We are all so familiar with this struggle… spending money on tiles but after a period of time, the oh-so-perfect tiles are ruined with unsightly odd looking grout. And by the time you realize it’s probably time to clean the grout, it just seems like too much work!
Grout lines is like a sink where water runs off the tile and plops into. Because grout is porous, any moisture that gets in the grout is absorbed into it. And because fluid is the carrier of many things, after the fluid evaporates, it leaves behind solids or stains. These solids or stains build-up over time, giving us… dirty looking grout lines.
But fret not! Even though cleaning grout can be labor intensive and time consuming, with the right tools and the proper techniques, you can scrub them clean in no time.
Wiping and Spraying Routine
If possible, a frequent as daily wiping-and-spraying routine is essential to keep tile clean and prevent premature staining and damage. It’ll save you tons of work in the long run.
For bathroom wall tile, the first thing to do is wiping off excess water. And this can be easily done with a squeegee.
You can make your own spray solution by mixing a 4:1 water to vinegar solution or get a off-the-shelf cleaner. Spray lightly to your tile and give it a good wipe.
This frequent as daily routine will keep the tile and grout clean but there should also be deep cleaning at least once a week.
Weekly or biweekly, give your grout a nice preventative clean. Cover grout lines with a paste of baking soda and water using grout brush or used toothbrush. You can spray on the vinegar solution listed above and once the mixture stops foaming, scrub with a brush and rinse with plain water. It works as well without spraying the vinegar and if that’s the case, wait 10 minutes after covering grout lines with paste, then scrub with a toothbrush and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
If your grout seems a little more stained than usual, use hydrogen peroxide instead of water for the paste.
Whiten Grout with Oxygen Bleach
When dirt on grout accumulates for too long, usual cleaning routines might not be enough. You might have to turn to bleach.
We don’t recommend going to the extend of using bleach unless if really necessary, as chemically strong bleach would ruin the tile itself.
Before spraying bleach to the grout, make sure area of exposure to bleach is free of other chemicals from previous attempts to remove stains.
Know what type of bleach you are using because oxygen-type powdered bleach is gentler on the grout. Apply with a brush, let stand 10 to 15 minutes, and rinse with clean water. Only use chloride bleach when all else fails because its too harsh and strong and would ruin tile. To prevent tile from coming into contact with bleach, only apply on stained grout.
Remember, to let the bleach stay for at most 15 minutes. Right after, remove bleach thoroughly by rinsing and wiping with water.