The Best Tile Cleaners of 2022

Clean and protect your tile surfaces with the best tile cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom.

By Debbie Wolfe | Updated Aug 5, 2022 12:49 PM

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Best Tile Cleaner Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Often found in kitchens and bathrooms, tile is waterproof, durable, relatively easy to clean, and attractive. Yes, you can use an all-purpose cleaner to keep tile looking sharp, but to clean, polish, and protect tile thoroughly, a specialty cleaner gets the job done.

Tile is made from different materials, many of which have specific cleaning needs. Ceramic and porcelain tile are smooth and require minimal maintenance, but coarse tile—such as slate, marble, granite, and limestone—requires the best tile-cleaning product available to cleanse and protect it.

Since cleaning tile usually involves cleaning the more porous grout lines between the tile, it’s also important to know how to clean grout. When grout lines are dingy, even freshly cleaned tile can look dirty.

To help you select the right cleaner, we’ve put some of the most popular products through real-world hands-on testing. Plus, this guide explores several important considerations to keep in mind as you shop for a tile cleaner.

Keep reading to find out how the following tile cleaners fared at keeping the tile surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms sparkling clean.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner
  3. BEST FOR NATURAL STONE: Black Diamond Stoneworks Marble & Tile Floor Cleaner
  4. BEST FOR BATHROOMS: Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner With Bleach
  5. BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner
  6. BEST MULTIPURPOSE: Sheiner’s Floor Cleaner Concentrate
  7. BEST FOR PETS: Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Stain and Odor Remover
Best Tile Cleaner Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tile Cleaner

If cared for properly, tile can last a lifetime. Because it’s waterproof and attractive, tile is a popular surface for flooring, backsplashes, and bathtub and shower surrounds. The location of the tile and its composition determine the right type of cleaner to use. Cleaning and caring for the various types of tile often differs, which is another factor to consider when picking the best tile cleaner.

Type

In general, tile is tough, but some materials are more susceptible to scratches and stains. While many popular tile cleaners won’t harm ceramic, porcelain, or any tile with a protective coating, shoppers should choose the tile cleanser that’s specifically formulated for the material.

Most multipurpose cleaners won’t harm the majority of surfaces. However, when cleaning natural stone tile, avoid cleaners with acidic ingredients because they can damage it. Also avoid using cleaners with abrasives on glass and acrylic tile because they can scratch the surface.

Purpose

Tile cleaners are often classified according to their cleaning effects. Many products are multifunctional and can rid a tile surface of a wide variety of stains. However, some are more effective at removing mold, while others are made to brighten both the tile and the grout. Many people keep more than one tile cleanser on hand to target specific issues.

Tile cleaners typically fall into these categories:

  • Maintenance/daily cleaning: To keep tile cleaner for a longer time, these tile cleaners cut through residue from soap and shampoo before they can dry on tile.
  • Grout: This type of tile cleaner targets tough stains in grout and other porous surfaces.
    Hard water: These tile cleaners remove lime stains from hard water, mineral deposits, and rust.
  • Mildew/mold: This kind of tile cleaner contains ingredients that kill both of the types of fungi commonly found in moisture-rich areas, including kitchens and bathrooms.

Ingredients

Because it’s durable, most tile can handle vigorous scrubbing. However, if not used properly, the ingredients in tile cleaners can wear away the tile’s protective layer. To preserve the surface and prevent discoloration, use a tile cleaner that contains the appropriate ingredients. Tile cleaners are available in natural/organic and chemical formulas.

Natural tile cleaners are made with organic materials with stain-lifting properties, such as citrus oils, baking soda, and vinegar, which cause less harm to the environment than chemical cleansers. However, natural tile cleaners may not be as effective at removing stubborn stains.

Chemical tile cleaners are made with synthetic materials designed to remove stains, debris, and hard-water deposits effectively from tile surfaces. However, since many of these ingredients are strong, they can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs if not used in a well-ventilated area.

