Even a single grout stain can really make a difference to your well-polished kitchen sink and bathroom floor. Grout is made of mortar combined with water, cement and sand. It dries out into a rubbery, elastic substance that easily collects dirt. Mildew and bacteria may grow and thrive if left unattended.
There are several ways on how to remove grout stains.
Basic maintenance cleaning can be done every other month. It will also depend on how often your grout gets stained.
- Remove all noticeable debris around the area.
- Use a dull knife to remove anything that is stuck in the surface. Be careful not to chip the grout.
- Prepare a solution of 1 part mild detergent mixed with 4 parts of warm water.
- Wet the grout stain with the prepared solution.
- Scrub the grout and tile surface with a bristle brush.
- Use elbow grease on the grout stain itself.
- After scrubbing, rinse the area with a terry cloth or mop.
You can also make your own cleansing solution that can be specifically used for grout stains. If your grout is white, use 1 cup bleach mixed with 5 cups of warm water. Other cleansing solutions you can use are:
- Half a cup of baking soda mixed with 5 cups of warm water
- 3 parts of ammonia combined with 5 cups of warm water
- ¼ cup white vinegar mixed with 5 cups of warm water
Be careful not to mix ammonia and bleach. Mixing the 2 substances will produce the deadly chlorine gas used as a chemical weapon during the Second World War.
When choosing a bleach cleanser, choose the non-abrasive type and use it only on non-colored tiles. Always be sure to perform a color fastness test. Keep the ventilation open and always rinse the floor when you’re done.
Color stains such as hair dye, ink and crayons can be removed using lighter fluid, mineral spirits or turpentine.
Experts also suggest using grout dyes to hide grout dirt and mildew. The grout should be squeaky clean before applying dye.
One effective preventive measure in grout stains is grout sealing. Unsealed grout easily attracts slime, mold, mildew, dirt and grime. Many grout sealers are expensive but they are a worthy investment that will later save you the hassle of removing stains, and losing money and time.
After cleaning your tile grout, you may find mold and mildew growing back again after a week or two. It may be best to replace the existing grout with new ones, especially when you see a lot of missing cracks and pieces.
Remove the old stuff first, several grout remover kits can be found in hardware stores. Mixing your new grout material with latex additive will make it more waterproof and long lasting.
Allow the new material to set for about 3 minutes and add silicone caulk to the first layer of tiles as a finishing touch. Do not forget to use a grout sealant to allow easier cleaning in the future.