How to Clean Grout
Is the tile in your home looking a little worse for wear? If so, then a thorough grout-cleaning could do the trick. Over time, it’s common for lighter grout to become stained and dirty—especially in areas of high foot traffic, such as entryways, kitchens, and hallways. By taking the time to clean your grout, you can restore a like-new appearance to your tile and really brighten up your home.
Grout-cleaning doesn’t have to be back-breaking work. By knowing the right methods to try based on the type of tile and grout you’re working with, you can most likely get this project done over the course of an afternoon.
Reasons to Clean Grout
Tile grout that has become discolored from dirt and grime can really detract from the look and feel of your home. However, you should clean your grout regularly not just for aesthetic reasons, but for health reasons as well. Grout is a porous substance, so it can absorb liquids and become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned and disinfected.
If you notice that your grout looks dirty even after you’ve mopped your floors, it’s probably time to take on a grout-cleaning project at your home. Depending on the amount of foot traffic the area receives, you may want to plan on cleaning your grout at least once every few months to keep it looking its best and preventing the build-up of unwanted bacteria.
How to Clean Grout
There are a few methods to consider when it comes to cleaning your grout. The specific method that’s right for you may vary depending on the type of tile you’re working with and whether your grout is sealed or unsealed.
With Vinegar and Baking Soda
Plain white vinegar has incredible home cleaning properties, but it’s important to avoid this method if you have natural stone tile; that’s because vinegar can cause etching on natural stones, such as travertine and limestone. If you’re working with ceramic, vinyl, or pretty much any other type of tile, you should be able to use vinegar as a cleaning agent without worrying about damage.
To create the cleaning paste, you’ll need to mix three parts baking soda to one part water. Apply this paste to the grout lines on your tile. Then, combine one part white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture over the baking soda paste that you have already applied to the grout lines; you’ll notice that the cleaning solution begins to bubble.
Once it has stopped bubbling, you’ll know that it has done its job. Using a scrub brush, start scrubbing along the grout lines to remove dirt and grime. When you’re done, mop with plain water to remove the cleaning mixture and admire your fresh, clean grout.
With Bleach and Water
Another option for cleaning tile grout is to use a combination of water and oxygenated bleach. Because bleach can sometimes cause discoloration, it’s a good idea to test a small area of your homemade cleaner on an inconspicuous area of your flooring/tile before you proceed with cleaning all of your grout. This will help you determine whether the bleach will discolor your tile in any way; if it does, you’ll want to use another method.
To create your cleaning mixture, combine two tablespoons of oxygenated bleach for every two cups of warm water. Keep in mind that if you have a large area of grout/tile to clean, you may need to double or triple this amount.
The nice thing about this method is that you can simply pour the mixture over your tile so that the grout lines are covered, rather than having to apply it directly to the grout lines as a paste. From there, allow the cleaner to sit on your floors for a few minutes before going through with a scrub brush and scrubbing away at the grout lines. As you work, you can also dip your scrub brush into a tub of the cleaning mixture to spot-clean especially soiled or stained areas of grout.
Once you’re happy with your results, all that’s left to do is to mop your floor with water to wash away the remaining bleach mixture.
With a Steam Cleaner
If you want to avoid any scrubbing on your hands and knees, using a steam cleaner can be the easiest and most effective means of cleaning your grout. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a steam cleaner, consider renting one from your local home improvement store. This can be a cost-effective way to achieve clean floors quickly and easily. Steam-cleaning is also safe on most floor types, but if your grout has been sealed, you won’t want to use a steam cleaner because the heat may remove the protective sealant.
When you buy or rent a steam cleaner, make sure it has a small hose attachment that can be used specifically for cleaning grout.
Always follow the instructions that come with your steam cleaner. In most cases, all you have to do is fill the steam cleaner’s reservoir with water and then turn it on. Once it’s heated up, simply move the cleaning brush over your grout using the provided attachment. The steam will be extremely effective not only at removing stains but at cleaning and sanitizing your tile as well. When you’re done, consider wiping up any remaining moisture using a clean towel. You can also let it air-dry if you’d prefer.
When to Hire a Pro
If you’ve tried these methods and still aren’t seeing the results you’d like with your grout, it may be time to call a professional. Many carpet-cleaning companies offer grout- and tile-cleaning as part of their services. Hiring a professional will also save you the hassle of having to get down on your hands and knees to scrub the grout, so it may be more than worth the cost.
Burdened By Cleaning?
If you’re tired of household-cleaning tasks taking up so much of your free time, this may also be a good opportunity to look into hiring a professional cleaning service. At Maid Sailors, we offer many of the cleaning services you need to be done on a daily basis, including vacuuming, dusting, and even laundry. Our cleaners are all professionally certified, and your satisfaction is always 100% guaranteed.
Free up some of your valuable time by treating yourself to a house-cleaning service with Maid Sailors. Contact our team today to explore our offerings, or book your first appointment with us in 60 seconds or less by using our convenient online form.