How to clean tiles

Want to know how to clean tiles? Whether you're deep cleaning your kitchen or bathroom, or need to rejuvenate marble tiles, find out how here

How to clean tiles: Marlborough Soho scallop tiles
(Image credit: Marlborough Tiles)

Knowing how to clean tiles, whether in a bathroom shower cubicle, a kitchen splashback or a hallway floor, is a real must if you want your home to gleam (without you having to put in too much effort). In this guide, we tell you how to tackle cleaning tiles in different parts of your home – and you can jump to our specialist floor tile cleaning guides (below) for more. 

Then check out our dedicated cleaning hub page for more top tips, cleaning product deals and guides. 

What type of tile are you cleaning?

How to clean marble tiles

1. You can clean marble tiles with water and a soft microfibre cloth, being careful not to scrub the surface hard, then wipe dry. 

2. Alternatively, if dirt has built up, dilute a gentle dish soap with warm water and use a soft cloth.

3. If you're removing a stain, spray the stain with water, cover with a thick paste of baking soda and water, and leave covered with plastic clingfilm for 24 hours. Use a damp cloth to wipe the solution away and repeat if the stain is still there.

Before you clean tiles, it's important to check what type of tile you're cleaning to make sure you won't cause any damage.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are easy to clean with most cleaning products and solutions. Marble (see right), however, can be damaged by acids like lemon and vinegar, as well as abrasive cleaning cloths, so you have to be careful about the type of cleaner you use.

How to clean tiles

There's a method to cleaning tiles effectively, whatever tile cleaning product you're using. 

If you're cleaning bathroom tiles, it's always good practice to run a hot shower for a few minutes before you start cleaning to open up the pores of materials like ceramic tiles. That way, you can reach more of the dirt and get a cleaner finish.

Clean grouting first (use our guide to find out how) before you clean tiles. The dirt from the grouting will probably get onto the tiles, so you can wipe it all clean afterwards. 

If you're using a heavier chemical cleaner, always open the windows to minimise fumes, and take care over what products you're using together.

1. How to clean tiles with lemon

Lemon is an excellent tile cleaning product thanks to its natural acidic properties. Fill a spray bottle with lemon juice and spritz onto tiles before wiping clean with a damp cloth or sponge.

You can also soak a cloth directly in lemon juice before wiping the tiles, then rinse off with warm water. Find more ways to clean your home with lemon in our guide.

2. How to clean tiles with vinegar

White vinegar is a great natural disinfectant that works brilliantly as a tile cleaner. Mix equal amounts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spritz onto tiles and wipe down with a damp cloth. 

Alternatively, soak a soft cloth like a microfibre cloth in the mixture, wipe the tiles, then rinse with warm water. Find more ways to clean your home with vinegar with our guide.

3. How to clean tiles with baking soda

Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda is an effective tile cleaner, especially for stubborn stains and grouting.

To clean tiles with baking soda, sprinkle the tile with a thin coat of the powder, then wipe down with a cloth soaked in lemon juice before rinsing with warm water. Find out how to clean your home with baking soda in our guide.

4. How to clean floor tiles

You can clean floor tiles with any of the methods listed above. We'd recommend leaving your floor tiles until last if you're cleaning your bathroom or kitchen. You'll be cleaning up the dirt and grime that's fallen from the wall tiles you've cleaned anyway, and no one wants to do a job twice!

If you have a large surface area - like in a kitchen or a large bathroom - you might want to invest in a steam cleaner like the Shark Klik N' Flip Steam Pocket Mop S6001UK, which came top in our pick of the best steam cleaners.

Need a deeper clean? Try one of the top cleaning products from our pick of the best floor tile cleaners; our favourite is Dr Beckmann stone floor tile cleaner.

5. How to clean shower tiles

Cleaning shower tiles can be particularly tricky to clean, not least because it sees the biggest build up of grime.

Run a hot shower with the door and windows closed for a few minutes before you start cleaning. Start with the grouting, using our guide to how to clean grout as a guide.

Wiping down walls after your shower with a clean, dry cloth can help limit the grime and mould that water encourages. Pay special attention to those corners, as well as the bottom of the wall, to avoid a build-up of water. If your tiles are showing black spots, take a look at our guide to getting rid of mould and mildew. Find out how to clean a shower in our guide if you want to finish the job, too.

6. What is the best tile cleaning product?

We're a big fan of natural cleaning products, but we think Astonish Bathroom Cleaner is a great option if you're looking to clean bathroom tiles. 

Just remember to avoid using on marble and other porous materials as it could damage the surface.

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