Grout is one of those things in life that you don’t really appreciate until it’s dirty. And once it’s dirty, it can be a pain to clean. But with the right tools and techniques, you can get your dirty grout looking good as new in no time. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to clean grout.
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What is grout?
Grout is a type of mortar used to fill in the spaces between tiles. It is typically made from a mix of cement, water, and sand that joins the tiles together, and it is available in a variety of colours.
Due to its material, it is porous and attracts more dirt than the tiles it joins. As a result, it is important to clean grout on a regular basis in order to maintain the appearance of your tiles.
Why is it hard to clean grout?
Tile grout is hard to clean because it is porous. This means that dirt and grout stains can easily become trapped in the clean grout, making it difficult to remove. In addition, grout is often found in areas that are difficult to reach, such as in between tiles. This makes it even more difficult to clean grout effectively.
Types of grout
Sanded grout is made with sand and Portland cement. It is commonly used in areas that receive a lot of traffic, such as in showers because it is more durable than unsanded grout.
Unsanded grout is made with Portland cement and doesn’t contain any sand. It is typically used in areas where there is less traffic, such as on walls.
Epoxy grout is made with epoxy resin and doesn’t contain any Portland cement. It is more expensive than other types of grout, but it is also more durable and stain-resistant.
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Grout and sealant
Although grout is relatively durable, it is porous and can be susceptible to staining. For this reason, many homeowners choose to seal their grout with a clear sealant. The sealant acts as a barrier, preventing dirt and moisture from penetrating the grout. It also helps to protect against mould and mildew growth. When choosing a sealant, it is important to select one that is compatible with the type of grout you are using.
How NOT to clean grout
When it comes to cleaning grout, there are some things you should avoid in order to keep your tile looking fresh and new. Wire brushes and steel wool can scratch the surface of your tiles, so it’s best to steer clear of them. Abrasive cleaners like Borax or Comet can also damage grout, so it’s best to avoid those as well.
Instead, opt for standard house cleaning solutions like mild dish soap and water solution or a water and vinegar solution. These gentle cleansers will remove dirt and grime without damaging your tile or grout.
How to clean grout
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to clean grout. The best way to clean your tile and deeply stained grout will vary, depending on the kind of stain you’re removing and the material your grout is made of. That said, there are some general tips you can follow to get your tile and grout looking new again.
First, identify what you’re dealing with. Is it a stubborn dirt stain or a more difficult mildew or mould stain? After you’ve identified the stain, you can be more effective and targeted when cleaning grout.
The next step is to select a cleaning solution. If you’re not sure if a particular grout cleaner will work on your surface, be sure to test it in a hidden area first.
Prepare a cleaning solutions
What are some of the solutions you can use for cleaning grout?
Water has a neutral pH and is particularly gentle and safe for grout. That’s less true for highly acidic and highly alkaline cleaners, which can etch away at the surface of your dirty grout.
It’s also the easiest and most inexpensive solution to use. You can simply mix water with mild soap, such as dish soap, and use it to clean your grout.
Baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar is a great combination for cleaning grout. Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, ¼ cup baking soda and two gallons of hot water. For a fresh fragrance, you can add a few drops of essential oil.
Apply this mixture to stains and grout lines with a toothbrush and leave it on for 30 minutes. Mop with warm water and dry with a microfibre cloth. This solution works great, especially for limescale. Plus, it’s a versatile cleaner that works for almost all types of tile flooring, except some natural stones like marble or limestone.
Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and disinfectant, making it ideal for cleaning tile floors and grout.
To make a paste, simply mix one part hydrogen peroxide with three parts baking soda and one tablespoon of liquid soap. Apply the paste to the tiles and grout lines with an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush, then let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
When the time is up, use your toothbrush to give the grout a thorough scrub, then rinse with hot water. Use a dry towel to clean away the remaining paste, then mop with water and dry again. This method is ideal for porous tile such as marble because you won’t need to use vinegar or any other acidic solution.
Salt is an effective remedy for killing single-cell organisms such as bacteria and mould as it dehydrates them through osmosis. To get rid of mould and mildew from grout, keep the area wet or rub it with a damp cloth. Then sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the surface and scrub it into the grout lines.
Let the salt sit overnight and then clean it in the morning with water. The salt will have absorbed all the moisture from the mould and mildew, making it easy to wipe away. Scrub vigorously with a stiff brush or cloth, and then rinse away with clean water.
Lemon juice mixture
The acidity of lemon juice helps to break down tough stains, making it an ideal ingredient for tile and grout cleaning. When combined with baking soda, lemon juice makes an effective natural grout cleaner that is safe for use on all types of surfaces.
Plus, the antimicrobial properties of lemon juice can help to prevent mould and mildew growth. Whether you’re looking to brighten your complexion or deep clean your home, lemon juice is a versatile and powerful ingredient.
If you’re dealing with tough stains, you may need to use bleach. However, it’s important to exercise caution when using this chemical cleaner as it can be harmful to your skin and lungs. Always wear gloves and a mask when using bleach, and open the windows for ventilation.
To make a bleach solution, mix one part bleach with four parts water. Apply the mixture to the grout lines with a toothbrush and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse away with hot water and dry the area.
While bleach is an effective cleaner, it’s important to use it sparingly as it can damage your grout over time.
How to clean grout
Prep the area
Start by vacuuming or sweeping the floor to remove any loose dirt and debris. Then, use a damp mop or cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt.
Use hot water to release dirt and grease and scrub the grout with a stiff brush. You can also use an old toothbrush to reach tight spaces.
Apply the cleaning solution
Spray the solution into the lines and let it sit and work for 15-30 minutes. After that time, gently scrub it with a toothbrush for precise cleaning.
Mop and rinse
Use a clean mop or cloth to wipe away the cleaning solution. Make sure to rinse the floor thoroughly with hot water to remove all traces of the grout cleaner.
Leave the grout to air dry naturally or use a hairdryer on a low setting to speed up the process.
Reseal the grout
To protect your clean grout lines from future stains, you may want to consider resealing it. This will help to create a barrier between the grout and dirt, making it easier to clean next time.
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Once your grout is clean, you’ll want to take measures to keep it that way. These standard house cleaning tips will help you maintain a crisp grout.
Use mats or rugs in high-traffic areas to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked in.
Clean up spills quickly to avoid staining.
For bathrooms and shower areas, remove excess water with a squeegee after every use. This will help to prevent the build-up of soap scum.
Open a window or run the exhaust fan for 10 to 20 minutes after a shower as well, to quickly pull humidity and moisture from the room and help prohibit mould growth on the clean grout.
Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris.
Mop with hot water and a mild detergent every week or two.
Seal your tile grout every six to 12 months.
Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your stained grout.
Call a professional if your grout is severely stained or damaged.
When using any kind of grout cleaner, it’s important to exercise caution. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals.
- Open the windows for ventilation when using bleach or any other strong cleaners.
- Avoid mixing different cleaners together as this can create harmful fumes.
- Follow the instructions on the label of your cleaner to avoid damaging your grout.
- If you’re unsure about using a certain grout cleaner, test it in an inconspicuous area first.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to clean grout. We hope that you found this information helpful and easy to follow.
If you have any questions or need help with the house cleaning process, please do not hesitate to contact us.