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.

These 10 Variables Will Affect the Cost of Your Tile and Grout Cleaning in Jacksonville, Florida

American homes can become dusty and grimy in an instant, especially if children and pets are present. Still, most homeowners rarely have their flooring professionally cleaned. Instead of breaking a sweat over stained grout around the tiles, it’s recommended that the hard surfaces of homes are cleaned every two to five years by a trained technician with access to supplies and equipment that aren’t available to the average homeowner.

When you choose to hire a professional company to clean your tile and grout, there are several factors that will determine the cost of the services.

couple reviews tile and grout cleaning estimate

1. Estimated Time

According to experts, the average time to perform simple tile and grout cleaning is about 30 minutes per room or 300 square feet. Many businesses will consider the cost of materials, and double it, when estimating the labor cost for a job. However, others will charge for the materials and have a set per-hour cost for their services. Be sure to ask your preferred cleaning company how they price their labor costs.

2. Square Footage

The largest factor in pricing tile and grout cleaning services is based on the total square footage. This is true throughout the home including kitchen and bathroom counters, shower stalls, and floors. Each area of tile will be measured by your in-home technician to ensure the company will be appropriately compensated for providing the service without overcharging you.

3. Size of Tiles

Due to the differences in materials and cleaning methods used for tile and grout, the size of your tile will influence the cost of materials while also affecting the time it will take to clean any one area. Large tiles will be surrounded by less grout than their smaller counterparts and, therefore, more of the cleaning will be devoted to that tile. On the other hand, the massive amounts of grout around smaller tiles will require more attention to those spaces.

4. Type of Tile and Grout

Much like the size of the tile used in any given area, the type of tile and grout used is also a determining factor in the price of professional cleaning. Unsealed grout and tiles made from porous materials will be more difficult to clean than others. Knowing ahead of time which types of tile and grout you need to have cleaned will give you a head start in estimating the costs.

5. Soil and Staining

If your tile floors or counters are in need of heavy cleaning after years of wear and tear, staining, and heavy soiling, then you can bet that the cleaning costs are going to be higher than in a better-maintained area. Damaged grout will not only have collected more dirt and grime, it will be more difficult to get it clean.

6. Room Configuration

Aside from the total area of tile you need cleaning, the complexity of its shape will also affect the cost. Alcoves, an abundance of corners, and complicated countertops will require a more precise cleaning than vast open spaces.

7. Repairs

That damaged grout doesn’t need a good cleaning, it needs replacing. Most of the time, severely damage grout and tiles will be easier to replace than trying to get them clean because the cracks will harbor difficult to reach dirt and germs. Just remember that the time it takes to replace those items will add time to the labor costs associated with the job.

8. Upgrades

Perhaps you have decided to have your grout cleaned and the technician informs you that it was never sealed. Maybe you have made a design choice to alter the color of the grout surrounding the tile in your kitchen or bathroom. A tile and grout cleaning company is more than willing to provide an effective grout sealer and even grout dying in order to protect or upgrade your homes tile surfaces.

9. Warranty Options

Not all manufacturer warranties are created equal. Most of the time, the warranties included in the purchase of your tile is limited and problems rarely arise in the short amount of time given in that warranty. Luckily, many cleaning service companies will offer their own upgraded warranty packages, but they do usually have a cost associated with them.

10. Expedited Service

Service companies often have a queue of customers awaiting appointments, especially the top providers. Unfortunately, this means that in the event of a major catastrophe, you may be waiting up to two weeks for a technician to make it out to your home. Some companies offer expedited services for more emergent situations, but this may cost up to twice as much per hour than waiting.

Being prepared for the costs associated with tile and grout cleaning will make the estimation process less stressful. Considering the variables listed above will help you budget and make the right choices when it’s time for you to call your local service company.

10 Amazing Arguments for Professional Tile and Grout Cleaning in Jacksonville, FL

Even if you enjoy cleaning and have plenty of time to do so, there is still some deep-seated dirt, grime, and germs lurking around that household cleaners can’t reach and untrained housekeepers can’t access. It takes more than good, old-fashioned elbow grease to remove this debris. Industrial equipment, professional products, and expert knowledge are just a few good arguments for hiring a service company to clean the tile and grout in your home or offices.

mother with kids prepping food in tile kitchen

1. Expert Care

A company which specializes in tile and grout cleaning will have the skills necessary to identifying buildup and the ability to determine the right course of action in removing it from your floors. In addition, technicians will see to it that your grout and tile will be protected from damage during the cleaning process.

