How to Clean Backsplash Tile

Cleaning backsplash tile regularly is important to maintain its beauty and prevent buildup of dirt, grime, and bacteria. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can keep your backsplash looking like new. Here are some tips on how to effectively clean tile backsplashes.

Gather Your Supplies

Before cleaning, assemble all the necessary supplies:

  • Mild detergent or tile cleaning solution
  • Clean rags or sponges
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Grout brush (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)

Avoid abrasive scouring pads or powders as they can scratch the tile surface.

Dust and Dry Wipe

Start by dry dusting the backsplash with a microfiber cloth or soft brush to remove any loose debris. Pay close attention to the grout lines where grease and cooking splatters often accumulate.

After dusting, do a dry wipe with a clean rag. This will pick up surface dirt and grime before wet cleaning.

Make a Cleaning Solution

In a bucket, mix a few drops of mild detergent or a tile cleaning solution (like Method All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner) into warm water. Too much soap can leave a film, so use sparingly.

For extra cleaning power, try mixing in a capful of rubbing alcohol. The alcohol helps dissolve oily residue.

Scrub Tiles and Grout

Dip a sponge or soft rag into the cleaning solution and wring out excess water. Scrub the tile surface in circular motions, rinsing the sponge/rag frequently.

Pay close attention to the grout lines. Use a grout brush or old toothbrush to scrub the grout after cleaning the tiles. Rinse thoroughly.

For stubborn spots, let the cleaning solution sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing. This softens the gunk so it’s easier to remove.

Rinse and Dry

Wipe the tiles down with clean water to rinse away all soap residue. Buff dry with a microfiber cloth.

Make sure no suds are left behind, especially in the grout lines. Remaining soap scum will attract dirt faster.

Polish and Shine

As a final step, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Mist the solution over the backsplash and use a dry cloth to polish and shine.

The vinegar helps remove soap scum and hard water stains for a streak-free finish.

Clean Regularly

To prevent heavy buildup, aim to clean the backsplash 1-2 times per month. Quickly wipe up cooking splatters after each use before they have a chance to dry.

With regular cleaning, you’ll only need to deep clean every 6 months or so. Consistent maintenance keeps backsplash tile looking like new.

FAQs About Cleaning Tile Backsplash

How can I make my backsplash shine?

Use an equal parts vinegar-water solution to polish and brighten the tile after cleaning. Buff dry with a microfiber cloth. The vinegar removes soap scum and hard water deposits.

What is the best way to clean grout on backsplash tile?

Use a grout brush or old toothbrush to scrub the grout lines after cleaning the tile surface. Letting a tile cleaning solution sit for 5 minutes first helps loosen built-up gunk.

What natural products can I use to clean tile?

Good natural cleaning options include baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide. Make a paste with baking soda and water for scrubbing. Use undiluted vinegar to dissolve hard water stains and soap scum.

Why does my tile backsplash look hazy after cleaning?

This is likely caused by a soap film or hard water residue left behind. Wipe the tiles down with plain water, then polish with an equal parts vinegar-water solution. The vinegar will remove any remaining soap or mineral deposits.

What should I avoid using to clean backsplash tile?

Avoid abrasive scouring powders, pads, or brushes as they can scratch and damage the tile surface. Acidic cleaners like bleach should also be avoided as they can etch and corrode tile.

How can I clean tough oil stains off backsplash tile?

For oil stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and scrub onto the stain. You can also try spraying stains with undiluted white vinegar and allowing it to sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing. The baking soda and vinegar help break down greasy residue.


Regular cleaning is essential for keeping backsplash tile looking fresh and preventing a buildup of grime. With the right gentle cleaners and some elbow grease, you can easily remove dirt and restore the tile’s shine.

Be sure to dust first before wet cleaning. Scrub the tiles and grout thoroughly with a mild detergent solution. Rinse well and polish dry with a vinegar-water mix for streak-free results. Stay on top of periodic cleaning, and your beautiful backsplash will maintain its sparkle for years to come.