 4: Use vinegar and baking soda
Step 1. Make a paste of water and baking soda
Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water to form a thick paste. You will get a versatile product that will work on any joint color. However, note that vinegar can damage certain natural rocks such as limestone or marble.
- Apply your paste using your fingers on the joints.
- Even though baking soda is not a dangerous product, wear gloves to avoid irritating your skin: some grouting compounds can be abrasive. Gloves will also keep you from scratching.
Step 2. Prepare a solution of water and white vinegar in equal parts
Pour it into a spray bottle and spray on the baking soda paste you applied. Bubbles should form immediately - then you will know the cleaning has started.
- If the soil is made of natural stones, do not use vinegar.
Step 3. Wait for your solution to stop bubbling
This is a chemical reaction that takes place between vinegar and baking soda. It will only last a few minutes. Once the bubbles are gone, the cleaning will be complete.
Step 4. Scrub the joints with a brush
Opt for a scrub brush with nylon bristles or a simple toothbrush. Brush each joint, paying particular attention to the edges and corners so that they are extremely clean.
Step 5. Mop your floor with clean water
Remove all traces and residue of vinegar and baking soda with a mop. Rinse it and change the water often during cleaning to prevent residue from spreading to the rest of the floor.
Method 2 of 4: Use hydrogen peroxide
Step 1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in 25 cl of hot water
Wait until the last minute to prepare this solution and use it immediately for best results. Mix it well so that the hydrogen peroxide activates completely. Its power could damage some colored joints, but is suitable for all tiles.
Step 2. Try the solution
Test it on a hidden corner of your tile before tackling your entire floor. It is possible that some joints and tiles are discolored or bleached by hydrogen peroxide. Pick an inconspicuous area of your tile to see if the colors fade.
Step 3. Pour the solution over your joints
Add enough to cover them completely. Clean part of your floor at a time to avoid ending up with a completely wet floor.
Step 4. Scrub the joints with a scrub brush with nylon bristles
Let the hydrogen peroxide sit for a few minutes for best results.
- Scrub the joints back and forth.
- Scrub the corners as well as the edges: dirt tends to accumulate there.
Step 5. Improve your technique
Dip your brush in your powder containing hydrogen peroxide for the cleaning to be even more effective. If you have a darker or more visible stain, you can make your hydrogen peroxide solution even more powerful by dipping your wet brush in hydrogen peroxide powder.
Note: Pour some powder into a separate container so that the water does not mix with the container with the hydrogen peroxide powder
Step 6. Rinse your floor with water and dry it
Pour your clean water directly onto the floor, then dry your floor with a clean mop or towel.
Method 3 of 4: Use baking soda, dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide
Step 1. Prepare a paste
Mix 200 g of baking soda, 60 g of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. This paste is extremely effective at cleaning joints for all three reasons.
- Baking soda is a natural abrasive.
- When hydrogen peroxide and baking soda come into contact, a chemical reaction occurs and releases the ions from the hydrogen peroxide.
- Dishwashing liquid removes grease and loosens dirt.
- Note: The whitening action that results from the chemical reaction caused by this paste can change the color of your joints. Test it first on an inconspicuous corner of your floor.
Step 2. Apply your paste using a brush with nylon bristles
A simple toothbrush will also do the trick. Apply the paste well to the joints, between the tiles and to the edges so that the cleaning is uniform.
Step 3. Let your preparation sit for a quarter of an hour
You will probably see bubbles forming: it is the hydrogen peroxide and the baking soda that interact. Let your paste work by removing all the stains.
Step 4. Rinse everything off with hot or lukewarm water
Pour a little water directly on your tiles to remove all the cleaning solution.
Wet ground can be very slippery, so be extra careful
Step 5. Wipe down your tile using a rag
This will remove all dirt and residue. Clean up any remaining paste by gently rubbing your floor with a towel. You can do this by standing on a towel and moving around on it. Otherwise, bend down and rub while moving forward.
Step 6. Mop with clean water
Be careful not to leave any residue or traces of soap. Clean the floor with a sponge or cotton mop, rinse it regularly and change the water often to ensure your cleaning is perfect.
Method 4 of 4: Use a steam cleaner
Step 1. Buy or rent a steam cleaner
This type of material is very effective in sterilizing and cleaning all types of tiles and joints. Indeed, no chemical is taken into account. You will find this kind of device in all DIY stores and some brands can even rent you one. Make sure your steam cleaner includes the necessary accessories for cleaning the gaskets:
- a steam suction pipe
- a small brush
Step 2. Read the instructions for use
Refer to these instructions to correctly assemble and fill your appliance. This will prevent you from damaging it.
Step 3. Fill the device's tank with clean water
Do not add any chemicals or soap to the steam tank of your cleaner.
Step 4. Turn on the device and let it start
The user manual should tell you how long after switching on you will have to wait for your appliance to be ready for use.
Step 5. Run the cleaning brush back and forth across your tile
Start at one end of the room and continue to the other end. It will be the steam that will loosen the grime and grime from your joints. It will also kill any mold that may have taken up residence there.
Step 6. Wipe off excess moisture with a mop or towel
Your floor will likely be slippery when the steam condenses into water, so be extra careful.
Step 7. Take note
Steam cleaning will remove the grout! Therefore, only use steam if there is no plaster. If it is old, you can take the opportunity to replace it.
- Always test a new cleaner in an inconspicuous area on your tile to make sure it won't damage your tiles or grout.
- Do not prepare too much product when using hydrogen peroxide or baking soda: these are solutions that quickly lose their effectiveness.
- After you've cleaned your tile, apply putty to it to keep it clean longer.
- Avoid using steel wool or brushes with hard bristles: they could damage or break your tiles.
- For real marble, travertine, granite or any other natural rock, vinegar should not be used, as it could permanently damage them by scratching them. If your tile is made from one of these materials, only clean it with a solution with a neutral pH.