The Great Tile Scrubdown

I hope you aren't eating.  Because this is really gross.

This beautiful shot is none other than my kitchen tile.  What a nightmare. 

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Looking at this makes me wonder why it took me 3+ years to do something about it.  It is a combination dirt/bad grout job issue and, leading up to my kitchen remodel, I wanted to make sure the tile would be okay to keep for now by giving them a major deep clean. 

In addition to the nastiness, I also had a lot of crumbling grout all over the place.  I think this must be due to the grout never being sealed, but what do I know?!   

Before heading into this process, I Googled the heck out of the best ways to clean tile and grout.  This really didn't end up helping me much. 

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But first things first, I like a little order so, a list! 

How to Clean (and NOT Clean) Your Tile and Grout: 

  1. Don't be a doofus.  The first step is to get everything off the tile you're going to clean!
  2. Locate a bucket and a scrubber.  Toothbrushes might help, too, but a scrubber is good enough.  I had to buy a scrubber at the Dollar Tree and I've used it many times since!   If you are going to be filling chipped grout, make sure you have a little tub of the right color grout.
  3. Put on your knee pads and housecleaning gloves. 
  4. Turn the music up really loud. 
  5. Chip out any and all loose or cracked grout. I used a screwdriver.  Perhaps you have an awl?
  6. Sweep and/or vacuum the floor, being sure to get most of the chipped grout and any loose dirt.
  7. Whatever you do, DO NOT toss a ton of OxiClean powder all over the floor and then spray it with water because the internet told you to!!!!!!  It does NOT work.  It will leave a horrible mess.  You will find powder on and under every surface for weeks after.
  8. If you were foolish enough to do step 7, sweep it up or suck it up with a Shop Vac. 
  9. Take a beer out of the fridge and slowly drink it while you fill your bucket with hot, soapy water.  Dish soap is fine! 
  10. Get down on the floor and scrub your heart out with your hot, soapy water.  
  11. You or someone you love should dry off the sections you are done with using a big old towel. 
  12. Stand back and admire.   
  13. Don't admire too long because you need to fill in your chipped grout.  This may be frowned upon, but I used my finger.  I carried wet rags with me and just carefully applied the grout, made sure to fill the holes completely and smoothed out the top, and then wiped up any grout that got on the tile.
  14. Let it dry. 
  15. Put everything back. 
  16. Have another beer.
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See this OxiClean nightmare?  Don't let this be you. 

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She cleans up nice, doesn't she?  Still not the prettiest but certainly livable.  It is also going to be a lot easier to keep up with. 

Anyone notice the horrible vinyl baseboard I have in a "cream" color?  It picks up every scuff ever to grace its path.  I'll be replacing that with darker (probably dark gray) vinyl baseboard since it'll be easy for me to install, will be easy next to tile, won't show dirt, and will blend in more with the new darker cabinets we'll have.

Anyone else down on your knees scrubbing tile?  On a scale of 0-10, how much do you enjoy it- where 0 is "Kill Me Now" and 10 is "I Just Adore It"?