How to Clean Grout

How to Clean Grout

Tile grout cleaning can be really difficult and time-consuming. Here are some effective tips that will help you keep it free from dirty stains and mildew.Grout is the material that is used to fill the joints between two tiles, and to hold them in place. It is usually made of Portland cement, though epoxy and furan resin are also used to serve this purpose.
Often, cleaning it is very hard, as this area tends to absorb dirt and grime particularly if it is not sealed properly. Eventually you can see the development of stains, mold and mildew on the porous surface of grout.

The problem of mildew is experienced more in damp and wet areas of the house, such as the bathroom and the kitchen. The best way to keep it free from stains and mildew is to clean it regularly.

Cleaning Methods and Tips

Like we mentioned above, cleaning tile grout can be really difficult, depending upon how stubborn the stains or molds and mildews are. If you clean this area regularly along with the tile, then it isn't difficult to remove stains and grime. You can use a dish-washing detergent or a solution of water and mild soap for cleaning. Just apply it on the area and then scrub gently with a toothbrush or specially designed tools which are available in stores.

However, for tougher stains, you will need a stronger cleaner. To make a strong cleaner, mix equal parts (about ¼ cup) of salt, baking soda and vinegar. Mix them properly and apply the result on the tile grout. Leave the mixture on for about 5 to 10 minutes and then scrub the area with a brush, and then rinse off with plain water. Diluted vinegar can also be applied alone and can be rinsed with soap and plain water.

Lemon juice is another good natural cleaner, which can be mixed with baking soda for cleaning these stains. In place of baking soda, you can also sprinkle some salt on a piece of lemon and then scrub on the grout.

Bleach can also be used this purpose, but it is often claimed that it can cause discoloration. Bleach is usually mixed with baking powder and then applied. This mixture is then left on for a few minutes and cleaned with water after gently scrubbing the area with a brush.

Ammonia is another very strong chemical that can be used. For this, you have to make a paste of ammonia, baking soda and vinegar and then dilute it with water and apply on the area. Leave it on for sometime and scrub gently. Finally, rinse it with water. However, while applying all these chemicals, always remember to wear gloves for protection.

The worst part of this cleaning is removing the mildew. For removing mildew, bleach can be applied directly on the grout. But before applying bleach, clean the surface with water. Leave the bleach on for a few minutes if the mildew stains are very tough.

Hydrogen peroxide is a strong chemical and is very effective for both mildew and mold removal. You can either use hydrogen peroxide alone, or make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. In either case, leave it on the surface for a few minutes. Scrub gently and rinse with plain water. In the same way, baking soda and dish-washing detergent can be used, but this solution has to be left on for a considerable time period. Rubbing alcohol can also be used for removing mildew stains.

In addition to proper cleaning, it is also important to seal the grout at regular intervals, as a porous one is more likely to sustain stains and mildews. If you want to use commercial cleaning products specially made for this purpose, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer guidelines and to take the help of experts. Nowadays, many cleaning companies also provide professional grout cleaning services, which can be availed if the normal homemade and commercial cleaners fail to solve the problem.
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