Most homeowners have to deal with grout in some way or the other. Be it on the bathroom tiles, floors on the hallway or backsplash in the kitchen – grout can be found everywhere. When it is new, it is functional. But when grout gets old and dirty, it becomes a sight for sore eyes. It takes away from the sparkling clean surfaces and gives them a dingy-looking appearance. This is because the grout lines in between tiles are porous. If they come in contact with any grease, spills or grime and you don’t clean them regularly, they attach themselves for good.
But, worry not. In this blog, we tell you how to clean grout to extend the life of your tiles so they are at their sparkly best.
· Microfiber Cloth
· Mixing Bowl
· Vinegar, Water, Baking Soda, or Hydrogen Peroxide
· Old Toothbrush or Grout Brush
· Grout Sealer
Listed below is a simple step-by-step guide on cleaning grout to get it back to gleaming naturally:
1. Prep the Grout Area
Before you begin cleaning grout, it is a good idea to prepare the surface by getting rid of all grime, stains and loose dirt. Start by sweeping, wiping or dry mopping the area with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is effective in eliminating dirt from spaces between the tiles and small cracks. Remember to not use paper towels as they are very fragile and can break in the process leaving paper flakes for you to clean. Lastly, wipe down the surface with hot water and a sponge.
2. Mix Cleaning Solution
Once the grout area is swept, rinsed off and dried, it is time to make a grout cleaning solution. The best solution depends on the condition of your tile grout. For everyday use, you can mix one part of water with two parts baking soda. For discolored and stained grout, you can mix one part vinegar with two parts baking soda. Whereas, if you have fragile tiles, consider mixing one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts baking soda. If you don’t want to use a homemade disinfectant, you can even purchase a commercial grout cleaner. They are available in a wide variety and you can pick one as per your needs.
3. Apply the Grout Cleaning Solution
Use an old toothbrush or a grout brush to apply the grout cleaning solution to the grout lines. If you are using vinegar solutions, be careful. Apply it to an inconspicuous area, so the acidic vinegar does not end up staining the tile. Allow the solution to sit for about 15 minutes. This gives the solution the required time to work into the pores and gives you a brighter-looking grout.
4. Give It A Good Scrub
Scrubbing is the real key when it comes to cleaning tile grout. It is important that you use an old toothbrush or a specialty grout scrubbing brush for this process. Under no circumstances should you scrub using a metal wire brush. This can not only damage the grout sealer but impact your tiles too. Start scrubbing in a circular motion to get rid of soap scum, bacteria, grime, mildew and other stains without damaging the grout lines.
5. Rinse the Tiles
Once you are done with the scrubbing, it is time to rinse off the cleaning solution and dirty water. If the grout area is in the bathroom, you can splash mugs of water against the surface. For a kitchen floor, you can use a wet cloth or sponge to rinse the tile and ensure you end up with clean tile grout.
Pro Tip: If you wish to preserve all the hard work you did in cleaning your tile grout, consider applying a grout sealer. They are efficient in sealing the pores of the grout and keep the loose dirt out. Before you apply the sealer, wait for a minimum of 24 hours till the grout is completely dry.
No home can truly look clean if the tiles have dirty grout. It gives a permanently shabby appearance to the whole house, no matter how often you clean it. It is imperative that you clean the grout between the tiles to tackle those dirty stains for a bright and sparkly home. Consider giving your tiles and grout a wipe at least once per day if you don’t wish the grime to escalate. To keep the grout lines squeaky clean, a preventative scrub once a week can lessen your burden of cleaning it all at once when the situation worsens. For long-term maintenance, you may consider hiring a professional grout cleaner once or twice a year to deep clean the areas of your house that have dirty grout.