Keeping your backsplash tiles clean can seem like a never-ending job between kitchen grease and food remnants. Tiles near the stove tend to have the most food gunk on them because of the cooking splatter. Ceramic and glass tiles are common backsplash options, and they're relatively easy to clean with common household items. Keep up with tile cleaning to make the job easier before it builds up.
Baking Soda for Kitchen Grease
If your backsplash tiles have a lot of grease on them, reach for the mildly abrasive baking soda in your cupboard. Mix the baking soda with some water to form a paste that's thick enough to stick to the tiles. Rub the mixture over the greasy spots and wait at least 10 minutes.
Go over the tiles with a clean, wet sponge to wash away the paste. You may need to rinse the sponge and repeat several times to remove all of the baking soda paste.
Degreasing Product for Tough Stains
If baking soda doesn't tackle the tough grease, you may need to move onto a degreaser like Goo Gone. Test it out on a hidden area of the backsplash to make sure it doesn't discolor the tiles. Apply the degreaser only to the greasy areas, following the package instructions. Wipe all of the degreaser away well with a clean cloth.
Grease on Stone Tile
If your backsplash is made of natural stone, you'll need to use cleaning products that are safe for it. You can use specialty cleaners designed for that type of stone.
If your slate or other stone backsplash isn't sealed, grease can be a bigger problem because it can seep into the stone. Always test any cleaning products, even natural ones, in a hidden spot to ensure the stone doesn't stain.
Dish soap mixed into warm water is generally a safe option for a stone backsplash. Scrub away the grease with a toothbrush or similar gentle brush. Wipe away the soapy residue with a clean, moist cloth.
General Tile Cleaner
Make a homemade backsplash cleaner that gently shines the tiles without harsh chemicals. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Top off the mixture with a few squirts of dish soap and mix it together.
Spritz the cleaner generously on your tile backsplash. Moisten a microfiber cloth with the solution and wipe all of the tiles. Go back over the tiles with clean, damp cloth to remove cleaner residue.
Vinegar Tile Cleaner
Cleaning kitchen tiles with vinegar is another natural solution for keeping your backsplash clean. Mix vinegar with warm water in equal parts in a spray bottle. Wet the tile backsplash with the vinegar solution and wipe them clean. This works well as a daily cleaner for your backsplash to keep grease from building up.
Cleaning Grout Lines
The tiles themselves may come clean easily, but grout lines on your backsplash tend to need a little more scrubbing. A baking soda and water paste scrubbed with a toothbrush works on grout.
Spraying vinegar or lemon juice on the grout and letting it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing can also help remove grease and food marks. The scrubbing action is tedious but helps make the grout look new again. Wipe down the grout lines with a damp cloth after cleaning.
Save yourself scrubbing time by sealing your backsplash grout lines. Apply the sealer to completely clean grout lines. The sealing product makes it easier to wipe off the food and grease and prevents it from soaking into the grout and causing stains.
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Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.