We are all fairly familiar with my love of doing the dishes by now. However, I’m not sure if I’ve ever spoken about my revulsion for cleaning the bathroom. There is no other household chore I dislike as much as anything that has to do with wiping, cleaning or tidying the bathroom.
That is of course not to say that our bathrooms are dirty or untidy. Of course they aren’t. It just takes me a fair bit of time to hunker down to the task.
If you are anything like me, you have probably looked for all kinds of shortcuts already. And while sadly there are none that will mean you don’t have to clean at all, there is a way to reduce the time you spend cleaning your bathroom tiles.
Here are my tips on bathroom tile cleaning, and hopefully you think of them next time you find yourself scrubbing at those water stains.
Clean a bit every day
The best way to clean bathroom tiles is to wipe them every day. This is especially important for all the tiles surrounding the actual shower. If you wipe away all the water (and accumulated dust) daily, you won’t ever have to scrub anything.
It can certainly be a drag to keep wiping the tiles daily, but even if you do it every other day, you’ll be saving yourself some elbow grease when you do get down to cleaning the entire bathroom.
A bath mat on the floor tiles will also be a huge asset. It will soak up any water you manage to splash out of the shower or bath, so you’ll have less to clean. Keep replacing them regularly too, because they will definitely show their age, no matter how expensive they were. I’ve just ordered these (not arrived yet), so I will keep you posted on how they fare.
Vacuum them first
This may be counterintuitive, but vacuuming both your bathroom floor tiles and the wall tiles can be of huge help. They do need to be dry, unless you have a water-based vacuum. For an electric vacuum cleaner, ensure the tiles are dry.
Then just go over all the surfaces, getting rid of the surface dust. You’ll thank yourself in a bit.
Vacuum your floor tiles every time you vacuum the rest of the house. Just this simple effort will instantly make the bathroom look much cleaner.
Start at the top
As with any other cleaning effort, start from the top and work your way down. Use horizontal motions, and wipe away any dirt, stains and soap residue. Do the wall tiles first, and then move over to the floor ones.
There is also the option of cleaning the floor tiles only – in which case you can either use a mop (we love the OXO, of course) if you have the manoeuvring space, or you can enlist the help of a cloth. I prefer to separate my floor and my wall cloths, but it’s up to you.
And start with the shower
The shower tiles are usually the worst offenders, so start your cleaning process there. You can use steam to help loosen some of the grime and stains, which will make it much easier to get rid of them afterwards.
Just close the shower doors (or curtains) and let the hot water run until it steams up. Spray your cleaner on the tiles first, and allow the steam to help it work. Afterwards you can just wipe everything away with a clean and damp cloth. Or, you can just shower everything away, and then give the walls a wipe.
Pay special attention to the corners where most of the water tends to accumulate – this is where most of the staining will likely occur.
Let the cleaner work
Even though the bottle may say the product needs less than a minute to work, you do actually need to give your cleaning products a bit of time to do their magic. Spraying them on and wiping them off will likely not take care of all the stains.
Read the instructions on the label, and try to only use gentle and natural products that will have the least possible chance of damaging your tiles. Method has a very good anti-bac cleaner, but it definitely should not be used on marble surfaces, so do a bit of research and find a product that matches your tiles.
Here are some natural cleaning products for your tiles you can try too:
Lemon-based bathroom cleaner
Given its acidic properties, lemon is an amazing cleaner. All you have to do is fill a spray bottle with lemon juice (you can dilute it with water, but you don’t need to), and spray it on the tiles.
Leave it to work for a couple of minutes, and then you can use a damp cloth to remove both the juice and the stains.
Vinegar-based bathroom cleaner
Vinegar is another good option if you are looking for a natural cleaner. All you need to do is mix half a cup of white vinegar with a litre of warm water and fill a spray bottle. Spray and wipe, as usual.
Vinegar is not an option for natural stone though, so make sure you don’t experiment with cleaning agents before you google if they will do any harm to your bathroom tiles.
Baking soda-based bathroom cleaner
Baking soda is great for cleaning grout and stubborn stains, and will act like a bit of an exfoliant on your tiles.
You can make a paste with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and a bit of water, and then use an old toothbrush to spread it over the tougher stains. You will need to do some scrubbing, and you should leave the baking soda to work for a few minutes before you scrub it off again.
You can further enhance the process by using lemon juice after the baking soda (definitely don’t use them together), and you’ll achieve that coveted polished sheen.
Handle the grout
The bathroom grouting is usually the most difficult to clean, as it’s finicky and takes a lot of time. The baking soda + toothbrush combination is still your best ally in this battle, and while it will require a fair bit of time, the process will literally give your bathroom tiles a facelift.
You don’t have to clean the grout every single time either. If you have done a very good job at wiping away water and dust regularly, once every couple of months will suffice. If you are not very good at the everyday bathroom surface wiping, once a month might be required.
There is a shortcut available as well. If you own a steamer (and we do, of course, obviously), use it to go over the grout lines and literally steam away all the dirt. You will have to wipe afterwards, but it takes a fraction of the time.
Rinse off the cleaning product
If you fail to rinse the cleaning product off completely, you will likely be left with some additional stains. Make sure to wipe every little bit of it off. You can use your phone’s torch to check if there is any residual cleaner on the tiles, or just run your fingers over them. If they are not smooth and shiny, wipe again.
Dry tiles are clean tiles
Finally, do remember to dry your bathroom tiles. Water is the main reason they are unclean in the first place, so by simply removing the water you will be limiting the amount of dirt and staining that can accumulate on them.
Limescale will also develop after a while if you fail to keep the bathroom tiles dry, and while there are plenty of ways to remove it (including the lemon, vinegar and baking soda I’ve mentioned), preventing it is easier than dealing with it afterwards.
Have a cloth at the ready hanging in the bathroom, and form the habit of wiping after each shower or bath. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it can make the biggest difference.
How do I feel about cleaning the bathroom now?
Even though I have just shared all of these marvellous tips, and hopefully made your bathroom tile cleaning routine simpler, I can’t say I have made myself any more enthusiastic about them.
No matter how little time it may take up, I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy cleaning the bathroom. If you enjoy cleaning yours, do let me know how you’ve formed that relationship!