No matter where your grout is; on ceramic tile, floor tiles, or even in between bricks, you need to clean your grout regularly- Well, if you want it to look good, anyway. Dirty discolored grout will make the entire floor or surrounding area look dingy and dirty too.
Grout is made of fine sand, cement and water. Grout’s biggest problem is that it can become stained from mold, mildew and dirt.
Follow these tips from professional house cleaners to clean your dirty grout up fast.
Pre Wash The Grout To Get Up Loose Dirt And Grime:
Start with a sponge using warm water to dislodge any surface dirt. Don’t worry about scrubbing, just get the loose bits off. Dry the area after the pre-washing.
Assemble Your Grout Cleaner:
You can make your own grout cleaner, or use a commercial preparation. If you don’t want to fuss with making your own cleaner, use oxygen bleach to clean your grout. It’s fairly inexpensive and works fast.
Make Your Own Homemade Grout Cleaner:
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer you can make your own grout cleaner.
It’s not hard to make and it’s super cheap too. This is my recipe and it works pretty well.
Mix a paste of baking soda and plain white vinegar. It should be kind of a thick paste with a consistency of pudding. You want it to be able to stick to the grout and not just wash off of the tiles.
You also don’t want it to dry while you are cleaning with it. If starts to dry as you are applying, add a splash of vinegar.
Cleaning The Grout:
1. Apply the cleaning paste on the grout. Work in one small area at a time.
2. Use a stiff nylon scrub brush and work in the cleaning paste using a circular motion. Applying the cleaner in a circular motion will ensure that all the dirt will come out of the microscopic pits and pores. If you just scrubbed back and forth in one direction, you’d just get one side of the cracks and crevasses clean.
3. When you have finished cleaning one small area, wipe off the excess cleaning paste and rinse the area completely to remove any remaining residue.
Tough Grout Stains:
If your grout has mold or mildew on it or if some staining remains, you need a stronger cleaning solution to get the grout clean.
You have 2 options: Either straight household strength 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide, or a mix of 75% mix of water and 25% bleach.
Get an old toothbrush into your cleaning solution and go over the grout until it is clean. The bleach will work almost instantly, the hydrogen peroxide may take a few minutes but it does a great job cleaning the stains as well- plus hydrogen peroxide doesn’t smell bad like bleach does.
CAUTION: You’ll want to protect your eyes and hand when using either solution. Both of them will start working to bleach away your skin albeit by different methods. The skin on your fingers will get white from the hydrogen peroxide, and the chlorine bleach silently works at the skin and you’ll have an unpleasant chemical burn and red chapped or raw skin when you are done.
Lets not even talk about what this could do to your eyes- little bits of solution will be flying from the scrubbing action from the toothbrush so please just be careful and get some goggles so you don’t have to worry about it.
Now, if none of these cleaning tips and tricks have helped, you may need commercial grout cleaner. The best one I’ve used is aqua mix heavy duty grout cleaner.
Most commercial grout cleaners are easy to use. Make sure to follow the directions on the product label carefully. And don’t forget your gloves and goggles.