For many, no matter how hard you scrub your tile, it can still look dingy and dirty. But it isn’t your tile that’s a problem; generally, it’s your grout. Unlike tile, grout will absorb any grease or grime spilled on it. Knowing the best way to clean grout can help you not only extend the life of your tile but it can also take your tile back to its glory days. Follow the steps below to give your grout a whole new look.
Whether you want to avoid harmful chemicals, or just don’t want to make a trip to the store, there are several easy ways to clean grout with items you probably have on hand.
What You’ll Need:
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dish soap
- Stiff bristle brush
- Begin by spraying the grout with hot water and then scrub with your brush (an old toothbrush is a great option). Follow the grout line and scrub in a circular motion, continually spraying with hot water.
- Make a paste using two parts baking soda to one part hydrogen peroxide. If you’re working in the kitchen, where grout can get exposed to grease, ad a few drops of dish soap.
- Rub the paste onto the grout lines and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Using your brush, scrub the grout lines to get rid of any dirt trapped in the pores.
- Once you’ve finished scrubbing, mix hot water with a few drops of dish detergent. Using a sponge or cloth, rinse the tile of the paste. Be sure to remove it all.
If your grime build-up is exceptionally bad, you can use sandpaper to help scrub it away. Fold the sandpaper and work the creased edge back and forth along the grout line. A pencil-top eraser is also another great tool. Rub it back and forth across the stained grout line. Make sure to rinse everything off when you’re done.
Grab an empty spray bottle and fill with equal parts vinegar and warm water. Spray this solution on your grout and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Then scrub with a stiff brush like an old toothbrush. Vinegar can slowly corrode grout, so use this approach sparingly, and don’t let the vinegar sit on the grout for more than five minutes.
Of course, there’s a reason that there are cleaning products sold in stores, these can often work faster and be easier to use than home remedies. There are several great solutions available, some even low on chemicals.
Another great tip for how to clean grout is with oxygen bleach. You can find this cleanser in powder form like OxiClean, Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus, or Clorox OxiMagic. Be sure the area you are cleaning in is well ventilated before using oxygen bleach. Apply the bleach to the grout lines and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.
If all else fails, a final attempt for how to clean grout is with a bit of chlorine bleach like Clorox Clean-Up; however, use it sparingly. Before you apply chlorine bleach, rinse away any other cleaners you may have used beforehand like vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Bleach, when mixed with vinegar, can emit a highly toxic chlorine gas, so be sure to give your tile a good rinse.
Don’t use this cleanser often as it can slowly erode your grout. Use maybe once a year and then follow our prevention tips below to prevent your grout from getting that bad again.
If you want a fast way to clean that is devoid of the chemicals found above, steam cleaning is your best bet. Steam cleaning is an environmentally-friendly method of cleaning grout and is extremely effective. Make sure to use a clean cloth to wipe up any water that lingers.
Of course, the best offense is a good defense: a great way you can keep your grout clean is to use a sealer before it gets really bad. Grout sealers will fill the pores of your grout, preventing grime and dirt from getting trapped. If your tile isn’t new, give it a good clean and then allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before applying the sealer. You may need to reapply the sealer, depending on what kind it is and how much traffic the area sees.
Another great prevention tip is to use a squeegee in your shower after every rinse. This will help prevent soap scum and mold buildup. A tile spray like Tilex also works great.
Clean grout is well within your reach with a good cleaning solution and some old fashioned elbow grease. Whether you opt for official cleaners or home remedies, it is possible to keep your floors looking like new. Just make sure to clean regularly!