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How to Clean, Maintain, & Care for Your Backsplash Tile

Our kitchens are points of pride for us. From entertaining and cooking, to simply gathering, the kitchen is arguably the most important room in the house. 

With a steady amount of traffic going through it on a daily basis, keeping it well-maintained over time can seem like a sisyphean task.

This is particularly true of the area around the kitchen sink and stove. These areas commonly have the walls behind them protected by kitchen backsplash tiles, which take the brunt of the errant splashes that would've otherwise damaged your walls. Your subway tile backsplash might be among the chicest of the popular tile designs, but the ceramic that it’s made from is also providing a great protective barrier. 

But alas, nothing is invincible.

When your backsplash tiles are taking a beating, this guide on how to clean, maintain, and care for your tile will have your kitchen backsplash looking and performing like new for years to come.

Person cleaning kitchen backsplash tile using a wipe

How to Clean Kitchen Backsplash Tile

In 2022, the average cost of a kitchen renovation in America is currently $22,134, but could go all the way up to $50,000.

That's a substantial investment to let fall into disrepair!

Let’s start out with the basics on how to clean backsplash so it continues to shine. 

Looking to update your kitchen tile? Find inspiration by exploring 2023 kitchen backsplash tile trends.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Simply wiping down your backsplash after cooking isn't enough. That removes initial layers of filth, but does not rid your precious glossy tile of mold, grease, and food stains that have built up over time on high-traffic tiled areas, such as the stove and kitchen sink backsplash

That’s why it's so important to complete a deep-clean every so often. Everything gets a little dirty as the years go by, and you'll definitely notice it on your backsplash tiles. 

Pro tip: Ever wonder how to remove grease from tile backsplash? Grease stains are notoriously tough to clean. If you’ve been asking yourself over and over how to clean grease off backsplash, it’s actually as easy as mixing water and baking soda. This combination creates a paste that you can apply to your backsplash and like magic, it cuts right through stubborn grease. After a few minutes, apply a spray solution of water and white vinegar and wipe it clean. 

Use the Right Cleaning Tools and Solutions

Just as important as a paintbrush is to a painter, so are proper cleaning tools for clean backsplash tile!

Commercial Cleansers

When it comes to clean backsplash tile that is free from grease and stains, a powerful, dedicated cleanser can make things a lot easier. 

Ideally, your cleanser should be pH neutral and contain effective degreasing agents that can penetrate deep into grout and remove even the toughest build-ups. Additionally, a good kitchen tile backsplash cleanser should be easy to apply, simple to rinse off after use, and safe for all types of surface materials.

Of course, not all tile backsplash cleaners are created equal. Some products contain harsh chemicals and abrasives that can damage delicate surfaces over time, which is why it's so important to choose a cleaner with high-quality ingredients and performance-tested formulas.

Soap & Water

For regular cleaning, you’ll often only need a soft cloth dampened with some water to wipe down the backsplash. 

This is especially true if you are careful to keep after any splashes and don’t wait for mineral deposits to build up over time. A daily swipe with a lightly dampened cloth is usually enough to effectively clean backsplash tile! 

Once a week, you can do a more thorough cleaning to make sure you don’t get any soap scum build up. 

Voila! Good as new.

Consider Natural Cleansers 

The appeal of natural cleansers is obvious – why bring chemicals into your home that may be unsafe around children and pets when you can make your own cleaner? Household items such as white vinegar, baking soda, and lemons make wonderful natural cleaners. 

There are many commercial kitchen backsplash cleaner products available, but if you’ve opted for glass, porcelain, or ceramic tile specifically, then you probably don’t need harsh (and sometimes dangerous) chemicals to clean backsplash tile. 

Not only do they look stunning, but the beauty of these tiles is their low maintenance, easy-to-keep-clean quality!

Our Favorite Natural DIY Cleaning Solution

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water
  2. Spray the solution on tiles and wait 15 minutes
  3. Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and use it to clean the grout between the tiles
  4. Rinse the tiles with water and wipe dry

Pro tips:

  • For tough stains, pour the solution into a microwave safe bowl and heat it in the microwave before applying
  • Add lemon juice to the solution to enhance grease-cutting ability 

Note: White vinegar will not stain the grout and the vinegar smell quickly fades, so don’t worry about the odor. 

General Backsplash Cleaning Tips

Choose Easy to Clean Backsplash Tile

Want to ensure successful tile backsplash cleaning from the start? Opt for easy to clean backsplash tile!

