Intro to Grout
Grout lines are a vital element in household tiling, holding kitchen and bathroom tiles together and filling the spaces between them. But, while wall and floor tile grout lines often begin life with a shining white coloration, tile cleaning can cause it to become stained and discolored over time. The dirt and water you wipe off your tiles will seep into grout lines, causing them to look moldy, and reducing aesthetic appeal.
A clean and pristine bathroom is a major facet of a well-maintained home, while also considered by many to be a key aspect of what makes a property marketable, and unpleasantly colored grout is a big put-off for potential buyers. That’s why we’ve put together this guide full of grout cleaning hacks, so you can take on dirty grout lines with confidence.
The Household Cocktail
This first option for cleaning grout that we suggest is a time-honored classic, utilized by parents and homemakers alike for years long since passed. We’re of course talking about the practice of cleaning grout with baking soda and vinegar. This method is appealing because of its simplicity and reliance on common household items, although it does take a little bit more elbow grease than some of the other options.
Homemade Grout Cleaner Technique
The technique is very easy and works as follows:
- Create a paste with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water, then rub it into the grimy grout with an old toothbrush (now a grout brush!). You can use an old head on an electric toothbrush to save some effort!
- Fill a spray bottle with some white vinegar (you can also use lemon juice or any other common household acid), spray the baking soda mixture on the grout, and leave for around 15-30 minutes. This will cause the mixture to bubble up thickly.
- Finally, just rinse the bubbling mixture away with water and marvel at the stunning sight of your clean grout looking free from stains and mold.
As a bonus tip, you can also apply some whitening toothpaste to the colored grout after cleaning, as this will help to restore its original color.
Use a Grout Cleaner Tool + Pre-Made Mixtures
The “Household Cocktail” method is a classic, but for those who like to keep their houses in more meticulous order, there are plenty of tools and brushes out there specifically made for cleaning grout. A good grout cleaning brush can be found in almost any hardware store, while small chiseling tools are another viable option for getting the stained material out from between your tiles.
Along with these choices, you can also find “magic grout erasers” that are inexpensive and highly effective. These are a special type of super-absorbent sponge that can effectively clean all manner of household stains with the use of water alone, but make sure to get a few as they expire fairly quickly.
Grout Cleaner Pre-Made Mixtures & Pastes:
While these erasers do function well with just water, there are also plenty of specially-made grout cleaner pastes and mixtures that can be used with them or other tools to increase their effectiveness. Just note that these grout cleaners are often packed with harsher chemicals than the classic household solution, so maybe try vinegar and baking soda first. before moving on to the harder stuff.
Use a Tile & Grout Cleaning Machine
If the path of the grout brush or harsh chemicals doesn’t appeal to you then a steamer device might be the perfect option for you when cleaning stained grout. These devices fire steam onto surfaces often while scrubbing them lightly with built-in bristles, loosening up dirt and debris to leave your tiles and grout looking cleaner and brighter. After the steaming and scrubbing are complete, simply wipe the residue away with a microfiber cloth. These are a great way to save yourself some elbow grease.
This method will likely not leave your grout looking totally perfect but it will make a pretty substantial difference in the brightness and coloration. Being the least harsh method for the material also makes it a great option for leaseholders, who risk conflict with landlords if they cause any damage to the property.
Now that you know a few of the best and most effective methods of cleaning away stains from your grout, it’s important to understand the way to keep your body well protected during the process. At the bare minimum, we recommend that you purchase and make use of a good pair of knee pads, especially if your tiles and grout are installed on the floor.
Having a good pair of knee pads for work and home DIY projects is an essential way to keep your knees protected, and reduce the risk of stress injuries over time. Ensuring that they provide the right level of flexibility, protection, and comfort is important to guarantee their effectiveness.