How to Clean Kitchen Backsplash

Cleaning your kitchen backsplash regularly is key to maintaining its beauty and shine. A clean backsplash not only looks great, but it also helps prevent the buildup of grime, bacteria, and damage over time. Follow these tips to keep your backsplash sparkling clean.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Soft sponge or cloth
  • Old toothbrush or other small brush
  • Microfiber towel
  • Vinegar or ammonia-based cleaner (for tough stains)
  • Rubbing alcohol (for hard water stains)

General Cleaning Tips

Wash with Warm Water and Mild Detergent

  • Mix a few drops of mild detergent like dish soap into warm water. Dampen a soft sponge or cloth and wring out excess water.
  • Gently wash the entire backsplash surface using a circular motion.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry with a microfiber towel.

Use Vinegar for Disinfecting

  • Mix equal parts warm water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Mist the solution onto the backsplash and let sit for a few minutes before wiping off.
  • Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that helps kill bacteria.

Try Ammonia-Based Cleaner for Grease

  • For greasy spatters and film, use an ammonia-based cleaner.
  • Spray directly onto the dirty spot, let sit briefly, then scrub and rinse clean.
  • Ammonia helps dissolve and cut through oily grime.

Rub Alcohol Removes Hard Water Stains

  • Dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub gently onto any hard water stains.
  • The alcohol will help dissolve the minerals causing the spots.
  • Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Scrub Tough Stains with Baking Soda

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to stained or dirty areas using an old toothbrush or brush.
  • Let sit briefly, then scrub in a circular motion before rinsing.
  • Baking soda is an effective abrasive cleaner for stuck-on gunk.

Clean Grout Lines Regularly

  • Use a small brush dipped in warm, soapy water to gently scrub grout lines.
  • Vinegar or baking soda paste also works to break up grime in grout.
  • Well-maintained grout helps keep the whole backsplash clean.

Rinse and Dry Thoroughly

  • Always rinse the entire backsplash well after cleaning to remove any soap residue.
  • Wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth to prevent water spots.

How Often to Clean Backsplash

How often you need to wash your backsplash depends on:

  • What material it is – porcelain, ceramic tile, natural stone, etc.
  • How heavy kitchen use is – amount of cooking and traffic.
  • Presence of pets, kids, smoking that increases grime.

Here are some general guidelines on frequency:

  • Light Use Kitchens – Clean backsplash 1-2 times per month.
  • Moderate Use Kitchens – Clean backsplash weekly.
  • Heavily Used Kitchens – Clean backsplash 2-3 times per week.

After Cooking or Food Prep – Always spot clean immediately after cooking, prepping meals, or other messy tasks to prevent stains from setting.

Grout – Clean grout lines more frequently – weekly or several times per month.

Windows – Clean any glass tile, mirrored backsplash about 1-2 times per month.

Stainless Steel – Clean stainless steel backsplash 1-2 times per week to maintain shine and prevent water spots.

Natural Stone – Clean soapstone, travertine, marble backsplash gently 1-2 times per month to prevent etching or wear. Avoid abrasives.

Supplies You’ll Need

Having the right supplies makes cleaning the backsplash much easier. Here is what you need:

  • Mild Detergent – Dish soap or mild all-purpose cleaner dissolved in warm water works for most routine cleaning. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Soft Sponge or Cloth – Use a gentle sponge without abrasive scrubs or soft microfiber cloth to prevent scratching.
  • Old Toothbrush or Brush – For scrubbing in crevices, grout lines, a worn brush is useful.
  • Vinegar – Helps disinfect, removes soap scum and hard water stains. Mix with water for cleaning.
  • Rubbing Alcohol – Dissolves soap scum, hard water deposits, and stains.
  • Baking Soda – Mildly abrasive for scrubbing tougher grime and stains when mixed with water.
  • Ammonia-Based Cleaner – Cuts through grease and oily film that can build up behind a cooktop.
  • Microfiber Towel – Use to wipe backsplash dry to prevent water spots after rinsing.

Tips to Prevent Backsplash Stains

Preventing dirt and stains in the first place will save you time cleaning later. Here are some handy tips:

  • Use backsplash protector sheets when cooking or prepping meals prone to splattering. Remove promptly after.
  • Rinse food, grease, and liquids off backsplash right after cooking before it has a chance to dry.
  • Use pan lids when cooking to contain splatters.
  • Adjust hood vents to highest setting when cooking greasy foods.
  • Don’t allow food, grease, oil to linger. Spot clean after each use of kitchen.
  • Install an industrial strength hood vent or downdraft vent to manage cooking grease.
  • Seal grout lines regularly to prevent stains settling in porous grout.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets under appliances to prevent scuffs and scratches.
  • Wipe up spills immediately to keep moisture from seeping into grout lines.
  • Avoid abrasive scrub pads/cleaners that can dull or etch natural stone backsplashes.

FAQs About Cleaning Backsplash

Can I use bleach to clean my backsplash?

Bleach is very harsh and can damage many backsplash surfaces like natural stone, granite, and even grout. It’s best to stick to mild detergents, vinegar, or ammonia cleaners. Always spot test bleach in an inconspicuous area first.

How do I clean oil stains off the backsplash?

For oily stains, dissolve some baking soda in warm water and scrub into the stained area using a soft brush or sponge. You can also use an ammonia-based cleaner. Scrub and then rinse thoroughly.

What is the easiest way to clean backsplash grout?

Use an old toothbrush dipped in warm, soapy water to gently scrub along grout lines. You can also use baking soda or vinegar. Let sit briefly before scrubbing and rinsing. Grout pens are also useful for grout cleaning.

How do I get rid of hard water stains on glass backsplash tile?

Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water and wipe onto the stains using a soft cloth. You can also use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. The vinegar or alcohol will help dissolve mineral deposits.

What natural cleaning solutions work on backsplash?

Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are all great natural cleaners for backsplash. Vinegar disinfects and removes stains. Baking soda scrubs away grime. Lemon lifts grease and gives a fresh scent. Mix with water to make pastes or solutions.


Regular cleaning is essential for keeping your kitchen backsplash looking like new. Be sure to use mild cleaners and soft cloths to prevent damaging the surface. Target problem areas like tile grout and behind appliances/stoves where grease can collect. Spot clean spills and splatters promptly before they have a chance to dry and stain. With the proper supplies and techniques, you can easily keep your backsplash clean and beautiful. Maintaining your backsplash well will help preserve its appearance and prevent permanent damage over time.