If you want your tile floors, walls, and counters to look clean all the time, you need to take care of your grout.
Soap, mold, and mildew make your grout dirty, so it stains easily. Tiles can resist dirt and stains, while grout is a porous material that absorbs spills.
Many Utah homeowners would love to know an easy way to do tile and grout cleaning.
There are two things that you need to get grease, mold, scum, and dirt off from your tile and grout: a grout brush and cleaner.
The best grout brush would be one with a stiff nylon bristle which you can purchase at your favorite handyman store. Using a toothbrush is not ideal because the bristles are too soft for removing stubborn dirt and grime.
You have many choices when it comes to your tile and grout cleaning solution.
There are commercial cleaners available, or you can make your tile and grout cleaning solution using homemade ingredients.
When to Clean Tile and Grout
The frequency of cleaning tile and grout would depend on where the tile is located and how often the surface is used.
Whenever you notice dirt or discoloration due to mold or mildew, you should clean your tiles and grout right away.
Wall surfaces may need less frequent cleaning compared to shower walls that are subject to moisture and humid conditions daily.
Weekly cleaning of shower wall tiles may be ideal, and the best indicator for clean up time is grout that is dirty or discolored.
We try out different cleaners for our DIY tile and grout cleaning project, but before we proceed, you need to buy the following materials:
- Grout brush
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- Alkaline cleaner
- Oxygen bleach
- Chlorine bleach
- Grout sealer
Use only nylon grout brushes because a metal brush can scratch the surface of your tiles or remove portions of the grout.
Applying a silicone-based grout sealer after the cleaning process will help resist future stains and dirt.
This is the best way to preserve all the hard work that you put in, those who fail to reseal grout with a grout sealer leaves it prone to dirt and grime.
Cleaning with an Alkaline Cleaner
Using the mildest cleaning solution for your project is always a good idea. Harsh cleaners may harm grout and tile finishes.
Alkaline cleaners are becoming popular these days. The Tile Council of America has recommended the use of caustic cleaners for tile and grout cleaning.
Some known brands include Mr. Clean, Spic n’ Span, and Super Washing Soda.
These cleaners are ideal for dirty and greasy grout found in your kitchen.
You start by mixing the alkaline cleaner with water as instructed in the package label. Do not use more than the recommended amount as it will not affect the cleaning power of the solution.
Apply a generous amount of the alkaline cleaner to your grout lines using a sponge and let it sit for a few minutes.
Scrub the grout lines vigorously using your grout brush. Continue until all stains are removed. Once the original color of your grout is restored, you can proceed with the next step.
Use your sponge to clean up the excess cleaning solution then apply fresh water. Once rinsing is complete, use a towel to dry the tiles completely.
Air-dry overnight before resealing the grout. Seal the grout before using it again.
Cleaning with Chlorine Bleach
A traditional way of tile and grout cleaning is using household chlorine bleach.
Before you begin, make sure you wear safety glasses, gloves, and old clothes because bleach can harm your skin and bleed the color of your clothes.
Open your windows for proper ventilation; you wouldn’t want to inhale the toxic fumes from bleach or keep them in your kitchen or bathroom.
For excellent ventilation, it is a good idea to turn on your vent fan while cleaning.
Dip your grout brush into the pure bleach and apply it to the grout lines.
Scrub hard to remove dirt and grime.
Rinse the tile with clean water and sponge up to remove the bleach. Make sure all bleach is removed before resealing your grout.
Dry the surface with a towel and let air-dry overnight.
Reseal grout the next day to finish the tile and grout cleaning process.
Cleaning with Oxygen Bleach
Using oxygen bleach is a safer and non-toxic way for tile and grout cleaning. Hydrogen peroxide is not an ideal cleaner if it is in diluted form.
An excellent product to use is Ajax Oxygen Bleach Cleaner, which is sold at your favorite stores.
Don’t forget to put on your safety gloves and glasses before you begin.
Start by mixing the powdered bleach with water to form a paste. This is achieved by combining 1 part of water to 2 parts of powdered bleach.
Apply the bleach paste onto your grout lines by using your sponge. Let the paste stay for 5 to 10 minutes.
Use your grout brush and scrub as hard as you can. Notice that the grout is returning to its original color.
Rinse the bleach with clean water then wipe your tiles with a clean cloth.
Air-dry overnight and reseal the grout the next day.
Avoid Vinegar and Acidic Cleaners
Grout can be dissolved by acidic cleaners like vinegar, so its best to use alkaline cleaners. Acid-based cleaners can also etch stone tiles so better avoid them.
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