Grout is what holds our beautiful tile together and brings it out. So when our grout gets dirty, it quickly makes the rest of the tile look rather unpleasant.
There are many types of grout and their level of consistency varies as well. We won’t bore you with all the technical aspects of all types of grout, because all you need to know are two things about it: grout is porous and grout is retainable. Why is this important to know? We’ll explain later, but for now it’s important to know that it’s porous like a sponge, which also makes it retainable to dirt and liquids
What’s the easiest way to clean grout? If you’ve tried all the household cleaning products and have become discouraged from lack of results, don’t give up yet. Below are a few tactics that we’ve tried and have been proven time and time again to help remove even the toughest soiled grout
Soak and suck method
This method works great on tiled floors where there’s a lot of foot traffic. For this approach you’ll need the following:
- Pitcher of hot tap water
- Grout brush
First, take your pitcher of hot tap water and carefully spread over the grout. Next, take your grout brush and gently agitate the water into the grout. (note: grout brushes surprisingly don’t do well when cleaning grout. They tend to bush the soil back into the grout vs. extracting it). In this scenario though, we’re using the brush to help push the hot water into the grout.
Lastly, take your wet-vacuum and begin to extract the water from the grout. For better results, you can duck-tape an old vacuum edging tool to your wet-vac to help strengthen the airflow.
Because grout is porous, an extraction process of some type must be used to effectively remove soil. When people use a grout brush, cleaning product or rag, they’re really just pushing the dirt back into the grout.
Using hot water to loosen up the dirt and soil, then extracting it with a wet vac help clean the grout much more effectively.
Using a magic eraser or sponge
If you’re cleaning shower grout, or any other grout that’s on a vertical surface (making it impossible to flood with water) then use a damp magic eraser or sponge.
First, take a spray bottle of diluted cleaner and apply several squirts of liquid on the grout until it is completely saturated. Take a grout brush, and work the product into the grout, loosening up soap scum and shampoo. Remember, the grout brush isn’t there to clean the grout. Its job is to help break up any stubborn soap scum on the grout.
The next step is to take your sponge or magic eraser, start from the top surface, and work your way down on the tile, using quick, back and forth motion to remove the gunk.
Using rolled up paper towels and bleach
Because grout is porous, sometimes it’s difficult to completely remove all discoloring. One easy and almost effortless way to help with flat-surfaced grout is by using paper towels and bleach. For this job, make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves, and that the room you’re working in is properly ventilated.
First, take a ply of paper towels no more than two squares in length, and roll them up into an evenly tight bond. Next, take your paper towel bond and dip it into your bottle of bleach so it’s completely soaked.
Then, take each strip and neatly place on top of the grout, and allow for it to soak a couple of hours. Lastly, remove the strips and dispose of properly. You’ll find that your grout looks like it was redone by a professional grout cleaner.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide to soak grout
Besides collecting soil, grout is also notorious for growing mildew. If you have children crawling on the floor, this is especially important to have taken care of on a regular basis. You can tackle mildew and other fungi that can grow on grout by using a natural solution like Hydrogen Peroxide, which breaks down the molecule structure in fungus and helps destroy it.
First, take a bottle of peroxide, and allow for a stream of it to pour out and soak in the grout for about 20 minutes. When you’re done, take a dry cloth or sponge and wipe it away.
Maintain the grout using the right products
Often the reason floor grout gets dirty so quickly is simply because we don’t maintain it properly on a regular basis. We recommended avoiding using wet mops for cleaning your floors. They spread dirty water around and actually make your grout worse.
Instead, use a microfiber-based mop system with a diluted spray. Unlike sloshy wet mops, microfiber mop pads use both friction to remove tough spots, and micro-fabric to retain soil instead of spreading it around.
Even a quick mop once or twice per week can make a huge difference in easily keeping your grout clean!