How to Clean Bathroom Tiles Properly

By Rob

10th Jul 2023

5 mins read

DIY & Technical

Dirty tiles can really spoil the look of your bathroom but a deep clean can breathe new life into them! Here's a guide on the best way to clean your tiles.

black tiling in modern setting

How to clean the grout
How to clean wall tiles
How to clean floor tiles

Jump to a section of this post by clicking a link above.

Cleaning Your Bathroom Tiles Effectively

Keeping your bathroom in tip-top condition can often seem like a chore but it’s essential to clean each aspect of it often otherwise it can soon begin to lose its sparkle. One of the main areas that can begin to look a little grotty after a while is your tiling, and this can be a big task to put right if you’ve left it for ages; but don’t worry as it’s not time for a renovation, it’s time for a deep clean!


How to clean the grout

The first thing you should focus your attention on is the grouting as this can really start to look dirty after a while and mould growth can begin to appear too which will obviously spoil the look of the room. Luckily giving your grout a new lease of life isn’t all that difficult, just a little bit time consuming, especially in a larger setting.

It makes sense to tackle the grout first as it’ll often be more dirty than the tiles themselves and there’s no point wiping your tiles clean only to begin scrubbing the dirt from the grout onto them! The best way to tackle the cleaning is to use an old toothbrush and an effective cleaning agent. Now, you could use specialist cleaners here or you could also use chlorine-based bleach, but these products are best left alone unless you have significant staining or mould growth present.

Top tip

It’s worth mentioning as a word of caution that you shouldn’t use bleach or strong cleaners on coloured or dark grouting as they can fade the finish, spoiling the overall look of the room. It’s a good idea to leave the bathroom door and windows open to avoid breathing in any chemicals, and gloves should be worn as some products might cause irritation if they get on your skin (not good!)

Step 1 - Mix baking soda with a little water into a paste

What you need is something that’s much less harsh than bleach but still highly effective at removing grime. A great trick here is to mix some baking soda with a little water in a bowl as these products will combine to form a paste which when worked into the grout with a toothbrush. This mixture will easily cut through the dirt without causing any damage.

Step 2 - Scrub the grout with the paste and leave for 30 minutes

After mixing the paste and scrubbing it into the grout, make sure you have worked the paste into all areas, you then ideally want to leave the solution for around 30 minutes to really soak in and work its magic!

Step 3 - Rinse off the paste and wipe any residue

Once you’ve left it for a while, simply rinse off with clean water and wipe up any residue with a suitable cloth such as a microfiber towel.

Your grout should now look tip-top but if for some reason there are still signs of dirt present simply repeat the process and this should lift it.

If you want a brand new, super clean look however then sometimes simply cleaning might not be enough. What you need in these circumstances is something called a grout pen. These clever items look a bit like marker pens but they allow you to paint over the existing grout, bringing it back to a finish that looks like the day it was first applied. You can get them in numerous colours too!


How to clean wall tiles

With the grout now back to its best, it’s time to turn your attention to the tiles themselves. Beginning with the wall tiles, you first need to consider the finish of them as this will dictate which products to use. Vinegar should be perfectly fine on ceramic tiles. If you have plain ceramic tiles then you should be fine using a scouring pad but if you have printed pattern tiles then a soft sponge or microfiber cloth is a safer way to go. Also never use vinegar or harsh cloths on marble surfaces as they’ll ultimately do a lot more harm than good!

Step 1 - Run a hot shower for a few minutes

A top tip before you begin is to run a hot shower for a few minutes to open up the ceramic pores allowing you access to more of the dirt. This will ultimately give you a much cleaner finish as a result. As with the grout, you can either clean your bathroom tiles with a specialist cleaner or by using products from your home.

Step 2 - Mix baking soda and dish soap into a soapy solution in a bowl 

Then dip your scouring pad or sponge into it the mixture and wipe over the tiles. You don’t need to scrub too hard either, just keep a gentle, constant wiping motion going without applying too much pressure and the solution should work with no problems at all.

Step 3 - Leave the solution on the tiles then rinse with water and mop it dry

To finish off, leave the solution on the tiles for a short while then rinse off with fresh water and mop the walls dry with either a towel (one which you don’t want any more obviously!) or some microfiber cloths.


How to clean floor tiles

With regards to your floor tiles, you can always just simply repeat the methods we’ve already covered; however if you have a particularly large surface area to cover (or you’re just feeling lazy – hey we won’t judge you!) then you can break out the steam cleaner.

Step 1 - Clean up any large particles

A steam cleaner will work through any dirt and grime present on your bathroom floor tiles quickly and effectively while requiring very little effort on your part. Do be aware that they may not be ideal for your particular choice of tiling so do check this before you start. It’s sensible to give the floor a quick wipe over beforehand with a soft cloth to remove any large particles of dirt which may be dragged by the steam cleaner over the face of the tile risking scratching.

Step 2 - Use a steam cleaner on every part of the surface

Once you’re happy to proceed, carefully guide the steam cleaner over the floor, covering every part of the surface. Leave the floor to dry for a little while and then give it a final wipe over with a cloth to complete the process. All that’s left to do now is stand back and admire your gleaming bathroom floor tiles!

Rob, Victorian Plumbing



Rob is part of the resident bathroom bloggers team here at Victorian Plumbing. Rob loves writing in depth bathroom buying guides and is renowned for his expert 'how to' step-by-step DIY guides. He can also be found posting about the latest bathroom trends and ideas and also hunting out bargains and savings for our customers.

Related Stories