Expert Cleaning Tips for a Crystal Clear Tile Grout

Lenard Nagy
Apr 17, 2023

Maintaining the cleanliness of your tiles is essential for a beautiful and hygienic home. However, when it comes to cleaning grout, many homeowners find themselves facing a daunting task. Grout, with its porous composition and light-colored appearance, is prone to staining and can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will equip you with effective tile grout cleaning tips that will leave your tiles sparkling and your grout looking brand new.

Understanding Different Types of Grout

Before delving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to understand the different types of grout. By identifying the type of grout you have, you can choose the most suitable cleaning methods and products. The two most common types of grout are traditional cement grout and epoxy grout. Let's take a closer look at each type:

  • Traditional Cement Grout: Made with cement, sanded grout contains visible grit and is used for larger joints, while unsanded grout is grit-free and suitable for narrower joints. Cement grout is durable but may scratch polished surfaces.
  • Epoxy Grout: Resistant to water stains, shrinking, and sagging, epoxy grout is a superior choice for harsh environments like kitchens and showers. It is easier to clean and less prone to cracking than cement grout, making it ideal for light-colored grout.

Now that you understand the different types of grout, let's move on to the cleaning process.

1. Scrub with Warm Water and a Medium-Bristle Brush

Start your grout-cleaning endeavor with the mildest method possible. Begin by using warm water and a medium-bristle brush. This simple yet effective technique is suitable for general cleaning and maintenance. Spray warm water on the grout lines and scrub in a circular motion using the brush. Once done, allow the grout to dry thoroughly. Remember not to use excessive water, as porous cement grout can absorb it and lead to mildew growth.

2. Harness the Power of Vinegar and Water

For tougher stains and mildew removal, vinegar is a trusty household staple. Create a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the grout lines and let it sit for approximately five minutes. Then, take a stiff brush and scrub the surface. Vinegar is highly effective, but avoid using it on unsealed grout.

3. Baking Soda Paste and Vinegar: A Dynamic Duo

To further enhance the cleaning power, combine baking soda and vinegar. Start by applying a paste of baking soda and water to the grout lines. Then, spray the vinegar solution (only if the grout has been sealed) onto the paste. Once the mixture stops foaming, scrub the grout with a brush, rinse with water, and wipe it dry. If the grout is unsealed or needs resealing, use only the baking soda solution and scrub gently.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide for Moderate Stains

Moderate stains may require the use of hydrogen peroxide, which is readily available in most drug stores. You can apply hydrogen peroxide directly or create a homemade grout-cleaning paste by combining it with baking soda. This mixture is safe for both sealed and unsealed grout.

5. Oxygen Bleach: A Powerful Solution

For stubborn stains on white grout, oxygen bleach is a highly effective grout cleaner. Look for powdered oxygen bleach brands like OxiClean or Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus. Before using oxygen bleach, ensure proper ventilation and carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. Allow the oxygen bleach solution to soak for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with clean water and drying the area.

6. Commercial Grout Stain Removers

If the above methods don't yield the desired results, commercial grout stain removers can come to the rescue. These products typically come in spray-on or brush-on formulations. Spray-on options are convenient and save time, but they may contain harsh chemicals. Scouring with a soft brush and cleaner requires a bit more effort but can be highly effective for heavily soiled grout. Always read the active ingredients and follow the safety precautions.

7. Steam-Clean for a Deep Clean

Steam cleaning is an effective and environmentally friendly method for cleaning grout and other hard surfaces. Invest in a high-quality steam cleaner specifically designed for residential use. Brands like Bissell, Oreck, and Hoover offer excellent options for tackling grout stains.

8. Chlorine Bleach: Use Sparingly and with Caution

Chlorine bleach should be used sparingly and as a last resort for extreme cases of grout stains. Long-term use of caustic cleaners can erode grout. If you choose to use chlorine bleach, rinse the surface completely before application, especially if you have previously used vinegar, as the combination of vinegar and bleach can emit toxic chlorine gas.

Maintaining Grout Cleanliness

​Now that you've successfully cleaned your grout, it's essential to maintain its cleanliness to prevent future stains and mold growth. Here are a few maintenance tips:

  • Spray household vinegar or a mild grout cleaner on the grout once a week and wipe it down to keep it stain-free.
  • Wiping grout with rubbing alcohol can help prevent mold and mildew.
  • Regularly reseal the grout according to professional recommendations to enhance its durability.

By following these tile grout cleaning tips, you can maintain the beauty and cleanliness of your tiles while keeping mold and mildew at bay. Remember to choose the appropriate cleaning method based on the type of grout you have, and always prioritize safety and ventilation during the cleaning process. With regular maintenance, your grout will stay sparkling, ensuring a hygienic and aesthetically pleasing environment in your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Magic Eraser work on grout?

A magic eraser can be effective for removing surface residue from tiles and grout. It is recommended to use it as part of your regular grout-cleaning routine, especially for white grout.

Can I use OxiClean to clean grout?

Yes, OxiClean can be used to clean grout. Mix it with water to create a paste or liquid solution, and apply it to the grout lines. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

Can you use steel wool on grout?

It is not advisable to use steel wool on grout, as it can scratch the grout and the surrounding tiles. Opt for a soft sponge or nylon bristle brush instead.

How often should I clean my grout?

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to prevent grout stains and mould growth. Aim to clean your grout at least once a week, depending on the level of usage and the environment.

Can I use bleach to clean coloured grout?

It is best to avoid using bleach on coloured grout, as it may cause discoloration. Stick to milder cleaning solutions and test them on a small, inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire grout.

Can steam cleaning damage grout?

Steam cleaning is generally safe for grout if done correctly. However, excessive heat or prolonged exposure to steam can weaken or damage the grout. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and avoid using steam on old or deteriorating grout.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.