How to Shine Tile Backsplash


A tile backsplash can be a great way to add visual interest and personality to your kitchen. Over time though, tile can lose its luster and start to look dull. Luckily, there are several effective methods for shining up tile backsplash to make it look like new again.

Shining and sealing your backsplash tile protects its surfaces and grout lines. This prevents staining and damage from moisture, grease, and daily wear and tear. With simple household cleaners and some elbow grease, you can restore the beautiful, glossy finish of your backsplash tile. We will walk through the step-by-step process to clean and shine your tile backsplash.

What You Need

Before starting to clean your backsplash, gather the necessary supplies:

  • Mild detergent or dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Clean rags or microfiber cloths
  • Tile sealer (either spray or liquid)
  • Bucket of clean water

Make sure you have all these items ready by your workspace before beginning the shining process.

Cleaning the Tile Surface

Here are the steps for basic cleaning of the tile itself:

  1. Mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent in a bucket.
  2. Dip your scrub brush or sponge into the soapy solution. Scrub tiles in a circular motion to lift up any grime or residue.
  3. Rinse the tiles with clean water to remove all soap. Wipe dry with a clean rag.
  4. For extra shining power, make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread onto tiles and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing.
  5. Rinse tiles thoroughly after scrubbing with baking soda paste.

Removing Grime from Grout Lines

To really make your backsplash shine, the grout lines need to be cleaned as well. Here’s how:

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Liberally spray grout lines and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Use a toothbrush or small scrub brush to work the vinegar solution into the grout. Scrub along grout lines to lift out dirt.
  3. Wipe down tiles with a clean damp rag to remove vinegar solution and grime.
  4. Mix baking soda and water into a spreadable paste. Use an old toothbrush to work paste into grout lines. Let sit briefly before scrubbing again.
  5. Rinse tiles and grout lines with clean water. Wipe dry with a clean rag.

Repeat as needed for extremely dirty grout. This should leave your grout looking fresh and clean.

Sealing the Tile

The final step is applying a sealant to protect the backsplash tile and grout.

  1. Ensure tiles are completely clean and dry before sealing.
  2. Apply liquid sealant or spray bottle sealant according to product instructions. Spread evenly across all tile and grout lines.
  3. Let sealer soak in and dry completely, usually 30-60 minutes. Apply a second coat for maximum protection.
  4. Avoid washing tiles for 24-48 hours to allow sealer to fully cure.

Sealing the backsplash prevents stains and damage over time. Reapply sealant once a year to maintain protection.

Tips for Ongoing Maintenance

  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains
  • Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe down tiles weekly
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can damage surfaces
  • Re-seal grout lines every 1-2 years as needed
  • Spot clean stubborn stains with baking soda paste

With proper care, your backsplash tile can maintain its just-installed glow for many years! Let your beautiful backsplash shine on.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shining Tile Backsplash

How often should I clean my tile backsplash?

It’s best to clean your backsplash tiles at least once a week using a mild soap and water solution to prevent grime buildup. Spot clean as needed for spills or splatters. Deep clean the entire surface every 1-2 months.

What is the fastest way to make my backsplash shine?

Using a baking soda paste provides extra brightening power for dull tile. Simply mix baking soda and water into a spreadable paste, apply to tiles, let sit briefly, then scrub before rinsing. The baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to lift residue.

Can I use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean backsplash tile?

No, avoid using products like bleach, ammonia, or acidic cleaners. They can damage and discolor the tile or grout. Mild dish soap mixed with warm water is the safest cleaning solution.

My tile grout looks dirty. How do I clean it?

Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water and spray onto the grout lines. Let sit briefly, then use a toothbrush to scrub the grout. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry. Repeat as needed for thorough grout cleaning.

How often should I reseal my backsplash?

Plan to reapply sealant to your backsplash tile and grout lines about once a year. This maintains protective covering to prevent stains and moisture damage. More frequent cleaning may require resealing every 6-8 months.


Restoring the beautiful shine and luster of backsplash tile is simple with the proper techniques. Regular cleaning, attention to grout lines, and sealing are key to maintaining a gleaming tile backsplash. Be sure to use gentle cleaners and safe ingredients like dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda. With some periodic elbow grease, you can enjoy a polished backsplash that looks freshly installed.