Austin Real Estate Secrets How To Clean Your Tile Floors Before Selling Your Home

Austin Real Estate Secrets How To Clean Your Tile Floors Before Selling Your Home

How To Clean Your Tile Floors Before Selling Your Home

Tile flooring can be either an asset or a liability in selling your home—depending upon its condition and appearance. The quality of tile’s appearance may include color/pattern aesthetics, installation quality, size of the tile and very importantly—how clean the grout appears to be. You know what the grout is—the concrete stuff between the tiles that fills the space between the tiles and tends to get so dark and ugly in high traffic areas of the home like door ways, kitchens, hallways and any area that has high foot-traffic. So, how do you make your tile look new again when you are getting your home ready to sell? Well, there are several schools of thought here. I don’t claim to be an expert on this question, but I am going to give you some information from first hand experimentation and you can see what works best for you.

My tile floors were starting to look dark and dingy in the grout lines. This is not unusual; it is just what happens over time unless very serious cleaning measures are not taken periodically to keep the grout looking «bleach clean». This is not about the weekly cleaning of tile floors, but more about the «Deep Cleaning» that needs to be done to tile floors that are not new when you get ready to sell your house or when you just want to get that new floor feeling again.

The easy answer to this problem is to get one of the steam cleaner flooring companies to come in and do their magic. On the surface, this really sounds like the right way to get the job done. So, I did just that—this week. I hired one of the steam cleaner companies who does tile cleaning to give my floors the treatment, thinking that this was going to save me the time and energy of getting down on my hands and knees to scrub and clean it the old fashion way. Well, he came. He did his thing. He took my money. He left. And while the floors looks a little better in some places after he left, in other places that he cleaned it really does not look that different. In fact, overall, the floor looks just like it did before he did his thing.

Like any good scientist, I put in place some test areas to compare old school DIY to the 45 minute steam cleaner. Well, I am here to tell you that grandma’s tools and methods worked much better than modern technology. Good old fashion Baking Soda and Hydrogen-peroxide beat the chemistry and loud machinery of our modern world.

Here is how I did it.

Four key ingredients:

1. Hydrogen-peroxide

2. Baking soda

3. A very small wire brush—about the size of a tooth brush from the local hardware or automotive store

4. A medium sized plastic stiff brush

What you want to do is start with a small area. Pour some Hydrogen-peroxide into the grout in an area about 3 feet square. Work it in with the stiff brush and then let it sit for a few minutes and soak into the grout.

Next, pour a little bit of baking soda on the floor. Use the small wire brush to really hit the grout hard with the baking soda and liquid combination. Get the brush wet in the hydrogen-peroxide and then dip it into the baking soda and work it into the grout. You should see this change colors as the dirt comes out of the grout. You will also notice the liquid on the floor start to change colors. The dirt is coming out.

Next, clean the area with a large clean wet rag. Wash it out until it is clean each time you clean the tile. Be careful. It will make the tile slippery. Let the tile grout dry for 2-3 hours and you should see an amazing difference between your old time and your new clean tile! (Note: if you want to speed up the job, try using one of these wire brushes on your cordless drills!).

Note: I am not a professional tile cleaner. I am a Realtor, investor, landlord and home owner. I am passing this along to you in hopes that this will be one of the many things that you can do to get your home ready to put on the market and sell. If you are considering selling your home there may be many things that you will want to do to get ready to sell. When that day comes—give me a call and let’s talk about selling your home. I can help.

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