2. Stain Removal

Not all stains are created equal, and neither are the tile and grout in which they find homes. Professional service technicians will remove those stains and leave your kitchen and bathroom counters and floors looking like new again.

3. Deep cleaning

Invisible to the naked eye, germs lurk in every corner and it is imperative that home and business owners make a conscious effort to protect their families, friends, employees, and clients from illness. It takes real knowledge and training, with a variety of tools and products to safely remove bacteria from the pores of grout and tile.

4. Appropriate Products

In order to remove those pesky stains and bacteria, without causing damage or putting the health of others at risk, you must have access to the best professional cleaning solutions available. Not only that, you must also know how to use these products to get the best results from the time, money, and sweat put in to accomplish the task.

5. Industrial Equipment

Much like professional cleaning products, regular citizens don’t have access, or the funds available, to heavy duty industrial equipment. These tools are high-powered, high-capacity, and expensive, so their use tends to be relegated to professional tile and grout cleaning companies.

6. Stain Prevention

Upon the safe and complete removal of stains from your grout and tile, they should be properly sealed in order to prevent future staining. This can certainly be a messy job best left to the skills possessed by trained service technicians.

7. Home or Office

Of course, your home is going to need a lot more routine cleaning than an office space. The preparation of food alone is going to dirty your kitchen grout and tiles. Professional offices, on the other hand, may not need tile and grout cleaning as often as your home, but it is still a good idea to hire a service company to do the work for you.

8. Free Estimates

Perhaps you keep a very clean home, or maybe you don’t have time to give it the constant attention it really needs. Either way, your local tile and grout cleaning experts will come into your home, or office, take a good look and give you an accurate and fair assessment of the costs for getting your place cleaned up.

9. Special Offers

Beyond free estimates, most service companies will offer special deals. Holiday seasons are a good time to find discounts on tile and grout cleaning because business goes up as people prepare their homes for guests and celebrations.

10. Other Services

Whichever company you choose to hire for your tile and grout cleaning, you will also have the opportunity to have some other things taken care of as well. Many of these businesses offer other services including upholstery, mattress, and carpet cleaning. In addition, they will offer carpet repair and water damage restoration to help you return your home to its former, beautiful, self.

If you are seeing stains or signs of other damage to your tile, grout, carpets, or upholstery, it will be wise to hire a professional service company. They have the tools, products, and knowledge to get your home or office spic and span once again.

5 Simple Tricks to Reducing the Need for Household Tile & Grout Cleaning in Jacksonville, Florida

Keeping a clean home shouldn’t be such a chore. People are busy and most families don’t have enough free time for heavy housecleaning. In these cases, the best thing you can do is attack your housekeeping in smaller doses. Prevention is key and the following tricks will help you keep up on those pesky-mess makers while saving you a ton of money, time, and energy.
mom hugs daughter on beach

1. Remove Footwear

As autumn wears on, the chances of finding yourself in damp shoes will only become more prevalent. Not only that, higher moisture will lead to wet sand that will become lodged in every nook and cranny of your favorite footwear.
Removing your shoes may be the best recommendation for keeping these wet messes out of your home. You will track less mud onto your carpets and the sand is less likely to build up in the hidden corners of your rooms. Though, you don’t need to ask guests to do this as just having your immediate family remove their shoes will reduce the amount of sand and mud that creeps into your house.

2. Use Your Mudroom

With good reason, many beach houses have mudrooms. With a mudroom, you can be sure that your family and pets are nice and tidy before you allow them to enter your home. Whether it be gritty sand or swampy mud, your home will stay much cleaner if you stop these dirty messes in their tracks before they can make it inside.
These handy little spaces often have enough space to store those shoes you’ve just taken off upon entering your home. Homeowners generally take advantage of the faucets and drains located in the tile-floored rooms. That way, shoes, and pets can be well-cleaned prior to entering the house.