Certain kitchen tiles, including porcelain tile, ceramic tile, glass tile, and metal tile, are much easier to clean than others, so selecting to install an easy to clean tile type will make your tile backsplash maintenance a breeze. 

Pro tip: Matte backsplashes can be notoriously trickier to clean, as the rough finish tends to collect and show dust and grime quicker.

Always Clean Up After Yourself

Arguably the best way to clean backsplash tile (and the easiest) is to, well… clean up after yourself!

When you're in front of the stove channeling your inner Gordon Ramsay, that backsplash catches food, grease, and general grime that you should clean when you're done with your culinary masterpiece. Leaving it to sit can cause permanent stains.

Have a Schedule 

Creating a tile cleaning schedule can be a helpful tool in keeping your daily, weekly, and monthly tile backsplash maintenance tasks organized. 

Here’s a simple “how to clean tile backsplash behind stove” example schedule to get you started:

  • Daily Cleaning: Spray backsplash with cleaner and wipe down with cloth
  • Weekly Cleaning: Wash backsplash with soap and water and dry with cloth
  • Monthly Cleaning: Deep clean tiles and grout and inspect for damages

  • Cleaning Don'ts!

    • DON’T assume you can use natural cleaning solutions on every tile type. For more delicate tiles, such stone tile, you’ll want to avoid most natural cleaning agents, as the acidity can etch and dull the stone.  
    • DON’T use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that aren’t meant for tile on your tile surfaces, as these can damage the finish and even eat away at the grout. 
    • DON’T scrub too vigorously, as this can cause scratches on the tiles.
    • DON’T use too much soapy water to clean backsplash tile, as splashy cleanups often result in water pooling and leaving residue behind.

    Backsplash Care & Maintenance 

    With appropriate tile backsplash maintenance and care methods, your kitchen backsplash will stand the test of time. 

    Maintain backsplash properly with these tips:

    Know Your Material

    As different tile types require different types of care, an effective clean backsplash tile strategy means that you need to know what your backsplash material is and what it can and cannot handle. 

    For example, unlike ceramic or porcelain, stone tile is very porous, and therefore, gentle and specific methods of tile backsplash maintenance should be adhered to. 

    Understanding the ins and outs of your backsplash material is at the core of tile protection. 


    If you're concerned about your kitchen backsplash becoming stained or discolored over time, consider sealing the tiles

    Applying sealant to the grout between your backsplash tiles and the tiles themselves will create a clear barrier that will protect the tiles beneath it without taking away from the aesthetic.

    Pro tip: For optimal protection, we recommend sealing your kitchen backsplash tile every year. 

    Keeping Grout Clean

    Grout between tiles is a little tricker to keep clean than the tiles themselves, but shouldn't be neglected. Understanding how to clean kitchen backsplash tile grout is a major component of your tile backsplash maintenance plan, as it’s crucial to upholding the appearance and longevity of your kitchen backsplash. 

    Use a toothbrush and a solution of water and white vinegar to scrub the grout between the tiles. This method will keep even the whitest of white grouts looking fresh and clean. 

    Pro tip: When excess grout is not removed from tile after grouting, it creates a thin, semi-white film when it dries known as “grout haze.” Depending on the tile type, grout haze can be removed with commercial grout haze remover or a water/vinegar solution. 

    Tile Repair & Replacement

    Proper tile backsplash maintenance includes replacing broken backsplash tile as soon as possible. 

    Not only is a cracked or chipped backsplash unsightly, but a broken kitchen backsplash can be an entry point for moisture and water damage, which can potentially lead to mold growth and other serious issues. 

    Not to mention having broken materials in such a high-traffic area is unsafe for you and your family!

    Therefore, by taking just a little bit of time each week to inspect for signs of damage, you can help ensure that your kitchen remains attractive and safe long-term. 

    Replacing some tile? Check out our tips and tricks for how to safely remove your backsplash.

    Congrats! You Know How to Clean Kitchen Backsplash

    Your kitchen backsplash is an in-home hero that needs some TLC every now and then. 

    Practices like understanding the maintenance requirements of your tile material, investing in the proper cleaning agents and tools, and sealing your backsplash will ensure your tile’s longevity from the start.

    Maintain it well by learning how to clean backsplash, and it will serve as function and fashion for years to come!

    Ready to find your perfect tile match? Start shopping our full range of kitchen backsplash tile today!