Application

Tile cleaners also are classified based on the type of application or format. Typically, tile cleaners come in these forms:

  • Liquid: In a convenient spray bottle, these cleaners are available in a variety of strengths and scents. The ingredients vary depending on their purpose.
  • Foam: These tile cleaners contain an added foaming agent. When sprayed on the tile, small bubbles form that extend the ingredients to cover more tiles and lengthen the amount of time the ingredients stay on the tiles.
  • Gel: This type of tile cleaner is concentrated and designed for direct application to targeted areas, such as grout. Gel tile cleaners typically come in bottles with narrow tips or in pen form.
  • Powder: These tile cleaners are abrasive and renowned for their stain-busting abilities. To use a powder cleaner, add a little water to form a paste before applying it. These cleaners require a bit of elbow grease to remove stains and grime effectively.

Our Top Picks

After testing tile cleaners to find out which delivered the best results based on the above considerations, these top picks were organized into categories. They reflect a selection of some of the best tile cleaners available today in a variety of categories to clean, shine, and protect kitchen and bathroom tile.

Best Overall

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Bona’s Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner is formulated to be safe for sealed tile, stone, laminate, and other hard surfaces, including ceramic, sealed natural stone, terrazzo, ​and marble. Its pH-neutral formula dries fast and is residue-free. It’s also EPA Safer Choice certified because it contains ingredients that are safer for people, pets, and the planet. No need to rinse after the cleaner effectively removes dust, dirt, and grime without stickiness or streaks. The water-based formula comes ready to use in a 32-ounce bottle; just spray it on the floor and then mop. However, the product is best for regular maintenance cleaning, not stain removal, so pair it with a targeted stain remover.

The Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner works remarkably well as a hard-floor cleaner. It easily removed dust, dirt, and other light debris from tile and hard surfaces. We also used it to clean laminate, porcelain, and vinyl. We loved how fast it dried and that it left behind a streak-free surface. We used it to clean soap scum and grease splatter on hard surfaces, even though the cleaner is not intended for those purposes. It tackled greasy splatter fairly well, but it does not remove mildew, soap scum, or other tough stains. Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner is our top pick for an all-around tile cleaner because of its versatility. We especially liked that it’s safe to use around pets and children and doesn’t have a strong scent.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: No
  • Concentrate: Ready to use

Pros

  • Dries fast and leaves the surface residue-free
  • Safe for pets, people, and the environment
  • Good for all-around cleaning of hard surfaces

Cons

  • Only for lightly soiled surfaces

Get the Bona floor and tile cleaner at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash
Photo: amazon.com

Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner by itself, but this vinegar-based floor cleaner from Aunt Fannie’s takes the humble kitchen essential to a whole new level at an affordable price. This cleaner has a vinegar base, but it also contains plant-based ingredients and essential oils that break down dirt, food, grease, and grime without leaving a sticky residue. Since it’s nontoxic, the cleanser is safe for people and pets. With an “A” rating from the Environmental Working Group, it’s not harmful to the environment.

The 32-ounce bottle of liquid cleaner is a concentrate, so dilute it prior to use. Mix ½ cup of cleaner with 2 gallons of water, and mop it on ceramic tile and other hard surfaces like hardwood, bamboo, vinyl, and laminate. It has a strong vinegar and essential oil smell that dissipates as the floor dries. Choose from eucalyptus, mint, lavender, lemon, and mandarin scents.

We use white vinegar to clean our kitchen and bathrooms all the time; however, the strong scent of vinegar makes family members cringe. While Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner has a slight vinegar scent, it’s nowhere near the same intensity as basic white distilled vinegar.

Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner did an excellent job of removing dust, dirt, and greasy grime from tile and laminate flooring. We tried it on soap scum and mildew, and it did a moderate cleaning job. However, paired with dish detergent, the cleaner removed it easily (we have always used a mixture of the two to clean soap scum). We liked this cleaner because it’s simple and inexpensive. Although white vinegar is less expensive than Aunt Fannie’s cleaner, the latter is a better option because of the smell.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: Yes
  • Concentrate: Mix with water

Pros

  • Neutralizes odors
  • Safe for pets, people and the environment
  • Effective degreaser
  • Available in multiple scents

Cons

  • Can leave a haze on floors if not properly diluted

Get Aunt Fannie’s floor and tile cleaner at Amazon, Chewy, or Thrive Market.