3. Install an Outdoor Shower

Beachfront property can be beautiful and many can picture their dream houses sitting just seconds from the ocean. However, these peaceful abodes are not without their pitfalls. Yes, you and your family can enjoy some good surfing and swimming just outside your door, but all that sand and water can wreak havoc on the cleanliness of your home.
Installing an outdoor shower will save you precious time and energy on upholstery, carpet, tile, and grout cleaning throughout your home. Your whole family can surf and swim to their heart’s’ content without bringing that mess into your kitchen, living room, and bathrooms.

4. Prevent Stains

Sometimes, even the most watchful eye can miss something and the outdoor grime makes its way into your house. The next step is to prevent those outside pollutants from causing stains around your home. If you are diligent in your housekeeping, your home is sure to remain in tip-top condition for your family and guests.
The best recommendation for preventing tile and grout stains in your kitchen and bathroom is a simple solution. By keeping a spray bottle of pH neutral tile, grout, and stone cleaning solution on-hand, you can spray spills and wipe them away with a paper towel or damp sponge. Experts also recommend cleaning these materials at least once a week.

5. Protect Your Grout

Usually, the tile installed in your kitchen and bathroom can be easily damaged and, unfortunately, so can the grout that holds it all together. Damaged tile and grout are breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and biofilm that are dangerous to the health of your loved ones.
By thoroughly drying your tile after each use, you will prevent the premature crumbling of the grout. Also, be sure to avoid using anything acidic or abrasive for tile and grout cleaning as these substances will weaken the surfaces. It may even be necessary to reseal your grout or even replace your tile and grout completely if it becomes heavily damaged.

So the next time your children are running in from the beach, just stop them outside. It may even be a good idea to involve the whole family in adopting these simple tricks for keeping your house clean. It will be less of a headache for everyone. But, if you happen to find your home riddled with stained carpets, tile, or grout, just call your local cleaning company and they’ll get you back on the right track to keeping a clean and healthy environment for your family and guests.

5 Inspiring Benefits of a Clean House

Person cleaning floor in a homeFew of us get excited about the regular chore of cleaning. But at the same time, most of us are happy when it is done. If you are in need of some motivation to clean your house, consider these compelling reasons for keeping the dust bunnies, dirt, and clutter at bay.

A Healthier Environment

The EPA says that the air in your home can be five times more polluted than the air outside your home. The dust mites, pollen, pet dander, bug skeletons, bacteria, and mold in your home can create a toxic cocktail for your respiratory system and general well-being. The Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community in Boston found 20 percent more instances of staphylococcus bacteria in tubs than in garbage cans! It might be time to grab that bathroom scrub brush. Cleaning removes at least some of these health compromisers.

Additionally, pests, such as cockroaches and rodents, are attracted to dirty corners and food that’s been left out. Pests create extremely unsanitary conditions and carry pathogens that can affect the physical health of the people and pets in your home.

A Safer Environment

Not only is it healthier to not have pollen and bacteria floating around in your home, but it’s also safer to not have clutter. When toys or other objects are lying on the floor, particularly in walking paths, they can be safety hazards. One year, BBC reported that 6,000 people had gotten injured by tripping on their pants or by falling down the stairs while putting them on. So if you’d like to avoid a stubbed toe, a sprained ankle, or even worse, a broken leg, it might be a good idea to get the piles of dirty laundry and the loose objects out of your way.

Physical Exercise

Cleaning your house can boost your fitness routine. You can burn up to 300 calories per every hour of cleaning, with tasks like vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping burning an impressive amount of calories. And when you grab that brush and proceed to do a thorough tile and grout cleaning in your shower, you’re burning around 90 calories every 15 minutes! One research group did a study of almost 1,000 adults and found that those with the cleanest homes also tended to be the most active and the healthiest.

Increased Productivity

Studies have actually been done on the correlation between clean environments and productivity. When everything is in its place and there are no distractions to a person’s concentration, the amount of work produced is much higher.

Decreased Stress Levels

A dirty, cluttered house can affect your mental and emotional state, especially when you can’t find things you need or when you end up getting sick because of the polluted air in your home. Dirt and clutter can create stress, sometimes even subconsciously, because there are things that need attention or things that aren’t getting done. Cleaning up can help you achieve a better state of well-being. And with all the pressures and responsibilities demanding your time and attention, a clean home can also provide a calming environment where you can relax and get re-energized.

