Natural Cleaning Solutions for Tile

Prefer to avoid chemical cleaners? Many green cleaning methods work well on tile, but avoid harsh scrubbing pads and acidic solutions such as lemon juice or chlorine-free bleach. Oils (essential oils, oil soap) can also damage grout and natural stone. Here are our recommendations:

Porcelain and Ceramic Tile

For everyday cleaning, simply dusting, sweeping, or wiping down the surface with water may suffice. For ground-in dirt, use diluted castille soap and mix a few drops of soap in a bucket of water. Vinegar is also safe for porcelain or ceramic (but not natural stone). If you prefer a green cleaning spray, check the ingredients on the bottle first. Make sure it is rated “Low pH” or “ph neutral”. It is advisable to dilute the spray with water as well to limit the effects of essential oils (a common additive in natural cleaners) seeping into the grout. Too much soap residue left behind on tile can also attract more dirt, so make sure to rinse the surface well after cleaning.


Grout is primarily composed of cement and sand, which can erode with acidic or oil-based cleaners. The best option is to scrub with either diluted castille soap or a baking soda and water paste. It is also ok to add a drop of castille soap into a baking soda paste for maximum cleaning and whitening.  A pH neutral green cleaning spray is also an option, but make sure to dilute it with water to limit the effects of essential oils damaging the grout.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is very sensitive to acidic, abrasive or oil-based cleaners. Most importantly, to limit the effect of cleaners and keep your stone in the best condition, make sure to follow our stone care and maintenance guidelines by re-sealing your surfaces annually. For everyday cleaning, hard stones such as granite will generally tolerate diluted castille soap as a cleaner. Soft stone such as marble or travertine are more porous, the surface will absorb oil and stain. A ph neutral green cleaning spray without essential oils or acidic compounds (vinegar, peroxide) and diluted with water, is preferable.