By: Jennifer Lifford
Have you been left with dirty, discolored grout in your kitchen or bathroom despite repeated mopping and cleaning? Luckily, there are a few easy and effective ways to clean stubborn grout stains and get your tiles looking like new again.
Getting Ready: Some General Cleaning Guidelines
Use a stiff nylon brush or an old toothbrush (or electric toothbrush) to achieve the best grout-cleaning results. Their firmer bristles work well in hard-to-reach places. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for getting started:
- Do not use metal bristles — they’ll scratch grout and tile
- Prior to cleaning, wipe down wall tiles and grout with water to remove any loose surface debris. Sweep or vacuum floor tiles
- Before beginning the full cleaning project, test out the cleaning method on a small area that isn’t easily visible
- Do not use chlorine bleach on colored grout as it leads to discoloration
- Do not clean granite or natural stone with household cleaners
Grout & Tile Cleaning Methods
There are actually a few methods for cleaning your tile, but here are a few that use household items you probably already have on hand:
Hydrogen peroxide is a wonderful natural disinfectant and is safer and cheaper than chlorine bleach or ammonia.
- Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water with a few drops of dish soap
- Spray solution onto grout
- Let it sit for 15 minutes and wipe clean
Keep a bottle on hand in the shower and spray regularly to keep mold and mildew from growing on bathroom tiles and grout.
- Create paste with baking soda and water
- Stir until it has a toothpaste-like consistency
- Spread paste over grout and leave for 5-15 minutes
- Scrub with an old toothbrush or nylon brush and rinse with water or a damp paper towel
- Dilute 2 parts vinegar with 1 part water
- Add a few drops of dish soap
- Spray solution on grout and let stand for 15 minutes
- Wipe clean with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda to neutralize acidity of the vinegar
- Follow with clean water
Avoid this method on marble, travertine and limestone (or other alkaline stones), as they’re generally sensitive to acids.
You can help grout stay clean and protected by applying a grout sealer approximately once per year. Because grout typically breaks down with repeated cleanings, and using bleach or vinegar will make this occur even faster, make sure to not overly clean it!
Jennifer is the author of the blog Clean & Scentsible, where she shares her passion for organizing, crafting and home décor. She is a mom of two boys and enjoys coming up with fun activities to celebrate the holidays and everyday life with her family.