It turns out that the state of your home affects almost every area of your life! Just remember all the positive benefits of a clean home whenever you’re tempted to let the chores slide. A half hour here and an hour there can create an environment that you want to live in.

4 Steps to Avoiding Heavy Cleaning After Craft Projects

girl_with_paint_makes_grout_cleaning_necessaryWith the ever-growing popularity of websites like Pinterest, families have obviously been embracing their inner craftiness and enjoying the creation of sometimes strange things. However, the one downfall to all of this quality family time is the havoc it can wreak on kitchens and other areas of the home. The following guide will help you avoid the need for heavy cleaning after you and your children have created those delightfully-crafty works of art.

1. Cover the space.

Large kitchen tables and countertops seem to be the number one place used by families hoping to create something together. This makes sense because these spaces are usually free of carpeting and offer amenities such as water sources and easy-to-access trash receptacles while also providing ample space for everyone to be involved. The first and best practice to follow when crafting in the kitchen is to thoroughly cover the area. This can be done with a heavy drop-cloth, old bedsheets, cheap plastic shower curtains, or disposable tablecloths.

2. Use washable supplies

It can be daunting to walk into a craft store in search of kid-friendly supplies that won’t break the bank. Luckily, there are many types of washable art supplies on the market. You just need a little knowledge about what to look for when you get there. For example, craft paints are available in a large variety of colors. Water based acrylic paint dries quickly, is easiest to clean up. Oil based paints are usually thicker and more permanent and are therefore more difficult to clean up when splashed or spilled.

3. Limit available materials.

Make cleanup a cinch by limiting the materials available to your children at any given moment. First, you should give your equipment, tools, and supplies a permanent home. This will make it easier for you and your children to find them and return them when you are finished. You can also sort supplies into categories and store them in their own containers or baskets. Old baby food jars and ziplock bags are among the most popular. Additionally, rolling storage containers with drawers can be brought into your art space, the drawers removed as needed, then replaced and returned to their designated “home”. Likewise, if there are several steps to a project, try to give your little ones only the supplies they need for each step of the process. Limiting supplies will limit the number of possible messes that can lead to a need for heavy fixture, tile and grout cleaning once you have finished your project.

4. Clean up immediately.

The two biggest keys to keeping your kitchen clean during art projects will be preparation and upkeep. Many do-it-yourselfers suggest gathering all of your necessary cleaning supplies before getting started. This can not only help you keep the area clean, but it can also encourage the children in the home to clean up after themselves. This will go a long way in teaching your children lifelong lessons is tidiness.

In this day-and-age of digital connectedness, the need for quality family time is increasing by leaps and bounds. Crafting is necessary for helping children develop important bi-lateral and fine-motor coordination, self-regulation skills, and increased self-esteem. Parents should be sure to have fun with their children during family projects, but this doesn’t mean they can’t try to keep their homes neat and tidy in the process.

Why You Should Choose a Tile Floor

Luxury floor tiles made from porcelain tiles and modern wall tilesAs tile floors become more and more popular, homeowners everywhere are installing it in their new or newly renovated homes. If you’re looking at the overwhelming lineup of flooring choices, consider these reasons why tile might just be your best option yet.

It’s Long-Lasting

Ceramic and porcelain tile floors, when installed correctly, will last a lifetime (50 years). In contrast, carpet has a life expectancy of 6 years and vinyl, 10 years. If you’re a long-term homeowner, the higher initial cost of tile will easily cost you less than the more frequent replacement costs of carpet and vinyl. Besides, who likes replacing the flooring every six years?

It Increases Your Home’s Value

Because tile is such high quality, it increases the perceived value of your home. For instance, kitchens and master bathrooms are two of the top-most selling points in a home, according to Trulia. Kitchens and bathrooms are also two of the top remodel projects that bring the most return on investment at resale, with a recovery rate around 100 percent. Buyers love updated kitchens and bathrooms, and that includes gorgeous tile floors.

