You know the situation - you've just cleaned your tile floor and it looks great, except for the grout. Your broom and mop don't seem to touch those dingy lines that now stick out like a red flag. Because of its porous composition and the fact that it's usually a light color, regular floor cleaning methods just don't cut it on grout. This blog will go over several different methods/solutions you can use to remove those stains - the one you choose depends on which ingredients you prefer and the severity of the stains. Any one of the following grout cleaning tips should do the trick and return your grout to its original look:
Baking Soda and Vinegar
These trusted kitchen staples can clean a myriad of items, including grout. For an effective cleanser, mix baking soda with water to form a paste (roughly 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and apply to grout lines. Make a solution of half white vinegar and half water and spray onto the baking soda paste. It should start to bubble and foam up for a few minutes, letting you know the chemical reaction is working. When the bubbling stops, scrub the grout lines with a stiff brush or toothbrush, then simply rinse with plain water. Test in an inconspicuous area first and verify the safety of using vinegar if you have natural stone tile such as marble or limestone.
Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Dish Soap
This mixture is effective at cleaning more moderate stains as all three ingredients perform a specific function: baking soda is a natural abrasive, hydrogen peroxide releases bleaching oxygen ions when it chemically reacts with the baking soda, and dish soap helps to remove any grease present and loosen dirt. First, make a paste of 3/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide and a tablespoon of dish soap. Apply mixture to grout and allow it to sit for 15 minutes to remove stains. Rinse with warm or hot water, scrub with a towel and finish with a wet mop to ensure all of the solution is removed from the floor. Again, test a hidden area for any adverse affects first, especially if you have colored grout.
If you still have some stubborn stains remaining, you can try oxygenated bleach to remove them. This usually comes in a powder form. Make sure your area is well-ventilated first, then mix two tablespoons of the beach into two cups of water. Test the solution in a hidden area, as the bleach may discolor some grouts. If there are no problems, pour the bleach solution onto the grout, covering a small area at a time. Using a stiff brush, scrub the bleach into the grout. You may add more powdered bleach directly to certain stains, if necessary. Allow it to sit for several minutes, then rinse with plain water.
Chlorine bleach may also be used, but must be done so on a limited basis, since it can erode grout over time. Steam cleaners, either bought or rented, can also be effective in removing stains and use only hot water to clean. One of the easiest methods to cleaning grout is simply maintaining it on a regular basis to prevent stains in the first place. You can use vinegar once a week to help keep stains from developing. Simply spray the grout with vinegar and wipe off with a cloth. A little regular maintenance now can help prevent a lot of work later.
These are the most common and effective cleaning methods for tile grout. Choosing a method depends entirely on you and your preference of cleaning products and processes. Whatever you choose, use it on a regular basis to help keep your grout clean and preserve the appearance of your home. Find what works best for you and you'll be on your way to a clean, sparkling home that you can take pride in for many years to come!