Best for Natural Stone

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Black Diamond Stoneworks MARBLE & TILE FLOOR CLEANER
Photo: amazon.com

Black Diamond Stoneworks Marble & Tile Floor Cleaner is part of the manufacturer’s premium line of natural stone and tile cleaners. Many household cleaners, especially acid-based products, can dull or damage natural stone surfaces. This cleaner is designed specifically for natural stone, so it safely lifts dirt, dust, spills, grease, and stains from granite, marble, quartz, and other natural-stone surfaces—even brick.

The liquid cleaner comes as a 32-ounce biodegradable concentrate. Simply mix 2 to 4 ounces with 1 gallon of water, and then mop. It’s hypoallergenic, streak-free, and safe for people and pets—and it has a fresh smell. The manufacturer notes that some floors may require rinsing after use.

This cleaner did an excellent job of cleaning natural stone and tile. On sealed flooring (tile and laminate), it worked well as a light cleaner. It did not easily lift sticky grime from floors without extra effort.

The cleaner smells refreshing, and we like that it’s a concentrate that can be mixed as needed. However, it’s best for natural stone only and cleans light debris on sealed hard surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: No
  • Concentrate: Mix with water

Pros

  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Smells pleasant
  • Easy to mix and use
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • For light maintenance cleaning only

Get the Black Diamond Stoneworks tile cleaner on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best for Bathrooms

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner Spray with Bleach
Photo: amazon.com

Bathrooms are humid environments, which makes them a logical place for mold to grow, especially on tile and grout surfaces. Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner With Bleach is a bleach-based formula that is effective at removing mold, mildew, soap scum, and limescale. It’s safe for use on all nonporous surfaces, including tile.

The 32-ounce spray bottle features a trigger handle, and the cleaner needs only 30 seconds to dissolve dirt and grime from bathroom surfaces. It also kills up to 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. Since the cleaner contains bleach, it has a strong odor and should only be used in a well-ventilated room.

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner with Bleach easily removed soap scum, mold, mildew, and stains from our shower and floor tiles. However, it does have a strong odor. We used it sparingly because it made our eyes water, and the bleach smell lingered for a while after cleaning. Opening windows and turning on the ventilation fan in the bathroom are highly recommended while using the cleaner. It also can bleach clothing and other fabrics, so be careful with overspray. Although it may be hard on the sinuses, this cleaner is a solid performer and is worth having on hand for deep bathroom cleaning.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: No
  • Concentrate: Ready to use

Pros

  • Kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses
  • Eliminates odors, stains, and mold/mildew
  • Available in other scents

Cons

  • Very strong odor
  • Will ruin clothing

Get the Clorox tile cleaner at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.

Best Eco-Friendly

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner is made from natural ingredients that dissolve mold, mildew, soap scum, hard-water stains, and mineral deposits on tile, grout, and almost any other bathroom surface. This two-pack of 32-ounce plant-based cleaner leaves a fresh scent without synthetic fragrances. It’s nontoxic, ensuring safe use for people and pets. The liquid cleaner must be rinsed, and it shouldn’t be used on marble or granite tile surfaces. It’s safe for ceramic, porcelain, fiberglass, and acrylic tile surfaces.

This cleaner removed soap scum and mild stains from tiles and porcelain tubs. It also did a pretty good job at removing mold and mildew, although it doesn’t claim to do so. We love that Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner is made from plant-derived ingredients, and we don’t have to worry about wearing gloves to protect skin while using it. Although no harsh chemicals are in the cleaner, it has a strong scent (eucalyptus and tea tree oil), and we had to open windows while using this product.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: Yes
  • Concentrate: Ready to use

Pros

  • Nontoxic and biodegradable
  • Safe around kids, pets, and the environment
  • No added dyes, synthetic fragrances, or harsh chemicals

Cons

  • Scent is strong

Get the Better Life tile cleaner at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Walmart.

Best Multipurpose

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Sheiner’s All Purpose Cleaner and Floor Cleaner

This pH-neutral all-purpose multisurface professional liquid cleaner from Sheiner’s is suitable for use on a variety of hard surfaces, including marble, granite, vinyl, linoleum, and stained concrete. It eliminates both tough stains and odors.

This 1-gallon container is a liquid concentrate; mix 1 ounce with 1 gallon of water and mop or wipe with no need to rinse. Although it’s a professional-grade product, the lavender-scented cleaner is nontoxic. It contains no dangerous chemicals or abrasive cleaning agents, which means it’s safe to use around people and pets.

