5 Eco-Friendly Tile and Grout Cleaning Ingredients

As a homeowner, you know the importance of keeping your home clean and free from germs. Unfortunately, some areas of a house are more prone to the buildup of dangerous bacteria than others. The bathroom and kitchen are the worst offenders as porous tile and aging grout team up with an almost constant moist environment.
lab assistant tests tile and grout cleaners
Cleaning these grimy spaces doesn’t have to be a huge chore, but those with children and pets don’t want to use just any old cleaning solution in their homes. Luckily, there is a host of eco-friendly ingredients that work wonders for cleaning grout and tile, and many of them are already in your pantry.

1. Vinegar

Strangely enough, vinegar is a common cooking ingredient and the main catalyst used in pickling despite the fact that its production begins with the addition of acetic acid bacteria in order to ferment ethanol. Vinegar itself consists of five to 20 percent of the resulting acetic acid and water.
This solution has long been touted as useful in a variety of industrial, medical, and domestic practices. Among these uses, homeowners rely heavily on vinegar as a household cleaner. For light tile and grout cleaning, simply spray the affected areas with white vinegar, let stand for 10 minutes, and use an old toothbrush to scrub out the stains.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes hydrogen peroxide as a safe antimicrobial substance because its degradation only leaves traces of oxygen and water on surfaces. Proven effective in killing viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and bacterial spores, hydrogen peroxide is still being used for disinfecting wounds in developing countries.

Hydrogen peroxide solutions are highly useful in cleaning many areas of the home and much safer than chlorine bleaches and ammonia. The oxidizing properties of this household antiseptic is also less expensive than other, more toxic, solutions on the market. Simply allow a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to soak into dirty grout for 10 minutes and give it a thorough scrubbing.

3. Dish Soap

You wouldn’t use dish soap to clean your families dinner plates if it wasn’t proven safe to do so and cleaning the tile and grout in your home should not be handled any differently. Some manufacturers of dish soap are committed to the protection of animals and humans before, during, and after its use and many offer their products in phosphate-free forms.

Lotion, makeup, hair products, and some occupations can leave a greasy film on your shower and bathtub. These fatty compounds are actually healthy breeding grounds for the growth of bacteria in the crevices of tile and grout lines. Quality dish detergents are able to cut through this grease and make it possible to thoroughly clean these spaces without worrying about fumes or dangerous residue.

4. Salt

Actually very different from the table salt used in meal preparation, Epsom salts are actually an inorganic compound known sulfate mineral epsomite. Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate in water and the former is effective at reducing inflammation within the body. It has also been shown to reduce the absorption of lipids and other fatty molecules.

Depending on the materials used in the production of your tiles, Epsom salt may prove useful in removing hard-to-remove stains from your laundry, bath, and kitchen areas. Not only can these salt be used as a light abrasive for deeper cleaning projects, its ability to reduce the presence of lotions and hair products help speed up the process.

5. Lemon Juice

Extracted from lemons and used for a long list of food and cleaning recipes, this juice has delighted palates and homeowners for thousands of years. The high concentration of citric acid in lemon juice makes it an extremely corrosive agent capable of eating through just about anything it come across.

Probably the absolute safest ingredient that can be used for household cleaning, this acidic substance will make your kitchen or bathroom smell great while it’s eating away any bacteria with which it comes into contact. Baking soda can be safely added to the lemon juice if a little more elbow grease is required for the removal of tougher stains.

Accomplishing effective tile and grout cleaning doesn’t have to be a difficult nor dangerous endeavor. With a little preparation and some common, easy to find, ingredients you can remove those pesky stains and odors while keeping toxic chemicals out of your home and away from your loved ones.