4 Easy Ways to Get Your Grout Gleaming Again

Sure, we sweep and mop our bathroom floors regularly, but how often do we focus on the grout between tiles?

groutOver time, things like dirt, grime and – especially this time of year – pollen layer up to turn our once-white grout dark and dingy. This master bath is the perfect example. See how light and clean the lines on the left are (the ones usually covered by the bathmat), compared with the icky brown lines in the rest of the room?

Luckily, all you need to get it gleaming again are some common household cleaners, tools and a little elbow grease. Here are some great tips from www.bobvila.com, depending on the severity of your stains.

  1. For entry-level dirt, use warm water and a stiff-bristled brush. (No need to buy a brush especially for this; a toothbrush will work just fine.) Simply spray warm water on the grout lines and scrub in a circular motion, then let dry.
  2. For heavier dirt and mild stains, try vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with half vinegar and half warm water. Spray on the grout, let it stand for five minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush. Or, to bring even more cleaning power to the party, make a paste of baking soda and water, cover the grout lines with the paste, then spray on the vinegar solution. Once the mixture stops foaming, scrub with a brush and rinse with plain water.
  3. For moderate stains, you may want to use hydrogen peroxide. You can use the product straight or make a paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. And if the stains are really tough, Bob suggests using oxygen bleach (most often sold in powdered form). Some common brands include OxiClean, Clorex OxiMagic, and Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus. Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions, and make sure the area is well-ventilated. Generally, you will want to let the oxygen bleach solution work for 10 or 15 minutes before rinsing. Always rinse with clean water so that the dirt doesn’t resettle into the grout lines.
  4. If all else fails, chlorine bleach and commercial cleansers (such as Clorox Clean-Up spray) can be used sparingly in extreme cases. Long-term use of caustic cleaners will erode grout, Bob cautions, so these products should be used on a limited basis.

Once your gout is clean and stain-free, it’s a good idea to spray it with vinegar and wipe it down once a week. You can also wipe grout with alcohol to keep mold and mildew at bay. In any case, just a few spritzes and wipes a week can save you a lot of time and effort cleaning, preserving the attractive appearance of your home in the process.

Thanks again for these fabulous tips, Bob Vila!

Photo: Buddy Allen Carpet One

Photo: Buddy Allen Carpet One

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