Thu, Nov 22, 2018
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The secret to keeping grout looking great day in and day out is consistent and rigorous cleaning.
The problem is that cleaning grout is a soul-sucking experience - especially when we’re talking about an entire kitchen floor or multiple bathrooms.
Getting down on your hands and knees to scrub tiles is the worst way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon. That’s probably why many of my readers have been asking for my best grout cleaning shortcuts.
So, if you’ve procrastinated on your cleaning duties lately, I’ve rounded up the best tips on how to clean grout easily. After scouring the internet for the best tips and tricks, these solutions will help you breakthrough months or even years of grout neglect.
Everywhere you look for grout cleaning tips online gives the same advice: get on your hands and knees and start scrubbing. Yes, this is effective. But no, this is not fun.
How about a shortcut instead? Enter a steam mop.
I recommend the BISSELL Powerfresh Steam Mop 1940. It features an “Easy Scrubber” on the front of the mop that flips down and will help you clean grout and crevices.
But, don’t take my word for it. The BISSELL Steam Mop has over 1,600 reviews on Amazon. Here’s my favorite from Jennifer R.: “The Bissell 1940 is almost ridiculously simple to use. It is light, easy to push, and compact to store…”
Before you use an old fashioned technique to clean your floors, try a steam mop first.
Instead of defaulting to the grout cleaners your mom used - baking soda - why not try a modern solution?
Today there are dozens of oxygenating cleaners on the market, but none is more popular than OxiClean.
What makes these oxygenating cleaners so special? Their main ingredient is hydrogen peroxide mixed with cleaning detergents. You can use OxiClean to clean almost anything, including grout.
First, mix a small amount of OxiClean with warm water to create a thick paste. Then, apply the paste to your grout and let sit for an hour or longer. Next, clean the grout with a toothbrush or scrub brush and rinse with hot water.
The baking soda and water technique is a tried and true way to clean grout. Due to it’s effectiveness and low cost, it’s almost at the top of my cleaning tips list.
However, that’s not to say that it doesn’t have its downfalls. Most notably, baking soda takes plenty of elbow grease to see any noticeable results. Also, it won’t brighten or seal the grout to prevent staining in the future.
Before you get started, you’ll need to wipe down the grout and tiles with water or a mild cleaning solution. You should also spray any clean and dry grout with water before getting started.
If you want to use this method, mix one part baking soda to two parts water in a cup or bowl. Then, spread the paste onto grout lines with a toothbrush. Next, wait 15-20 minutes to let the baking soda penetrate into the pores of the grout.
After it has had time to work, now it’s your turn. Use your toothbrush to scrub between the tile and clean the grout. Wash the area with water to remove dirt and residue.
I would recommend starting with only one section at a time to avoid overwhelm and exhaustion.
Two alternatives to the baking soda and water technique:
Baking soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Looking for a natural alternative to baking soda or bleach? Why not try Clove oil.
It is a natural antiseptic that will keep mold from spreading within your grout. While it doesn’t have the same strength as chemical solutions, it is all natural. Just add a few drops to a spray bottle and shake. Then, apply liberally to your grout.
Let sit for at least 20 minutes. You’ll need to use a scrub brush to clean the grout and remove any buildup. If you are not seeing the results you expected, you’ll need to re-apply one or more times.
If you’ve tried one or ALL of the methods above with little to no success, then you only have two choices left. Either scrape out the old grout and re-caulk or use a grout paint pen to cover up the discolored grout.
While both methods are time consuming, a grout paint pen will save you money in the short run. This could be a great way to get your home back into tip top shape before you decide to sell or at least until you get the motivation to re-grout.
One of the top rated grout paint solutions online is Grout Refresh. All you need is a bottle, a toothbrush and several evenings.
If you haven’t already, carefully clean your grout using one of the methods above. Then, let the grout dry. Next, set up a comfortable place to sit on the floor - a pillow or towel work well - and get to work.
Start by applying a small dab of paint to the grout and use a toothbrush or paintbrush to spread the grout renew. If you have a hard time painting in the lines, that’s okay. Just make sure you clean up any excess with a paper towel immediately before it dries.
As you can see there are many ways to get your grout looking new again. No matter which method you choose, just remember that it is going to take some work to get quality results.
After you are finished, don’t forget to seal the grout to prevent additional mold and mildew buildup within the pores of the grout.
Now it’s your turn. What techniques have you used to clean grout? Any tips or tricks for others?