It’s Versatile

Tile can do many things. Do you love hardwood floors? There’s a vinyl tile option that looks like real wood. Do you need something sturdy and moisture-resistant for your mudroom or laundry room? There’s a tile—durable slate-look porcelain—that provides both features. Do you need a tile that hides dirt? There are lots of variegated tile designs that look stunning while hiding muddy footprints. Would you like to have an artistic design in your floor for the foyer? With tile, you can create a beautiful mosaic on your floor that will greet people as they walk in. The colors, designs, and finishes of your tile floor are subject only to your imagination.

It’s Easy to Keep Clean

Some tiles, such as porcelain, are very stain-resistant, an important consideration if you have children and pets. Most of the time, a simple weekly vacuuming and occasional mopping with mild cleaners will keep your floor looking fantastic. If it does get a little grimy, an appointment with a professional tile and grout cleaning service can get it looking like new again.

It’s Environmentally Friendly

Tile floors are a rating factor in determining the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification assigned to homes and other buildings. Tile is considered green-friendly, due to its long life cycle, zero (or very low) VOC (sickness-causing) contributions to indoor air quality, almost 100-percent recycling practices of tile factories (called closed-loop production), hypoallergenic qualities, and low maintenance features (which eliminate the need for strong chemical cleaners).

Why choose a tile floor? The reasons are both aesthetic and practical and the right tile floor can give you both at the same time. All you need to do is choose from the hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of colors, styles, and patterns available.

14 Choices That Make Tile and Grout Cleaning Easier

construction worker tilerShopping for tile can lead homeowners into a black hole of foreign-sounding terminology. Contractors and industry professionals should know the terms and definitions for the installation and cleaning of tile and grout, but these experts do not actually choose the tiles they will be installing in a home. It is important for homeowners to be knowledgeable about the various shapes, materials, and processes associated with the manufacturing of tile. This will ensure they get the polish, durability, or specific aesthetic they are wanting.


Tile is available in a dizzying array of shapes. Many choices are dependent on the aesthetic that a homeowner would like to produce, but other shapes have a purpose. One popular tiling method includes using sheets made with ceramic, glass, metal, or stone that are mounted on mesh. These mosaics make the installation of many small tiles easier. The pre-mounted tiles can be found in a variety of shapes, such as squares, octagons, and hexagons. Next, customers shopping for tile may hear the words convex and concave. The easiest way to remember the difference between these terms is that a “cave” goes inward. Therefore, a concave tile will be thinner in the middle than on the edges. Finally, a “bullnose” features a round and finished top edge used for the final tile in wall installations. The term “battiscopa” is synonymous with bullnose.


Just about any natural material can be used in the production of tile. Homeowners can find several types of stone and even polished wood tiles are available. Granite is an igneous rock created by extreme heat and volcanic action that can take a high polish. Adversely, limestone is the result of the interaction between sediment deposits and geological activity. These tiles will not hold a high glass polish the way granite can. Tiles are also made with slate, a metamorphic rock that is available in a large variety of colors. Ceramic tiles are generally glazed and used for both wall and floor applications, but porcelain tiles are more commonly used for decorative tile applications. Quarry tiles are made from clay and fired at very high temperatures, making it very durable and therefore good for high traffic areas.


There are several specific changes made to tile that will affect their durability, finish, and cleanliness. Frost-proof tiles make excellent outdoor tiles because they are manufactured in a way that makes them virtually impervious to moisture. The se tiles are an excellent choice in regions where there is a high instance of freezing and thawing. Crackle glaze is just what it sounds like, a special glaze that creates fine-line cracks. Some homeowners choose crackle glaze because it makes the tile appear antique. During production, a sealer will be applied to porous tile materials in order to prevent the absorption of moisture and debris. This has the potential to make tile and grout cleaning easier for homeowners and service companies alike.Don’t let yourself get lost in a mountain of tile terminology that exists when searching for what you want. Many of the words used in the industry will mean nothing to a homeowner, but many of the above examples are important in making the right choices in tile for your home.

Don’t let yourself get lost in a mountain of tile terminology that exists when searching for what you want. Many of the words used in the industry will mean nothing to a homeowner, but many of the above examples are important in making the right choices in tile for your home.

