Grout can make or break the aesthetic of your tile floors, shower surround, kitchen counters, or backsplash. While white grout is most prone to gather dirt, mold, mildew, and bacteria, all other grout does the same; it just isn’t as apparent to the naked eye.
If you’ve been putting off cleaning your grout, don’t fear, read on to get the job done with a little elbow grease and some household supplies you probably already have.
Important note: To avoid damage to grout, it's best to avoid any acidic cleaners, such as vinegar or chlorine bleach, as they will damage and erode your grout over time.
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Toothbrush or Stiff Bristle Brush
- Cleaning Cloth
- Baking Soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Metal Spoon
- Glass Bowl
- Empty Spray Bottle
- Hot Water
Step 1: Prep the Tile
To start the cleaning process, you will need to remove surface grime and dirt from the tile and grout surface. Spray along the grout line with hot water then use the toothbrush or stiff bristle brush to scrub vigorously in circular motions. Attempt to remove as much dirt as possible during this step.
Step 2: Mix the Paste Solution
To easily concoct your own homemade grout cleaner, in a glass bowl, combine 1-part hydrogen peroxide with 2-parts baking soda and mix with a metal spoon. For kitchen tile, squeeze in a couple of drops of dish soap to dissolve any grease build-up.
Step 3: Apply Paste
Scoop up a spoonful of the grout paste and generously apply to the grout lines to ensure they are covered.
Step 4: Let Paste Sit
Allow the paste to stand for 10-15 minutes to allow the cleaner to saturate into the grout’s pores for the best results and gleaming grout.
Step 5: Scrub
Once the cleaner has had time to work, grab your brush and scrub the lines of the grout to loosen any grime that has settled into the pores.
Step 6: Rinse the Tile
Once you have scrubbed away all the remaining dirt, mix a few drops of dish soap with hot water on a sponge or cloth and clean off the grout cleaner. Finally, fill your spray bottle with hot water and spray away residue and wipe with a clean cloth.
For Hard to Remove Grout Stains
Some areas like the kitchen can wreak havoc on your grout with daily traffic, spills, and grease build-up. If the mild solution above doesn’t work as well as you hoped, using an oxygen bleach in powder form, like OxiClean, to clean your grout will often work wonders. However, DO NOT MIX the bleach with the homemade paste you used in the above recipe; the results will be toxic and caustic.
Follow the brand directions for the product you choose and make sure to keep the space you are cleaning well-ventilated. Leave the oxygen bleach on the grout for up to 15 minutes. Scrub then rinse as you did with the homemade cleaner.
Have a Steam Cleaner on Hand?
This handy appliance makes the ideal deep cleaning and periodic maintenance method for your tile floors. It loosens and lifts the dirt and grime from grout quickly.
Keeping It Clean & Gleaming
Once your grout is clean, keep it that way by filling in the grout pores with a sealant. However, avoid applying a sealant to wet or damp grout, making sure it has had at least a day to dry out before sealing.
And that's it! Easy, right? Happy cleaning!