Homeowners who love having tile in their bathroom or kitchen may not feel so enthusiastic about the necessary evil that is tile grout. Sure it’s instrumental in keeping your tiles secured and intact but it can get so grimy and easily stained in such a short period of time that it can mar the appearance of the tiles as well.
Grout is a magnet for dirt and if you let it sit unattended long enough your bathroom and kitchen can start to suffer the effects. That’s why it’s so crucial that you remain diligent about performing routine maintenance on your grout to keep it clean and new looking.
This brings up questions as to the best way of going about maintaining the grout in order to keep your tile clean. While you need to do it on a regular basis it’s also important to know what kind of cleaners you should be using to do the job right.
Even more critical, perhaps, is knowing just what has made your grout look so dark and grimy. If you don’t know what has contributed to the staining and discoloration of your grout, you wont be able to clean it effectively.
For the bathroom, it can be mold, mildew, and various bacteria that can only come from the various reasons you and your family spend any time inside of this room. For the kitchen, the grout on the floor and even the countertops and backsplash can absorb grease, food particles and foot traffic coming in and out of the most popular room in the house.
One other thing to factor into the care and maintenance of your grout is the potential for fracturing and cracking over time. This can occur when grout is neglected and not properly cleaned and it can lead to significant problems where moisture is allowed to seep in through the cracks and gaps causing serious damage behind your walls and under your floors.
If there is no other reason to get you motivated to be more dedicated to cleaning your grout, consider the water damage repair costs you could be facing should too much of it crack and allow moisture to sink in. Simply put, the time and effort you put into keeping your grout clean and new looking can save you a lot of money in the long run.
You don’t have to carefully scrub your grout each and every day but you should spray your grout with a mild cleaner and wipe it down with a soft cloth each time you use the shower, the bath, or in the kitchen after you’ve finished prepping and cooking a meal.
A standard squeegee can help eliminate excess water or moisture, followed by a mild cleanser. You can purchase one from the store or make your own by combining warm water and dish soap or water and white vinegar.. If you’re concerned about germs and bacteria, add some isopropyl alcohol to the mix.
In addition to your daily routine, a weekly or bi-monthly deep clean is also critical for keeping your grout clean and new looking. That’s because even if you perform a daily wipe down the elements that can harm your grout and stain it are still there and they will continue to accumulate.
So get your hands on a grout brush or even a standard old toothbrush and combine water and baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Rub that paste into the grout with your brush until it returns to its normal color again. For those particularly stubborn stains and discolored areas, try replacing the water with hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure you DO NOT mix that hydrogen peroxide with the vinegar. That would be bad.
Even if you’ve used vinegar previously, be sure you’ve rinsed the grout thoroughly before you apply hydrogen peroxide anywhere.
Store Bought Solutions
Sometimes your grout is badly stained and you need something a little stronger than vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. There are various options on the market that you can buy that bring stronger ingredients to bear on your toughest grease and mildew stains. But always read the labels first to ensure the cleaner you’ve selected will fix the problem.
Finally, if those homemade solutions and household cleaners don’t work, you should seek out professional cleaning assistance. These companies have powerful steam cleaners that can eradicate the grime and mildew so the stains are gone and all you see is clean, new looking grout.