The main components of tile grout are sand, cement, and color. The surface is rough and porous, so dirt and grime get accumulated very easily in these pores. These particles can form cracks on the grout and the surroundings tiles can crumble as a result of this. Grout cleaning is also important in order to maintain the look of the tiles, as dirt tends to discolor the grout very easily and also get infested by toxic mold and mildew.
How to Clean Tile Grout
The first thing that has to be kept in mind while choosing the right cleaning method is whether the grout is sealed or unsealed. The products that are found in market contain harsh chemicals and bleaching agents. In case the grout lines of your tiles are not sealed, they can get discolored with use. For this, the use of homemade cleansers is perfect. Homemade cleaning agents should be preferred also because the residues of the commercial cleaners may cause harm to the pets and children.
If you are using any new cleaning product, first try it on any hidden area to test if it causes any damage to the grout. The grout needs to be washed with water before you apply any cleaner so that all the loosely bound debris is cleaned. Once the tile has dried up completely, apply the cleaner and scrub it with a stiff bristled brush. After cleaning, tile grout should always be sealed with the help of sealers to provide protection.
- Homemade Cleansers:
You can also prepare a homemade cleanser for your tile grout. Take about seven cups of water in a spray bottle and add half a cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of white vinegar, and ⅓ cup of ammonia to it. Stir well so that all the ingredients get mixed properly. Spray it on the grout and leave it on for some time, and then wipe it with the help of a damp rag. This cleaner does not need any rinsing after cleaning. Make sure that you do not let ammonia or any kind of bleach to come in contact with the grout.
- Vinegar or Baking Soda:
To clean any kind of stains from tile grout, you can use either vinegar or baking soda. Make a solution with equal quantities of vinegar and water, and apply it over the stained area. Rub it vigorously with a stiff brush in small circular motions. You can see the stains coming out quite easily. Similarly, a paste of baking soda and water can also serve the same purpose. Dab the paste on the affected part and then scrub it with a brush. Then, rinse thoroughly with clean water. Finally, dry the surface with a sponge or paper towels.
- Commercial Products:
For regular cleaning of the grout, you can use any general household cleaners. However, if it does not give you the desired result, you should opt for a commercial tile and grout cleaner. Select a product that has a neutral pH balance. This will ensure that the grout will not get worn out by the chemicals present in the product. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully before applying it on the grout. Another option for cleaning unsealed grout is to use a steam cleaner. The force exerted by the steam cleaner will loosen up the bond between the dirt and the surface of the grout, and the dirt will get removed. This method is helpful to get rid of debris that cannot be dissolve by other cleaners.
When your tile grout has not been cleaned for a long time, you may require a cleaner with strong cleaning action. For this, you can use oxygen bleach, chlorine bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Oxygen bleach can be effectively used for removing any kind of heavy stains, as it is not harmful and is safe on colors too. When applied on the stains with warm water, the oxygen ions break down the stain molecules and as a result disappear within no time. Sometimes, you may not even need any scrubbing. Chlorine bleach is useful for mold removal from bathroom tiles. However, this bleach is not suitable for colored grout and may cause discoloration.