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How to Clean Grout and Stone Floors

Tile and Grout Cleaning Guide and Tips:

Before you undertake the task of tile and grout cleaning in your home, make sure to learn which tile you have: ceramic or stone. It doesn’t take much to learn how to clean tile floors or how to clean grout, but going in without precautions ultimately leads to damaging the tile or grout. Regardless of whether you have ceramic or stone flooring, the first step to tile and grout cleaning is vacuuming.

Use your vacuum cleaner to pick up loose and excess dirt from your tile and grout to avoid unnecessary grime forming when you apply water and grout cleaning solution. Make sure to use a vacuum without a brush roll / beater bar to spare your tile from scuffs and scratches. Many upright vacuum cleaners feature brush roll on/off switches and many canister vacuums come with hardwood / bare floor attachments with soft bristles to sweep up dirt. You can also use a crevice tool on the end of your hose to clean in between the cracks of the grout.

Sweeping can act as a substitute to vacuuming; however, sweeping inevitably leaves behind dust and debris that you need to clean in slurry later. Using a vacuum also expedites the process and eliminates bending over to sweep into a dust pan. Dust flies around the room and the allergens mixed in irritate your nasal passages. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies, using a HEPA vacuum cleaner over the traditional broom and pan contains all of the dust in a bag or dirt cup and filters particles down to .03 microns.

For ceramic tile, use an alkaline tile and grout cleaning solution mixed at a 1:1 ratio with the hottest possible tap water. Apply the tile and grout cleaning solution with a sponge and make sure to saturate the grout; let the grout cleaning solution sit for 20 minutes. After the alkaline grout cleaning solution has extracted and lifted dirt from the floor, scrub the tile and grout with an aggressive green scrub pad until you feel the tile is as clean as possible. Conversely, you can use Bona Stone, Tile, & Laminate Floor Cleaner, a water based grout cleaning solution, to clean tile and grout.

Gator Grout Cleaning Tool
Sometimes cleaning grout is more difficult than cleaning tile floors. If you feel the grout is not as clean as it should be, you can use a mild acidic grout cleaning solution to eliminate dirt and grime. Do not use acid based grout cleaners if you have stone floors. Only use acidic grout cleaning solution if you have ceramic or porcelain floors. Apply the solution and listen for a fizzing noise. The acid breaks down the top layer of dirt and grime. Use either an abrasive green pad for grout cleaning or the Grout Gator Complete Assembly Package for the best result cleaning tile grout. If after using an acidic cleaner you cannot clean tile grout with success, you can paint the grout with grout colorant to restore the grout.

Once you clean your tile grout, make sure to use a clear impregnating grout sealer. The sealer minimizes the dirt and grime that accumulates in grout. If you’ve ever wondered how to clean tile grout or how to clean shower grout, has the knowledge and products to make tile and grout cleaner easier than ever.

Stone and Grout Cleaning Guide | Do and Don't List:

Grout cleaning for stone floors is a different game entirely. Stone floors (such as marble, granite, and travertine), are porous compared to ceramic or porcelain tiles.  This means that: 1) You cannot use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads when cleaning grout as it damages the stone and 2) you need to be careful about which grout cleaning products you put on your floors.

If you own stone floors, cleaning grout with vinegar is not an option as it erodes the stone.

Wipe up spills immediately before the liquids make their way through the stone.

Do not use products that contain lemon juice.

Use soap diluted with water, but don’t use too much or a film develops.

Do not use detergent.

Change your water frequently when wet mopping.

Do seal your floors and grout. Stone floors are porous as is tile grout. Sealing your stone and grout reduces the risk of spills and stains setting in.

Do not use a spinning brush roll on the stone as the finish dulls due to the rapid attack of bristles.

With stone floors it’s best to regularly vacuum to remove dirt and sand from wearing down the tiles.

For grout cleaning in stone floors, we recommend the Bona Stone, Tile, & Laminate Floor Kit as it does not damage the stone. Bona products are water based avoiding chemicals which not only cleans your floors but restores them as well.
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