Tile flooring in Murfreesboro, TN from City Tile

Tile and Carpet and Granite, Oh My: How to keep your floors and surfaces clean

“Those new floors you just installed? Looking good! And that backsplash? Oh, my! And don’t even get me started on those granite countertops.”

It’s every homeowner’s dream, right? To sit back and relax as the compliments on your home reno come flooding into your ears.

After all, you just invested a whole bunch of time and resources into this project. Hearing a wordor two of praise is well-deserved.

But what about when it’s six months to a year down the road and your renovation is no longer squeaky clean and sparkling with novelty? Chances are, your new floors and countertops are bound to come in contact with a little thing we like to call life. And life, well, it comes in all shapes and sizes — from toddler art projects and muddy dog paws to teenaged traffic and one too many wine spills.

But with every (messy) life event comes a (cleaning) solution to the rescue.

Don’t pout — it’s just tile grout!

1. Create your homemade mixture
Start by creating a paste-like mixture using one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts of an oxygenated powder product, like OxiClean or a generic washing soda. The combination will adhere to the grout lines without dripping away.

2. Spread the mixture
Using an old toothbrush, apply the mixture to the grout lines. Hint: This works on tiled floors as well as showers or any other tiled surface.

3. Scrub-a-dub-dub
Now it’s time to put in a little elbow grease. Focus on the areas where the buildup is most visible, but make sure to hit all parts of the grout for a thorough clean. After scrubbing, let the paste set for a few minutes. Then, give the grout one more good scrub.

4. Rinse and shine
When the first three steps are complete, be sure to rinse thoroughly and wipe down with a washcloth.

Deep tissue massage carpet clean
1. Vacuum like your life depends on it
But seriously, vacuum every square inch of your carpet. You want to make sure you get every crumb and dust bunny possible before the deep clean begins. Take your time with this step. Go in all different directions. Move furniture. Get in there!

2. Get your mixture ready
Mix 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar, then apply this paste to deep stains or heavily soiled sections of carpet. Allow the paste to sit on the carpet for several hours until it dries completely, then vacuum it away.

Bonus step: Rent a steam cleaner
If you’re feeling really fancy (or if your carpets need a little extra TLC), you can rent a steam cleaner.

Most machines have two modes. First, you depress a button and release the hot water then second, you release the button and it sucks water back up. Spend 3/4 of your time on the second mode. Soak the carpet, then go over it three or four times to dry the carpet as much as possible.

Steam clean the carpets a second time.

Let the carpets dry completely. Once they are mostly dry, you can bring furniture back in, but we usually put aluminum foil under the legs to avoid any stain bleeding onto the wet carpets.

Don’t take it for granite.
For normal granite cleaning, you’ll never go wrong with dish soap and a sponge. But if it's stains you’re trying to tackle, we have the solution.

Start with baking soda
No matter the source of the stain (water or oil), always start with baking soda.
Water stains If the source of the stain is water-based, mix the baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide.

Oil stains
If the source of the stain is oil-based, mix the baking soda with a small amount of water.
In either scenario (water or oil), the mixture should generate a thick paste. Generously spoon and spread that over the stain, then cover the area with plastic wrap, taping down its edges.

Leave the homemade stain remover overnight (or even for a couple of days) before rinsing and wiping down the granite.