Aug 4, 2008

Simple Housekeeping

Housekeeping tips of the day:
My sweet friend Shawnda asked me if I had any tile cleaning tips that I could share.
Well, I have lived in houses that had some tiled rooms, mainly bathrooms or mudrooms. These floors tend to take a beating on a daily basis, with all kinds of dirt and muck to battle. I find these simple cleaning tricks keep the floor tidy.
Tips of the day:
  • mats in the doorways are excellent dirt catchers-I have one at each entrance, both on the inside and outside of the house.

remove all rugs from the floor (thinking bathmats) and anything that may be hiding extra dirt.

  • sweep, dust/dry mop or vacuum tile floors daily or as needed (here with all the 2 legged and 4 legged creatures, well it is sometimes twice a day).

once a week or as needed, wet mop floor with either a tile cleaner specific to the type of tile you have (terra cotta, unsealed tile, stone or ceramic sealed tile)or use a homemade tile cleaner. Two of our bathrooms are sealed tile and I use this solution weekly.

Homemade floor tile cleaner:

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 gallon hot water

a squirt of clear dish soap (mine is lavender bergamot.)

Mix ingredients together, wash floor, rinse. Drying the floor by using a soft dry towel or chamois will make sure it is shiny...I know extra work, but use it as prayer time. You can open a window and let it air dry of course.

Grout cleaning tips:

If needed I will give my grout a little extra love (if it is looking dingy.) This is a once a year only type of job, though if you want to do it more, go crazy. In front of toilets may be done more often if needed.


1 cup baking soda

1/4 ammonia

juice of 1-2 lemons (optional, but helps to lighten the dirty tile- lemons are a natural bleach- you also could use 1/3 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide)

*depending on which ingredients you chose, you may need to add a bit of warm water to achieve paste consistency.





hot water-add a drop or two of essential oil as a treat! (peppermint or lavender is nice!)

Mix ingredients in a bowl, add enough water to make a paste. Get an old pillow to kneel on and go at the grungy grout areas with the toothbrush and your handy-dandy cleaner. Scrub in the paste- let sit. I then come back with a mop and bucket of hot water to rinse away the cleaner, you might have to rinse twice. I add a drop or two of my favorite essential oil to the last rinse, for a nice clean scent. I let it air dry.

Mildew tile/grout cleaner (for sealed areas only):

spray bottle (recycle one!)

1/2 cup chlorine bleach (not green, but will kill mold and mildew!)

2 cups hot water

old toothbrush or scrub brush

large sponge or rag

spray on mildew areas, let sit, scrub with a toothbrush to get into the crannies. I let mine soak 15-30 minutes, respray and then rinse with a large clean wet sponge. Towel or air dry.


Shawnda said...

You are the BEST! I was just thinking of this again today as I was cleaning my bathrooms! :) How do I know what kind of tile we have??? : )

Sondra said...

How funny that you posted this. Stop by and see my post on cleaning my tile floor! LOL!

Kimmie said...

Hi Shawnda...

Well what does your floor look like? Terra cotta is like a clay flowe pot (usually not sealed, no gloss)-is your tile glossy? Did you install it or was it already there?

A tile that is not sealed it will be very pourous. Grout you need to seal when you install it...otherwise it will 'drink' up whatever lands on it.

A sealed tile has a is hard and normally has a sheen of vary types to it.

Clay or stone tiles are usually unsealed. Tiles that are glossy are sealed.

I am not sure if I am helping old is your floor and is it a color? Is it ceramic or is it a laminate tile?

We had a kitchen in our first home that was laminate tile flooring(very thin and glued down in squares-used in kitchens and basements mostly I think). It was no longer glossy, as it was cheap to start needed to be either waxed regulary (apply paste wax with a buffer machine) or ripped out and have new flooring put it. It was pretty awful. We opted for new floors.

I'll be waiting to hear from you again...we'll figure it out Shawnda!


Renata said...

Thanks for posting this Kimmie. When we moved here there was mould/mildew in all the grout in the shower & I've tried so many things (exit mould even) & it won't go. Thanks for the tips on cleaning these problem areas - I shall have to get to work.
I also love the tip to pray while you work - that's what I do as well!!!

Expat Mom said...

I`ll have to try this . . . my floors are all tile and I`m having a tough time keeping them clean.

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