How to Clean Grout Effectively

If you have tile in your bathroom, you know how the grout between the tiles can become dirty and infested with mold and mildew. While the tile may be easy to keep clean, grout can be more of a challenge. If grout is located in moist areas such as bathrooms, it can be the perfect feeding ground for nasty mildew and mold. Here’s how to clean grout in your home without using harsh chemicals:

1. Dampen the grout by spraying it with water or using a damp sponge to apply moisture.

2. Mix three cups of baking soda with one cup of warm water to create a paste.

3. Use a brush to apply the paste to your grout.

4. Allow the paste to set on the grout for 30 minutes.

5. Use a clean, damp sponge to completely remove the paste.

6. Rinse the areas thoroughly with warm water.

This homemade baking soda paste does an excellent job of cleaning most grout and has the advantage of not using harsh chemicals. If your grout is particularly soiled or discolored, you may need to use a stronger agent such as bleach to remove stubborn stains. If you choose this route, it’s extremely important that you use good ventilation or wear a protective facial mask to avoid breathing the chlorine vapors. Also, wear rubber gloves throughout the process of cleaning the grout. Never mix chlorine with any other chemical, particularly ammonia, as this produces a highly toxic chemical.

To make a heavy duty cleaning mixture to clean resistant grout stains, mix a half cup of bleach with a gallon of water. You can use your toothbrush to apply the bleach solution to your grout. Use a gentle back and forth motion with the toothbrush to thoroughly clean the grout.

Since grout is porous and is generally light in color, it has a tendency to attract stains. You may want to consider applying a grout sealer to protect your grout against stains. A grout sealer will usually last about three years before it needs to be reapplied. A grout sealer can be purchased from your local hardware store or home supply warehouse such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.

With a bit of elbow grease, the grout in your bathroom can be kept bright and stain free. With the knowledge of how to clean your grout, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty that tile can bring to your bathroom for many years to come.

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