Tackling dirt and stains between tiles can be something you tend to put off, and because of that, dirt can build up in these areas and become increasingly difficult to remove. So if you’ve found yourself here, looking for the best way to clean grout, fear not. There are some proven methods you can use to fix even the dirtiest grout.
Knowing the right way to do things is important, as using standard cleaners and methods may remove some of the dirt, but it won’t remove deeper stains or turn the grout white again. Instead, it’s more likely to leave you with tired arms.
For the simplest and most effective ways to clean grout, follow our guide below, which will introduce you to some of the best commercial cleaners, as well as some nifty grout cleaning methods using just household items. Below that, you’ll find our short list of tips and tricks to make things easier next time by preventing future build-ups.
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Method 1 – Use a grout cleaner
If DIY chemistry isn’t your thing, don’t be shy about taking the path of least resistance and using a specially formulated grout cleaner to clean the gap between the tiles. For a list of our favorite grout cleaners for ease of use, effectiveness, whitening, and more, check out our full roundup of the best grout cleaners. Using a grout cleaner is pretty easy, just follow the steps below:
1. Make sure the application area is completely dry and free of dust or debris.
2. Gather your supplies: Your choice of quality grout cleaner, with some of our top picks Pro-Kleen Tile Grout Cleaner Restorer and Everbuild Forever White Grout Reviver. For really stubborn stains, it’s also worth picking up a grout brush, like this set of specialty brushes.
3. Grout cleaners can be quite strong smelling and astringent, so make sure the area you are working in is ventilated and you are wearing the correct PPE.
4. Apply and remove as suggested by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Method 2: Use household items
If you prefer to have household items in your grout that you probably already have on hand, try this method:
1. As stated above, make sure the area you want to clean is completely dry and free of any dust or debris.
2. Gather the supplies you’ll need, which for this method are baking soda, white vinegar, a non-metal toothbrush or similar, and in difficult cases, hydrogen peroxide.
3. Prepare a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, using an old spray bottle will make things easier later on but you can also use a jug or bucket.
4. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the grout.
5. Spray some of your vinegar and water solution over the paste – the acidic vinegar and baking soda coming into contact will produce a bubbly foam.
6. Once the foaming stops, it’s time to scrub, scrub, scrub, then rinse.
7. If the above method doesn’t change the stains and you have hydrogen peroxide on hand, you can reapply, substituting peroxide for the water when making the baking soda paste.
How to keep grout clean
After what was probably a pretty strenuous cleanup, you probably won’t be in a rush to clean the grout again. So, to prevent dirt and grime from building up again, try following some of these preventative tips:
1. Invest in an exhaust fan: Dirt, mold, mildew, and other unsightly buildup staining your grout can be a sign of excess moisture in your bathroom or kitchen. One possible way to reduce and prevent these build-ups is to invest in a more powerful or effective bathroom extractor fan or kitchen extractor hood. For specific tips and some favorites, check out our articles linked above.
2. Use grout sealer: Another way to prevent excess moisture from getting into the grout is to apply a quality grout sealer, like this tile protectant from HG. Grout sealer helps form a fairly impermeable barrier between the grout and any moisture or dirt that would normally tarnish it.
3. Floor care: General floor care such as using area rugs in high traffic areas, not over-wetting the mop which will relieve excess moisture, and regular sweeping and vacuuming will go a long way in preventing grout from the kitchen, bathroom and other homes turning ugly.