Grout that gets dirty, grimy, or has any build-up of black, brown or gray mildew or mold can be very unsightly and embarrassing. It can be very hard to clean between tiles properly because grout is porous and it’s hard to get into the small spaces to scrub it clean.
Standard bathroom and kitchen sprays often won’t clean it properly, despite a lot of scrubbing. White and gray-colored grout with dark tiles can be a nightmare, as any discoloration really shows. It makes the entire bathroom, shower recess, or kitchen look grimly and neglected.
This article reviews your options — including natural and relatively mild home remedies using natural ingredients. It also includes bleach cleaners for stubborn stains, heavy mold and mildew build-up, and resistant black marks.
Your tiles may be dirty and stained for a whole host of reasons and it pays to have some alternative weapons in your arsenal for fighting against dirty and discolored grout.
Once it has been cleaned, it pays to clean it regularly as a preventative measure. Regular spraying with lemon juice, vinegar, or alcohol keeps mold and mildew at bay. Always quickly clean up any spillages of liquids and foods that can stain — such as curry, coffee and red wines. Treating the areas when wet makes the stain much easier to remove.
This article provides tips for routine regular cleaning to keep your lines clean and sparkling.
Baking Soda and Water
- Add a little baking soda to some water and make a thick paste.
- Use the toothbrush to apply the baking soda paste to the grout, and rub vigorously.
- For deep stains, leave the paste on and scrub again.
- Redo areas that remain stained, and use a little lemon juice to remove the last residues.
Vinegar, and Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is the best way if you want to avoid using harsh chemicals.
- Add some white vinegar to a spray bottle.
- Sprinkle the baking soda along the grout lines.
- Spray with vinegar and while the baking soda is fizzing scrub with an old toothbrush. The alkaline baking soda reacts strongly with the acid vinegar to produce a powerful fizzing bleach action.
- Wipe the grout with a damp sponge.
- Mix about a cup of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of warm water. Add to a spray bottle.
- Thoroughly spray the stained areas to wet with the peroxide and leave on for about 5-10 minutes.
- Use an old toothbrush dipped in the peroxide mixture to scrub along the grout lines to remove the last remnants.
Fresh lemon juice is a strong acid and bleach.
- Simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice and pour along the grout lines. Leave for about ten minutes.
This will clean any dark marks or stains in the grout line. Citric acid works in a similar fashion.
Stained grout caused by mildew and be cleaned with rubbing alcohol added to a spray bottle.
- Simply spray the shower tiles with alcohol. The alcohol kills the mildew and removes the stain.
Bleach and Baking Soda
This combines two powerful cleaning actions.
- Make a paste by combining half a cup of bleach with one and a half cups of baking soda.
- Scrub with an old toothbrush.
- Let it sit on the grout for about ten minutes, then remove it with a cloth and hot water.
- Dilute following the manufacturers instructions.
- Add to a spray bottle and soak the grout lines.
- Leave on for 5 -10 minutes and then rinse off.
Oxygen Bleach (Powdered version of OxiClean)
This bleach is non-toxic, does not produce any fumes, and is safe for fabrics and colors, unlike many stringer bleaches.
- To clean floor tile grout, mix the recommended amount of oxygen bleach with some warm water and mix to dissolve.
- Pour the solution onto the floor tile and spread out so that the lines are filled with the bleach solution. Leave the solution on the grout for least 15 minutes (30 minutes or longer for bad stains).
- Scrub the stained areas lightly get rid of any residue, adding more solution as required.
- Once the grout is clean you can add a little bleach to the mop water every time you clean.
Always clean any food, wine or coffee spillages up quickly before it has time to satin the grout.
Grout Cleaning Machines, High Pressure Sprays, Steam Cleaners
For badly stained floor tiles, you may need to hire a special purpose grout cleaning machine that using high pressure sprays of steam cleaning. Special chemicals enhance the power of the machines to remove stains.