Bathroom tiles can get easily discolored over time due to dirt, soap scum, and grime. Dirt also increases the chance of mold or bacteria growth, which may transfer from tile to tile when walking across the bathroom floor. So, can you use bleach on bathroom tiles? And if not, what’s the best cleaning solution to use?
Bleach is effective at cleaning bathroom tiles, but it can also damage them over time. When using bleach, use a ratio of 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Bleach alternatives include specialized cleaners like Grout-Eez and GooGone or home remedies like vinegar, lemon, and rubbing alcohol.
Cleaning bathroom tile regularly helps improve bathroom aesthetics and prolong the tiles’ longevity. However, bleach isn’t always the best option to use. Let’s take a closer look at the methods you can use to keep your bathroom tiles in tip-top shape without causing any damage.
Can You Use Bleach to Clean Bathroom Tiles?
Bleach is a strong chemical that removes grime by dissolving it, so it can be effective for cleaning dirty bathroom tiles. However, because it’s caustic, bleach can also damage the tile and its finish when applied in excess. It often corrodes tile surfaces, making them look lackluster.
How to Safely Clean Bathroom Tiles With Bleach
You need to exercise extra caution to avoid injury when cleaning your bathroom tiles with bleach. The fumes from bleach can make you sick, while direct contact with the harsh chemical compound can affect the skin.
It’s best to always observe the following safety measures when you use bleach:
Wear Rubber Gloves
Wear rubber gloves (on Amazon) when cleaning your bathroom tiles with bleach because the cleaning agent can harm the skin. If you don’t have rubber gloves, use an old rag or a clean cloth free from chemicals.
Don’t Mix Ammonia With Bleach
Mixing ammonia with bleach can create toxic fumes. Since ammonia fumes could cause respiratory problems, avoid adding ammonia products to bleach when cleaning your bathroom tiles.
Wear a Face Mask
When you clean your bathroom tiles, it’s essential to wear a face mask (on Amazon) to avoid inhaling the fumes. The fumes from bleach can also harm your eyes. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after using bleach, and don’t rub your eyes.
Bleach Dilution Ratio
Bleach dilution ratios depend on how much bleach you want to use and how strong of a solution you need. Clorox recommends 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water for tile bathrooms.
In contrast, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a more potent mixture of a 3/4 cup of water per gallon.
It’s best to mix bleach with room temperature water and use the combination immediately since this mixture doesn’t have a long shelf life.
Non-Bleach Alternatives for Cleaning Tiles
Non-bleaching products are an excellent tile-cleaning alternative for those with allergies or sensitive skin. They don’t leave a harsh chemical odor or break down the tile, making them safer alternatives.
Grout-Eez (on Amazon) is an excellent remedy for cleaning tile grout. It’s made from natural ingredients and doesn’t contain ammonia, chlorine, or other chemicals. The product works by removing dirt and stains from your grout lines, leaving your tiles looking brand new.
Rejuvenate Cleaner (on Amazon) works great for removing stubborn stains, dirt, and grime from tile floors. It uses natural ingredients to break down odors, germs, and bacteria on your flooring. It also has antibacterial properties that make it safe for use around pets and children who may be exposed to the flooring.
GooGone is a product that works great on tile floors and countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. You can use Goo Gone (on Amazon) on any hard surface and watch as it quickly melts away dirt and spills.
Home remedies allow you to clean your tiles without needing to buy expensive cleaning products. They also limit your exposure to harmful chemicals and fumes. These remedies include:
Vinegar and Warm Water
Mix equal parts vinegar with water and apply to the grout. Make sure you clean the tiles and wash them with the vinegar solution. Rinse tiles thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue.
Lemon juice is one of the most effective methods to remove stains from your tile floors. Apply lemon juice directly onto the stain, let it sit for at least 15 minutes, scrub gently with a brush or sponge and rinse thoroughly with plenty of clean water.
Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, and peppermint oil are a great way to remove stains from your tiles. These oils often have anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which help kill bacteria and germs that may cause tile discoloration. Essential oils also freshen up your home with their pleasant aroma.
Borax is a natural cleaner that helps eliminate dirt, mold, and mildew stains. Mix some borax powder (on Amazon) with water in a bowl to achieve a paste-like consistency, and apply this mixture to the dirty tiles. Leave the mixture for about an hour before scrubbing off the excess borax with a sponge or cloth and rinsing with clean water.
Hydrogen peroxide (on Amazon) is effective for removing stains like blood and grease. You can use hydrogen peroxide on its own or mixed with baking soda. Spray it on the tile surface using a spray bottle and let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with water.
Use Castile soap (on Amazon) with baking soda to clean your grout lines. Mix equal parts of baking soda and Castile soap in a bowl, then apply the mixture to the grout lines on your tile.
Let it stand for several minutes while scrubbing with a brush or sponge, then rinse thoroughly with water to remove any dirt or stains left behind by the soap mixture.
Pour some rubbing alcohol (on Amazon) onto a sponge, wipe it across the grout lines, and then blot dry with a clean rag. This home remedy will also work on other hard surfaces like countertops and sinks.
Dish soap is an effective cleaner for grout and stone tiles, but it’s not designed for use on porcelain. To clean your bathroom tiles with dish soap, mix 1 part dish soap and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your bathroom floor and let it sit for five minutes before wiping it with a damp cloth.
Repeat this process until all of the dirt is removed from your tile.
If you have hard water stains in your tub or shower, try club soda instead of full-strength vinegar. Pour a cup of club soda into a bucket filled with warm water and add enough liquid dish detergent to make it about the same consistency as shampoo.
Soak the stain for 10 minutes, then blot any excess moisture with a clean towel. For stubborn stains, repeat this process twice over the next two days; then repeat once every week for an additional month for better results.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Bathroom Tiles?
Below are some valuable tips for maintaining the hygiene of your bathroom tiles.
Prepare the Grout
Use a vacuum to suck out any debris. A handheld vacuum with a crevice tool can help clean hard-to-reach floor corners of your bathroom. After using a vacuum, use a steamer to loosen grime on fixtures cracks and corners.
Get a Professional Grade Cleaner
Professional-grade cleaners (on Amazon) work well because they can remove all types of stains and dirt from your tile surfaces. Other cleaners may leave behind mineral deposits or other debris that can cause problems in the long run. A good cleanser will remove:
- Water damage
- Mold growth
- Detergent buildup
Scrub the Tile
Scrub the tile using a sturdy brush or a nylon bristle scrubber (on Amazon) to remove any grime and buildup that has been accumulating over time. Make sure you pay extra attention to areas such as the grout lines with more dirt buildup, as they are harder to reach with a regular brush or mop.
Rinse the Tile
After scrubbing, rinse all the cleaned surfaces with water until it runs clear. Drain the excess water using a sponge into a bucket or sink.
Dry the Tile
Once you’ve rinsed off all of the soap scum and debris, it’s time to dry off your bathroom floor tiles with a towel or paper towel. Ensure to dry off each section thoroughly so no moisture gets left behind. Excess water promotes the growth of harmful organisms like mold and mildew.
Be extra careful when cleaning old, dingy grout and tiles with bleach. Bleach may whiten your grout and tile — but the harsh chemicals could wear down your bathroom flooring in the long run.
Take the safer tile-cleaning route by choosing an alternative cleaning solution that contains less harmful components.