Grout Cleaning Made Friendlier

Young Woman Cleaning The Tiled Wall

Unsafe ingredients in household cleaning agents can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, asthma, allergies, rashes, and hives. In the early 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began encouraging manufacturers to move toward safer ingredients in their cleaning products. The agency’s hope was to minimize the potential of these products to cause unintended health and environmental consequences.  

Safer for your family.

Cleaning products and the ingredients they contain are only one source of indoor air pollution. Products used around the home for wood, stainless steel, carpet, tile, and grout cleaning can lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Fortunately, the EPA is committed to protecting consumers, especially children. With the implementation of the Design for the Environment Programs (DfE), indoor air quality became improved as companies began using safer ingredients in their products. The DfE program evaluated the potential impacts of products, materials, processes, or activities.  Then in 2015, the EPA introduced the Safer Choice Label. This new program requires manufacturers to list all of their products’ ingredients, on the packaging or on an easy-to-access website. With more than 40 years experience in evaluating human health characteristics of chemicals, the goal was to lower the risk of potential health hazards. The program has led to a sizeable reduction of carcinogens, and reproductive and developmental toxins.

Safer for the planet.

In order to promote social and environmental justice, the Safer Choice Label encourages product manufacturers to adhere to a safer chemical ingredients list and strive for sustainable options in packaging. In 2009, the program helped companies reduce chemicals of concern by more than 500 million pounds. Approved ingredients are considered less toxic to fish and aquatic life. The ingredients are proven to break down more quickly through natural processes. These guidelines have led to less contamination of the food chain, pollution in streams, and damage to the ecosystem. A reduction in the impact on water treatment facilities is also lowering infrastructure costs for communities.

Manufacturers of household cleaning products voluntarily invest in research and reformulation in order to enter into a partnership with the Safer Choice Program. The program assists these companies in choosing ingredients based on several assessments. They also make sure that all chemical alternatives are available to manufacturers and feasible for their uses. The EPA helps companies ensure that products are of similar or better value in cost and performance. The agency strives to understand the chemistry that leads to product performance. This partnership lasts three years and manufacturers are subject to surveillance and audits to ensure adherence to program standards.

Trendy Tile Needs Effective Grout Cleaning

Young woman pouring vegetables on a panFor decades, the function of home tiling has outweighed its form. Traditional ceramic tiles were plain looking and laid out in very linear patterns. Homeowners seemed more concerned with ease of cleaning and protecting their tile from damage than they were with the actual overall appearance. However, recent years have seen the return of beautiful tile designs in bathrooms and kitchens. Recent developments in materials, digital printing, and available shapes, have made fun and interesting tile designs accessible to the average homeowner. The following is an overview of the tile trends taking hold in 2017.


A quick search for bathroom tile on Pinterest reveals ornately designed tile patterns. Mass production in the 20th century made sophisticated printed tile more accessible to homeowners. The use of pebbling, digital printing, and diamond etching now results in geometric designs, often resembling mosaic art. Many homeowners are opting for tile placements that result in floral, diamond, and herringbone patterns. Contractors are seeing a rise in requests for different tile shapes including circles, hexagons, and octagons for floors. There is also evidence that the use of ceramic “subway” tiles on bathroom walls is another huge trend for 2017.


Homeowners are still interested in a clean finish to their bathroom and kitchen tile treatments. They are still concerned with protecting their tile, especially when it comes to grout cleaning. Abrasive cleansers can damage tiles made of glass, wood, ceramic. Kitchen backsplashes are being offered in shinier, but smaller, tile configurations, sometimes using metal or natural stone materials. This apparent need for clean-looking tile is prominent in the current color choices such as solid blacks, whites, silvers and greys.

By-gone are the days of boring kitchen and bathroom walls and floors. Linoleum was invented to make installation, cleaning and maintenance easier for homeowners, while also being more affordable than most ceramic and porcelain tile. However, that flooring option soon revealed itself to be more trouble than it was worth. New materials, design techniques and layouts mean homeowners must no longer choose between beauty and function in the tile they install. Trendy tile is made to be easily cleaned and protected while also being aesthetically pleasing to residents and their guests. A good contractor will help you find the tile that meets your standards for beauty while also making sure it is easily maintained and within your budget.

Have you recently seen any tile colors, materials, or layouts that appealed to you?