If you have tiling anywhere in your home, you have grout that will benefit from a few grout cleaning tips. Granite, marble, slate and ceramic tiles all require the laying of grout between them to finish the installation. You use grout to seal between the tiles so moisture does not seep in and ruin them or the material underneath. Grout itself is a porous material, meaning that water can eventually work its way through it, which is why tiles that have been grouted are typically sealed as the last step. Still, in high moisture areas such as showers and around sinks, the grout will quickly get stained and grimy if semi-frequent cleaning is not done. The best way to keep tiles and the grout between them clean is to never let the job get out of hand. Make a point of following one of these grout cleaning tips and do a little at a time so you are never stuck with a huge cleanup job.
Home Remedies for Cleaning Grout: Baking Soda and Vinegar
In most cases you do not need to resort to chemicals to clean grout. By combining some common household ingredients with a little elbow grease, you can usually get out most of the stains that cover grout. Onto the stained grout, sprinkle some baking soda. It need not be excessive. Just concentrate on the stain. Then pour white vinegar over the baking soda. This will produce a bubbly reaction. Together, baking soda and vinegar get under grime. Take an old toothbrush and scrub the grouted joints where you poured the mixture. Depending on the stain, you may have to put a little muscle into it. After the scrubbing is done, rinse the tiles and grout with warm water and wash away the residue.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Another combination you can try is baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. This mixture is good for light-colored grout that is heavily stained. This, too, will bubble and froth. Apply the mixture to the stained area and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Once again, use an old toothbrush or scrubbing pad to thoroughly scrub the stain. Be sure to rinse the paste off after you are done.
Seal After Cleaning
After cleaning the stained grout with one of the aforementioned methods, you might consider sealing the grout with a silicon sealant. This should only be done after grout is thoroughly dry after a cleaning. Sealing grout will help protect it from water damage and reduce staining. Apply the silicon sealant with a new foam brush. Cover every grout line with the sealant. Keep a clean rag handy to wipe away any excess that runs onto the tile. Although the sealant will not affect all tile, some might get stained by it.
As a last resort, there is the option of steam cleaning grout with high-pressure water vapor. This is usually done over large areas such as around pools or locker rooms, but depending on the scope of your tile work, consider it an option. For the most part, cleaning grout is a matter of staying on top of the work so it never becomes overwhelming. Common household ingredients are useful for removing stains, but the work always requires some persistent scrubbing.