In the last post, we talked about the Two Big Mistakes I Made Choosing Shower Tile and products I wish we chose instead of the subway tile and small hexagon floor tile. It’s not that I don’t like them – I love them. They’re beautiful. But the small tiles and millions of lines of grout are a ton of work to keep clean. And staying on top of the cleaning so they stay looking bright white and brand new is necessary! Would you like to know how I do it? Let’s talk about Ways to clean shower tile and grout…
Shower tile – and even more so the grout between the tiles – can be difficult to keep clean, especially when the shower is used 3-4 times a day.
I feel as though I’m constantly scrubbing the tile and grout down to prevent the soap scum and orangey tint that shows up on the grout if you don’t clean often enough.
And have tried a ton of different products.
But the one mistake I do not want to make with this tile, that I made with tile in the past (as described in that first post, was using an acidic cleaner that damages the grout and allows the water to seep through it – over time causing water leaks and water damage.
Acidic cleaners include bleach, vinegar, ammonia, and any products that include these.
So instead my focus has been on finding a cleaner with a neutral pH.
Baking soda has a neutral pH, but most methods on the internet call for mixing with vinegar (an acid).
I figured I would go back to the tile experts and see what they recommend. So I contacted the specialty shop where we purchased the tile and an online tile shop to see what they recommend. Here’s what they suggested…
Weekly cleaning of the tile and grout to keep soap scum and mold buildup away is important. But just as important is sealing the grout.
One tile shop suggested sealing the grout with Aqua Mix Grout Sealer every few years. I have been sealing it every 1-2 years because it also helps the grout stay cleaner longer.
Note: Be sure your shower is really clean before you seal any grout so you’re not sealing in any soap scum or mold. This may mean scrubbing with a bleach product (Soft Scrub bleach cleaner with this bristle brush works well). Do not allow the bleach to dry on the surface. Rinse well.
The first time I applied the grout I used a tiny artist’s brush and painted each grout line on the floor and 1-2 lower rows of the wall tile. It was very tedious work that took about 4 hours.
The second time I applied the grout I used a much larger 1-1/2 inch paint brush and brushed the liquid on right over the tile and into the grout lines. This method was much quicker (30-60 minutes). Just be sure to wipe the tile with a damp rag then a dry rag so the sealer does not dry on the tile (or it will dull the tile).
Be sure to allow the grout sealer to fully dry (at least 24 hours) before using the shower again.
Shark Steam Cleaner
Now that the grout is clean and well sealed, weekly cleaning is really important to stay on top of any soap scum or mold build-up.
The steam mop loosens the dirt, soap scum, and orangey color. Working in small sections, I then brushed the grout with a bristle brush like this.
This method removed about 85% of any dirt and orangey color from the grout.
Mr Clean Magic Eraser
I also use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean soap scum off the tile surface. Magic Erasers are the best product I’ve found to remove soap scum on tile and our porcelain bathroom sink. They also work excellent on our acrylic bath tub.
Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner
Our local tile shop suggested cleaning the shower weekly with Concentrated Aqua Mix Stone & Tile Cleaner. This is a gentle neutral pH cleaner that helps remove soap scum and buildup when used regularly (even every day if you like) and will not damage the grout the way an acidic cleaner might. You can find it HERE on Amazon.
The bottle says to add a small amount to a gallon of water and wipe on the tile with sponge. I added a small amount to a spray bottle filled with water and sprayed it on. Let sit for for few minutes, scrubbed with a bristle brush and rinsed with water. Do not let the cleaner dry on the tile or grout.
The online tile shop suggested a very similar concentrated product called Superior.
The online tile shop also suggested THIS neutral pH cleaner by Superior. This one is ready to use straight from the spray bottle. It has added ingredients for keeping mold and mildew at bay, especially when that orangey soap scum is showing up, this can be helpful when used in conjunction with the neutral cleaner actually. Consider using this weekly or twice a month just to freshen up the space.
Finally, I highly suggest using a squeegy on the shower walls and floor after each shower. This pushes almost all of the excess water down the drain and helps the tile and grout dry much quicker.
Shop Products Mentioned in This Post
Click links below to view products. I would greatly appreciate if you shop thru these Amazon links. Entri Ways will receive a small commission from Amazon, but at no extra cost to you.
- Shark super-heated Steam Mop
- Aqua Mix Grout Sealer
- Aqua Mix Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
- Bristle scrub brush
- Superior Grout & Tile Neutral Cleaner
- Superior Antibacterial Stone & Tile Cleaner
- 14-inch stainless steel Squeegee
Save This on Pinterest: