Tiles are beautiful, durable, and usually easy to maintain, but what about the grout between the tiles? A whole different story is at play here, though. Your tile grout is prone to discoloration since it is often light in color and porous in nature. Grout can become soiled or unclean for a variety of reasons. In between the tiles of your bathroom and kitchen is where you’ll find dirt and debris, including mud, spills, and mildew. Fortunately, cleaning them is always an option. Check out these simple instructions on how to clean floor tile grout with a little elbow grease and some common home items.
Best Methods to Clean Grout on Floor Tiles
It is advisable to begin any house cleaning project with the mildest cleaning solution possible, and this is especially true when it comes to floor tile grout. It is possible to try a grout cleaner in a hidden location, such as behind an appliance in the kitchen or behind a toilet in the bathroom, to see if it works.
As you can see, the following ways for cleaning floor grout are listed in decreasing intensity:
Scrub dirty grout using plain warm water and a stiff-bristled brush.
If you don’t already have a brush for cleaning grout, you may find a variety of choices at most home centers and hardware stores. Spray the grout lines with warm water and scrub in a circular motion, then allow to dry before moving on to the next section.
Spray with equal parts vinegar and warm water for several minutes.
Vinegar, a household staple, can be used to remove heavy dirt and minor stains. Spray a half-and-half mix of vinegar and warm water into a spray bottle. A strong brush should be used to scour the grout after applying the product.
Apply a baking soda paste and spray with vinegar.
To get even more power out of the vinegar solution, apply a paste of baking soda and water to the grout lines, then spray the solution. Rinse with normal water after scrubbing with a brush until the mixture is no longer frothing.
Pour on some hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide, which can be found in most drugstores, can be used to remove moderate stains. You can use the product as is, or you can make a paste out of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and apply it to your hair.
Why Water Works Best
According to Rodderick, water has a neutral pH of 7 and is quite soft and safe for grout. As a general rule, you should avoid using highly acidic or highly alkaline cleaners (like vinegar, which has a pH of roughly 2) and use them sparingly.
Attack Stubborn Grout Stains
If the dullness persists, use a pH-neutral cleanser (like Neu’s Tub & Tile Cleaner). Next, reapply the scrub with the stiff brush you’ve been using all along. “The most crucial element is elbow grease,” says Donna Smallin Kuper, a trained house cleaning technician and author for Unclutter.com. Knowing that you’ll need more than one Magic Eraser to remove tough stains from a large area of tile is helpful.
Using a damp sponge or microfiber cloth, wipe away any leftover grout cleanser after scrubbing. According to Maker, you should only use fresh water and a clean cloth. Grout can quickly turn stained if mop water is unclean or if you use a dirty sponge to rinse.
Over-acidic options, such as Mr. Clean or Spic and Span, are recommended by the Tile Council of America for stubborn stains. Rodderick recommends testing any non-neutral cleanser in a small, unnoticeable area. To make sure there is no damage or discoloration, wait a few minutes before moving on to the remaining grout lines.
Mold spores thrive in stiflingly hot, damp toilets with little air movement. On non-porous surfaces, such as tile and counters, bleach can successfully destroy mold, but it is less effective on porous surfaces like caulk and drywall. It is recommended by Smallin Kuper that mold stains be banished by using Zep Tile Mold & Mold Stain Remover ($1.98, homedepot.com). In order to reduce the humidity in the room after showers, open a window or turn on the bathroom fan.
Seal Your Success
It is important to use a sealer to keep dirt and mold from penetrating porous materials like grout. The amount of use a tiled area receives determines how often you should seal the grout, but Maker recommends doing so at least twice a year for the majority of your home’s tiled surfaces. To ensure that the grout is totally dry before applying the sealer, allow at least 24 hours between deep cleaning and sealing. Amazon.com’s DuPont Grout Sealer is a popular choice.
Make Some Daily Tweaks
It’s possible to keep your tile floors clean by laying a mat or sweeping and mopping more frequently if you discover that specific places are dirtier than others, including near the back door and the laundry basket.
If you have a tiny squeegee or a clean microfiber cloth near the shower, you’ll reduce the amount of time it takes to clean the grout by half or more. “There’s nothing piling up on the tile’s surface, so deep cleaning won’t be necessary,” adds Reichert. After a shower, have your family run the exhaust fan for 10 to 20 minutes to remove excess moisture from the air and prevent mold from growing on your grout.
In addition to making it appear great, keeping your floor tile grout clean will help keep microorganisms at bay. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with kitchen stains, dirt, mud, or mold and mildew; you can clean them with household or commercial items that are widely available. If you want your floor tiles to look their best, use the following tips to clean the grout