Tile floors or walls are a common and stately component of many bathrooms, kitchens, or other locations in your home. Whether simple and functional or decorative and elegant, tile can instantly elevate the appearance of any room. The carefully ordered and sealed tile surface, whether on your floor or as a kitchen back splash, adds contemporary sophistication and grace to your interior design, but the regular sealants like grout that keep tiles in place can get dirty very quickly. Like most common household surfaces, the constant exposure of grout to moisture, mildew, hard water, and mineral deposits can turn that once pristine grout track into a dirty brown and soiled line instead. Removing the dirt, mildew, and other build-up from your grout might feel next to impossible, but our team has tested and developed several foolproof methods so you know the best way to clean grout on your tile floors and walls, until even the dirtiest of grout until it’s sparkling and clean once again.
Before You Begin – The Materials You’ll Need
- Spray Bottle
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Microfiber Cloth
- Bleach (Oxygen or Chlorine)
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Toothbrush or Small Stiff-Bristled Brush
The Hydrogen Peroxide Method
The first step to successfully cleaning your grout is going to be wiping off any external dirt, scum, or other debris that’s hanging onto the outside of your grout, be it on the floor, in your shower, or in your kitchen. An easy way to begin breaking apart the initial layer of dirt is to mix white vinegar (two parts vinegar one part water) into a spray bottle and spraying the entire tiled surface down with the mixture. Let sit for five minutes and wipe clean to dissolve most of the external dirt. Next, it’s time to spot-treat the more seriously dirty grout areas.
The most powerful grout cleaning method is actually often the cheapest and most affordable, as well as the most natural. Begin by sprinkling baking soda over the dirty grout, then spray with hydrogen peroxide until the surface is wet and paste-like. Spread the paste evenly over any dirty areas you’ve missed using gloves and let sit for around ten minutes. Next, grab your scrub brush and begin scrubbing the paste firmly into the dirt. Apply steady pressure and elbow grease until you notice the dirt beginning to wash off the grout mixture.
Next wet a microfiber cloth and wipe off any residue from the hydrogen peroxide mixture.
Rinse by spraying down with warm water and dry with a cloth rag.
For a final finishing touch, spread warm and soapy water over the grout with a mop/ cloth for the perfect rinse to leave your grout sparkling and fresh.
The Vinegar Method
Another popular method for busting that hard to clean grout stain involves using vinegar to dissolve caked and dirty deposits on the exterior of your grout and tile. Fill a spray bottle half with white vinegar and half with warm water. Shake and spray down the entire surface of your tile, then let rest for ten minutes. This resting period is important because it lets the vinegar cut through scum or debris and loosen dirt bonds to your grout, making it easier to ultimately scrub off. Once your vinegar has rested for about ten minutes, take your scrubbing brush and go over the grout surfaces thoroughly until all the dirt has lifted. Wipe down with a cloth and rinse clean for a pristine natural finish.
The Bleach Method
For particularly stubborn stains or discoloration, household bleach might just be the answer. There are two forms of bleach that are safe to use for your tile: powdered oxygen style bleach and chlorine bleach. Powdered oxygen bleach is the safer alternative as it is a natural and more gentle bleach format. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts powdered oxygen bleach (such as OxiClean) into a paste and spoon over your grout. Allow to rest for about ten minutes and then use a scrubbing brush to clean out any dirt. Wipe down and rinse with warm water for best results.
For seriously heavy-duty grout cleaning needs, a small amount of chlorine or liquid bleach can be used. However, be absolutely sure that there’s no trace of other cleaning solutions around when you begin using chlorine bleach, especially vinegar: vinegar combined with chlorine bleach creates a highly toxic gas that can cause severe problems if inhaled. Dip a scrub brush into a small container of liquid bleach and scrub carefully onto the toughest and most discolored of stains before wiping clean with hot water and drying thoroughly to safely dissolve any dirt or stains.
Heavy Duty Cleaning Aides
- If you don’t have the time to whip up a homemade recipe every time your grout needs cleaning, these top rated heavy-duty grout cleaning aides are great products to purchase and set under your sink for immediate use whenever you need them. CLR Bath and Kitchen Cleaner is one of the best overall grout cleaners and is safe to use regularly, so stocking up on this hygienic staple will go a long way towards keeping your grout in tip-top shape.
- For a green cleaning solution, Seventh Generation Professional Tub & Tile Cleaner will scour off dirt and debris with an eco-friendly approach.
- The ever versatile Bar Keeper’s Friend Soft Liquid can also double as a grout cleaner in addition to other stain removal, making it the perfect product to round out this trio of heavy-duty cleaning aides.
Maintaining the clean and pristine appearance of your grout regularly will require some daily and weekly upkeep to help minimize long term cleaning and stains. To keep your grout shiny, clean, and sparkling, combine one cup of water and a half cup of vinegar in a spray bottle and keep it handy. Spray down regularly and wipe off for regular dirt removal that prevents longer term grime from building up. You can also use alcohol wipes for a quick grout spruce up.
Tile is a staple in many modern apartments and homes, but the dirt that seems to collect in grout wherever tile is found can be a hassle to clean and keep clean. Using our team’s researched and tried and true techniques, you’ll be able to keep your grout in pristine condition every day.