Sheiner’s Floor Cleaner Concentrate cleaned our tile and laminate floors very well. Designed for maintenance cleaning on floors and other hard surfaces, it can be used on countertops as a multipurpose cleaner. We tried it on soap scum and mildew, but it didn’t remove them. The only downside is the scent. The bottle says it’s lavender, but we thought it smelled more like chemicals and didn’t find the scent refreshing. However, for a multipurpose cleaner, it’s a good value.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: Yes
  • Concentrate: Mix with water

Pros

  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Usable on any hard surface
  • Highly concentrated formula makes up to 128 gallons

Cons

  • Scent smells like chemicals

Get the Sheiner’s floor and tile cleaner on Amazon.

Best for Pets

The Best Tile Cleaner Option: Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Stain and Odor Remover
Photo: amazon.com

Pet stains and odors are notoriously hard to remove. Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Stain and Odor Remover is a dual-action, enzymatic-based cleaner and pet stain and odor remover. Designed to remove stains and odors caused by urine, fecal matter, grease, oil, fats, and other organic matter, the cleaner’s bio-enzymatic formula provides a deep clean while protecting the natural floor finish. Bio-enzymatic cleaners use nonpathogenic “good” bacteria to digest wastes, soils, and stains. Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Stain and Odor Remover safely removes new and deep-set stains and odors from sealed wood, linoleum, vinyl, concrete, and ceramic tile.

We first learned about Nature’s Miracle when fostering puppies with a pet rescue. We now have three dogs and a cat and always keep a bottle of Nature’s Miracle on hand. We’ve used the hard-floor cleaner on laminate, tile, vinyl, and concrete, and it effectively removed pet urine and fecal stains and odors. Best of all, it eliminates urine odors around toilets. We grab our bottle of Nature’s Miracle whenever we have an organic-based stain or odor to clean up. However, the cleaner has a strong odor that smells slightly like almonds. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s strong and lingers for a while.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Scented: Yes
  • Concentrate: Ready to use

Pros

  • Works well on new and deep-set stains and odors
  • Can clean more than animal messes
  • Safe around kids, pets, and the home

Cons

  • It has a strong odor that’s not unpleasant, just strong

Get the Nature’s Miracle stain and tile cleaner at Amazon, Chewy, or Tractor Supply Co.

Our Verdict

Bona floor and tile cleaner is our top choice based on its versatility, clean scent, and streak-free finish. It leaves tile and other hard surfaces shiny and spotless while remaining safe for people, pets, and the environment. Aunt Fannie’s floor and tile cleaner is another excellent choice for cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces. The multipurpose cleaner effectively cleans grease, dirt, grime, and some soap scum (when paired with a detergent) for an affordable price.

How We Tested the Best Tile Cleaners

We tested each tile cleaner according to an established rubric that includes cleaning abilities on tile, versatility to clean other hard surfaces, scents, and ease of use. We rated the cleaners on a scale of 0 to 4 to determine their score.

The cleaners were mixed (if applicable) according to the manufacturer’s directions and sprayed on ceramic-tile surfaces for testing. We tested the cleaners on bathroom tiles to see if each would remove soap scum if the product claimed it could. Finally, the cleaners were used on other surfaces if the product indicated it could clean surfaces other than tile.

FAQs

This list of some of the best tile cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom provides a lot of information, but you may still have some questions about application and ingredients. Keep reading to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about properly cleaning tile.

Q. What’s the best thing to use to clean tile?

No matter the type of tile surface, one of the most important steps for maintaining tile is weekly maintenance with an appropriate cleaner.

Q. What’s the easiest way to clean tiles?

Prevention is the most important factor when cleaning tiles. Frequent use of a multipurpose cleaner ensures dirt and debris don’t have a chance to stick to the surface for long.

Q. How do you deep clean tiles?

Lightly wet the tile surface. Spray the appropriate cleaner onto the surface, and let it sit for 10 minutes or longer. Once the dirt and debris have softened, use a soft-bristle brush (if applicable) or sponge to wipe down the surface.

Q. How do I make dull ceramic tiles shine?

Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on to ceramic tile and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.