Get Gleaming Tiles with This Lemon and Salt Homemade Cleaner

Updated on April 20, 2023 by Joseph D. Nielson

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Lemon Fruits on White Surface

Any remodeling project in the home is exciting! Especially in the kitchen — the heart of the home. You’re sure to have spent hours picking out the perfect cabinets, matching fixtures, complimentary tiles and aesthetically-pleasing grout to make sure everything looks phenomenal. 

However, after a few months of cooking, hosting dinner parties, and general everyday wear, you may have started to notice that your tiles and the grout are looking a little dull and dingy. If this is the case — don’t use harsh, expensive store-bought cleaners to clean them, instead, opt for something more natural, environmentally friendly, and cost effective — lemon and salt! 

Lemon is known for its powerful cleaning properties while salt helps break down dirt and grime. With just two simple everyday ingredients, you can have your tiles and grout looking as good as new! Keep reading to find out how to make this easy, natural cleaner.

Many people are hesitant to try making their own tile and grout cleaner using lemon and salt because they don’t know how to do it. You may (understandably) also worry about damaging the tiles with an incorrect cleaning solution, or not getting the desired results from a DIY cleaner.

The most common challenge people face is mixing the wrong ratio of ingredients. If you use too much lemon juice, the mix can be very acidic and may discolour or corrode the grout. On the other hand, too little lemon juice won’t provide enough cleaning power to make a difference. Similarly, if you use too much salt, it can scratch the tiles and leave a residue that’s difficult to remove. For these reasons, it’s important to get the ratio of lemon juice and salt just right for the best results.

Other challenges come from the application and not knowing how hard to scrub. It is important to use a soft brush, a soft scrubber or a quality dish sponge to work the cleaner into the grout, however over-scrubbing can cause damage; it’s important to find that happy balance. A note here that steel wool pads should never(!) be used to clean tiles and grout.

Finally, people may also forget to rinse the tiles and grout with cold water after cleaning them. This is an important step as leftover residue will dullen your newly cleaned tiles. Further, if you don’t rinse the tiles and grout thoroughly, it will leave a soapy film that can be really difficult to remove.
We know how daunting it can be to attempt to make your own DIY cleaners, but with the right instructions, you’ll be able to achieve amazing results — we promise! In this article, we will provide all the information you need about making a homemade tile and grout cleaner using lemon and salt so that you can have sparkling clean tiles in no time! Keep reading to learn more.

New kitchen counter corner with utensil

Ingredients for Cleaner

The ingredients you’ll need to make your own tile and grout cleaner are very simple – all you need is lemon juice and salt. Here’s how these two everyday items make for a great cleaning solution:

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is known for its powerful cleaning properties and can be used to break down dirt, sticky grease, and grime. It’s also a natural disinfectant that can help kill germs and bacteria on your tiles. When using lemon juice for tile and grout cleaner, it’s best to use fresh or organic lemon juice as the acidic content will be higher making the solution more effective.


Salt is an abrasive cleaning agent that works to break down dirt and grime on tiles and grout. It also helps remove any stuck-on residue from the surface of the tiles and grout, making them look brighter and cleaner. You should use a coarse salt for the best results when making your own cleaner.

Water (optional)

Water can be added to the cleaner if you want a less concentrated solution. This is useful if you’re dealing with delicate tiles that may be damaged by a more abrasive cleaner. Water will also help dilute the lemon juice and salt, making the mixture looser and easier to spread on the tiles without fear of damaging them.

Directions for Use 

Preparing the Mixture 

To make the tile and grout cleaner, start by mixing together 1/4 cup of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of salt. Use a spoon or fork to mix the ingredients until they are completely combined. If you’re adding water, slowly mix in one cup at this stage.

Applying the Cleaner 

Once the cleaner is prepared, apply it to the tiles and grout. Use a brush or scrubber to work the cleaner into any dirt or residue on the surface of the tiles and grout. If you are dealing with delicate tiles, use a soft cloth or a high quality dish sponge instead of a bristly brush. Make sure to apply gentle pressure when scrubbing – too much pressure can damage the tiles and grout.


Once the cleaner has been applied to the tiles and grout, it’s time to scrub. Using a brush or scrubber, work in a circular motion over the surface of the tiles and grout until all dirt and residue have been removed. Then, rinse with cold water to remove any remaining cleaner from the surface.

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Tips for Best Results 

When making your own tile and grout cleaner, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to ensure the best results.

Use Fresh Lemon Juice 

When making your own tile and grout cleaner, it is important to use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled or canned. Fresh lemon juice has higher acidic content which will help break down dirt and grease more effectively. Additionally, using fresh lemon juice can be more cost-effective since you don’t need to buy a large bottle of the ready-made cleaner.

Avoid Over-Scrubbing with Steel Wool Pads 

When it comes to scrubbing your tiles, it is best to avoid steel wool pads as these can be too abrasive and may damage the surface of your tiles. Instead, use a soft brush or cloth in a gentle circular motion to loosen dirt and grime. If you are dealing with delicate tiles, avoid scrubbing altogether and just use the cleaner to break down the dirt and rinse with cold water. This will help ensure your tiles stay in perfect condition.

Use Cold Water to Rinse Tiles and Grout 

When rinsing the tiles and grout, make sure to use cold water. Hot or warm water can cause the cleaner to evaporate quickly before it has a chance to work its magic. Cold water will help keep the cleaner in place while it works and also help prevent any damage to the tiles or grout. Additionally, cold water can help prevent any streaks or stains from forming on the tiles.


In conclusion, making and using a homemade tile and grout cleaner is an effective way to clean your tiles without the need for expensive — and sometimes toxic — store-bought products. Using lemon juice and salt, you can create a cleaner that will help break down dirt, grease, and residue on the surface of your tiles. 

Additionally, using cold water when rinsing can help prevent streaks and stains from forming. When using the homemade cleaner, it is important to follow the directions carefully in order to ensure best results and avoid damaging delicate tiles. With these tips in mind, you can keep your tiles looking as good as new!
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out our other post on DIY cleaning solutions where we show you: 5 Simple Homemade Cleaning Solutions Using Vinegar.

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Q: How often should I use the homemade tile and grout cleaner?

A: The frequency of use depends on how dirty your tiles get. As a general rule, it is recommended to clean them at least once every two weeks. If you notice heavy buildup of dirt or residue, you can increase the frequency of cleaning as needed.

Q: Can I use hot water when rinsing my tiles?

A: It is not recommended to use hot or warm water when rinsing your tiles after using the homemade cleaner. This can cause the cleaner to evaporate quickly and also damage delicate tiles. Cold water is best for preventing streaks and stains while still allowing the cleaner time to work its magic. 

Q: How do I know if my tiles are delicate?

A: If you’re not sure, it’s best to take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions. The instructions should tell you if your tiles require extra care and what kind of cleaning products or methods are recommended. It is also important to use gentle pressure when scrubbing your tiles – too much pressure can damage the surface.

Q: Is there any way to avoid using the homemade cleaner altogether?

A: Unfortunately, not all tile surfaces can be cleaned without using a cleaner. However, for surfaces that don’t require regular cleaning, you may be able to get away with just rinsing them with cold water periodically. Additionally, some types of tiles may require a specialized cleaner – always check the manufacturer’s instructions for more information.

Q: Are there any other ways to make the homemade tile and grout cleaner?

A: Yes! You can also use baking soda or vinegar instead of salt. Additionally, adding a few drops of essential oil to the mixture can help reduce odors and give it a pleasant scent. Experiment with different ingredients until you find the perfect combination that works for your tiles!

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!