The Definitive Guide To Cleaning Tile Grout

Open plan living area with grey tiles
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When it comes to a spotless bathroom or kitchen, the most popular choice is always tiling.

Since the tiles are easy to clean, come in a variety of colors and patterns, and are durable. The problem is the grout and because of its light coloring and porous composition, the story is different. Grout is the white lining that holds the tiles together when they are pasted on the surface.

Grout is easily stained and there are a number of things, which cause it to stain. When we look at the kitchen tiles, spills are the common causes while in an entryway, mud and grime are to be blamed. In the bathroom, mildew and mold are the main causes. There is good news, the staining and dirt from the grout can be cleaned. It is not easy an easy job but the right chemicals and some elbow grease, you can make any surface look spotless.

Before you take on the cleaning project, make sure that you start with the mildest solution and try it on a smaller spot. You can try out the chemical in the bathroom behind the toilet or under an appliance in the kitchen. This gives you an idea about the time it will take to clean the grout and the efficiency of the cleaning chemical.

Let us first look at the list of effective methods and chemicals for cleaning grout. These are listed from the mildest substances to the strongest. You can try them out by looking at the level of dirt present on the grout for maximum efficiency.

Grout Cleaning Agents

A cleaner wearing blue gloves holding a bottle of Dettol

Warm Water and Brush

This will require a lot of hard work of scrubbing. A soft-bristled brush should do the job for you and these are easily available at most hardware stores and home centers. All you need to do is sprinkle warm water on the affected area and scrub with the brush using a circular motion. Let the area dry and see the effect. If this works, it means that the grout is not that bad. You do not need to invest in any other cleaning chemicals to get the job done.

Vinegar and Warm Water

A bottle of apple cider vinegar next to a spray bottle

In a spray bottle, mix equal parts warm water and vinegar and spray on the grout. Leave the mixture on for several minutes and then use the brush to scrub the surface. Vinegar is a household product and you are bound to find it sitting in your kitchen shelf. Leave the mixture on for at least five minutes before scrubbing it off.

Baking Soda Paste and Vinegar Spray

Baking soda in an air tight container

Make a thick paste using baking soda and water. Cover the grout lines with the paste and then spray with vinegar-water (as mentioned in point two). The reaction of baking soda and vinegar will be visible to you. A foam form, the solution bubbles, once it stops bubbling, and hissing, use a brush for scrubbing. In the end, wash off the chemical with plain water.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A welcome ornament hanging on a tiled wall

If the stains on the grout are closer to severe, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Most drug stores stock up on the chemical and you can get easy access to it. You can apply the chemical directly to the grout or mix it up with baking soda to make a paste.

Oxygen Bleach

If the stains on the grout seem tough and using milder chemicals has done nothing, you can use oxygen bleach. This product is sold in a powdered form like Clorox OxiMagic and OxiClean. Using a strong agent like oxygen bleach will require proper administration. When you decide to use it, ensure that the area is well ventilated for the chemical fumes to pass through. Leave the chemical on for at least 15 minutes for it to work its magic. Rinse away the chemical and the grout dirt with clean water and dry the tiles well. This will ensure that the dirt does not resettle in the grout.

Commercial Product

tools sitting on a hexagonal tiled floor

The best grout cleaner available in the market claim to remove the mildew and mold quickly and efficiently. The end result is always bright while lines that did not take much effort to work on. There are mainly two types of products available and both are to be used differently. One is the spray and wipes one, and the other is scour with a brush.

The spray and wipe products contain harsh cleaning chemical agents but they save you time and energy. You will need to follow all the directions for its use properly as it can have adverse effects on the skin and can cause breathing problems. On the other hand, scouring with a brush will require more effort, time, and energy but it is safer. This type of product is best for heavily soiled surfaces like floors. You need to pay attention to all the active ingredients present in the product so you can follow the instructions before handling the product.

Chlorine Bleach

 
 

Chlorine bleach is the last resort for cleaning grout. This has to be used sparingly in cases that are extreme. Many commercial products contain chlorine bleach and the best one available in Clorox Clean-Up spray. This can easily be brought from Amazon as well. However, keep in mind that before you apply the chlorine bleach, clean away all previous attempts of cleaning the grout. The vinegar and chlorine bleach will result in a chemical reaction that emits harmful fumes. Another thing to note is that these products should only be used in extreme filth in grout and once every two to three months. If you use them in routine, the grout will erode and cause skin irritation.

Steam Cleaning

Open plan living area with grey tiles

Steam mops are a great way to clean the kitchen and bathroom floors. These are environmentally friendly and quite effective. You can use them to clean all the hard surfaces in your home (Try not to utilise them on hardwood floors). Oreck, Bissell, and Hoover make steam cleaners for routine use.

In order to keep the grout on all surfaces in the house, using a vinegar spray once a week is a great idea. Make it a habit to wipe grout, using alcohol to keep mildew and mold away from all surfaces. In any case, using wipes and spritzes on a weekly basis should keep your surfaces shiny and clean. This will save you time and energy from cleaning with a lot of effort once a month

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