Let's be honest, cleaning grout, especially white grout, is almost always a tedious task and hardly ever turns out the way you want after putting in the hours of work to do so. Now, the real question is do you want to put in the time and effort of cleaning your grout the old-fashioned way, or do you want to breeze through your grout cleaning?
Unfortunately, keeping grout clean is notoriously difficult, especially in your bathroom or if you have tile floors, but luckily, it doesn't have to be ad intimidating if you keep up with routine maintenance and cleaning of areas in your home with grout.
In today’s blog, we’ll go over an initial deep clean for grout and regular upkeep to help alleviate some of that grout-cleaning stress.
Grout Deep Cleaning
Directions to get grout your grout back to its original color using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda:
Step 1: Mix 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1 tsp of dish soap into a paste.
Step 2: Apply the paste to your grout and allow the paste to sit for at least 10 minutes. This gives the paste some time to loosen up some of the dirt and grime before scrubbing.
Step 3: Gently scrub the mixture with your scrub brush or toothbrush.
Step 4: Wipe off the paste with a clean, damp white cloth.
Step 5: Mix warm water and dish soap and wipe the tile surface to thoroughly remove any remaining paste residue.
What happens if my grout is still dirty after cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda?
You may find that your grout is past the point of using homemade cleaners. If cleaning your grout with the above formula doesn’t restore it, consider using one of the following products for your grout deep cleaning.
This pro-strength acidic formula is great for deep cleaning tough grout stains on tile floors without the need for heavy scrubbing!
Step 1: Apply Zep Grout Cleaner & Brightener to a 2 ft. x 2ft. area, on the grout seam only.
Step 2: Allow the product to sit for 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Use a small scrub brush or toothbrush to scrub areas where there is more noticeable staining. Be sure not to let the product splash onto nearby surfaces.
Step 4: Rinse the area thoroughly and wipe dry. Try not to use the area until the grout is completely dry.
Note: Do not use this product if you have marble, terrazzo, travertine, or natural stone floors, as these sensitive surfaces can be easily damaged.
This industrial-strength, scrub-free, formula starts working instantly to eliminate mold and mildew stains on your tie grout, bathtub and shower surfaces, sinks, drains, toilets, and even your washing machine seal! When using this product, please make sure you are in a well-ventilated space, or wearing a mask and protective eyewear.
Step 1: Spray 6-8 inches from the surface to be cleaned until thoroughly covered.
Step 2: Allow the product to dry completely and watch the stains melt away!
Step 3: Repeat step 2 for heavily stained areas.
Step 4: Rinse the surface thoroughly once the stain has been removed.
Routine Grout Upkeep
Grout is a porous material, so it likes to absorb literally everything! That being said, you should always make sure that your grout is sealed properly and know how to maintain your sealed or un-sealed grout.
Option 1: Baking Soda & Vinegar
Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup of vinegar, and 6 cups of water.
Step 2: Use the solution in a mop bucket to use for floor cleaning or pour the solution into a spray bottle to use on vertical tile surfaces (showers, kitchen backsplash).
Step 3: Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes to penetrate any dirt or grime.
Step 4: Remove the cleaner with a damp cloth, sponge, or a new, damp mop pad.
Option 2: Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning can be a very effective way of cleaning heavy build-up on a multitude of surfaces! The steam and detergent mixtures loosen the dirt and grim stuck to your grout for you to then vacuum or wipe the surface dry!
There are a multitude of steam cleaners available for routine household chores, here are a couple of them:
Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop- this is a 2-in-1 steam mop, which has the capability to be a steam mop, as well as, a handheld steam cleaner!
Bissell SteamShot Hard Surface Steam Cleaner- this handheld steam cleaner is perfect for steam cleaning your bathroom tile and grout!
Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop- this steam mop is great for tile floor cleaning!
Option 3: Baking soda paste
Step 1: Mix baking soda, a few drops of dish soap, and enough water to create a paste.
Step 2: Apply the paste, liberally, to the areas to be cleaned.
Step 3: Allow the paste to sit for 15- 20 minutes.
Step 4: Scrub the grout with a toothbrush, then rinse with warm water to remove any remaining cleaning paste.
Cleaning grout and tile FAQ
Why does the grout in my bathroom always have more build-up or staining?
The biggest culprit for grout discoloration is mold and mildew, which can thrive on wet grout. You want to make sure that your grout stays as dry as possible, especially in your bathroom! You will want to create a daily routine to ensure that your bathroom grout is as dry as possible.
Run the bathroom vent after showering.
Squeegee your shower walls.
Wash any rugs or towels that are consistently touching a tiled area regularly.
DO NOT PUT OFF FIXING LEAKS!
Spray your shower grout with a 1:1 vinegar and water solution. Vinegar has a drying effect and also kills bacteria. If your grout is not sealed or needs to be resealed, hold off on using a vinegar solution so you do not damage your grout.
What is a good maintenance routine for tile floor grout?
Sweep or vacuum your floor daily, mop weekly, and clean your grout regularly. For high-traffic areas, you will want to clean your grout 1-2 times per month, but for low-traffic areas, you may only need to clean them 2-3 times per year.
For your weekly mop solution, you will want to make sure to use a pH-neutral cleaning solution.
Can I use bleach to clean my white grout?
Bleach should never be used to clean your grout, even white grout! Using bleach will actually erode your grout over time and can leave behind a film on the surface, which attracts more dirt and grim!
Phew! That was a long one, but a very much needed step by step. Now I know after that, our knees and arms are probably hurting, but man does our tile and bathroom look good! Here's the thing, this isn't something that needs to be done every week, but maybe every three months, would be a good idea. In the meantime, keeping your tile surfaces dry, washing rugs because they tend to get damp and dirty, and doing a weekly wipe-down, will put off this task for a much longer period of time.