Grout is used when tile is used for either walls or flooring. It is an adhesive that keeps the tiles together and stuck to the surface on which they are attached. It is a durable, strong material that will keep your tiles in place for a long time to come.
The downside is that the grout can attract more than its fair share of dirt and grime. With enough time, your ground (and the tiles it surrounds) can start to look dirty and grimy, taking on a darker hue than ever before. It’s not fun scrubbing it, so what is the solution? There are more than a few cleaners that will get the job done, leaving you with just a few quick wipes before your grout is clean again.
Why You Want to Avoid Scrubbing
The simple fact of the matter is that scrubbing is hard work. Depending on the severity of the grime and dirt build-up, you may have to put a lot of elbow grease into the removal. This would be tiring enough if it didn’t involve getting down on hand and knee to do so.
Not only that, but the proper cleaner can do a much more thorough job with half the work. It’s as the old saying goes: work smarter, not harder. That is what we are doing by finding the right cleaning tools for the grout.
5 Best Ways to Clean Floor Grout without Scrubbing
The good news is that there are more than a few cleaners, both household and store-bought, that will do a great job of breaking down that dirt and grime for easy removal. Keep in mind that the worse the buildup, the tougher the job will be.
It is ideal that you clean your grout on a fairly regular basis. Even doing so monthly may mean a little soap and water to get the job done versus having to bring in a heavy hitter. Keep that in mind as you clean your grout.
Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide
Perhaps the best way to get your floor grout clean is through a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The good news is that a lot of people have these two things in their home most of the time anyway.
There is a chemical reaction when the two are mixed together, which creates a baking soda paste. You just mix a cup of baking soda and a cup of hydrogen peroxide together. If you want to add a little scent to it, a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid can go in, too.
Apply the paste to your dirty grout and give it 10 minutes or so to work. From there, it should be easy to remove the dirt, grime, and even tough stains. You might have to do some light scrubbing depending on the severity of the issue, but most of the time, you can wipe away the paste and the grime with it. Should the stains persist, repeat the process as many times as need be.
White vinegar has proven to be a versatile household cleaner. It is also another ingredient that most people have in their homes already. So, it should come as no surprise that vinegar is effective at cleaning tile grout, too.
You will need a half cup of baking soda, 1/6 cup of white vinegar, a 1/3 of lemon juice, and three-and-a-half cups of water mixed together. The acidity in the vinegar and lemon juice is what works to break down those tough stains.
Allow this mixture to sit for an hour or so. Like the previous step, you may need to lightly scrub to remove the dirt and grime. Also, like the previous step, you can repeat as many times as need be. The good news is that vinegar is one of the most cost-effective cleaners that you can go with.
If you want to go with a proven cleaning agent in a pinch, you can’t go wrong with oxygenated bleach. It is one of the most commonly used cleaners, especially when it comes to whitening really dirty ground.
Just make sure that you have proper ventilation before using bleach. It can be seriously dangerous to breathe in and you should have respiratory protection on for just that reason.
You also want to make sure that you don’t leave the bleach on for too long. If you leave the bleach on for too long, it can damage the grout. Leave it on for a few minutes at most before wiping the grout. If it doesn’t work after one or two applications, try another method to avoid damaging the grout.
Alkaline cleaners have been specifically created and formulated in an effort to clean and whiten floor grout that has mold and mildew. For bathrooms, an alkaline cleaner can come in handy. Moisture collects in bathrooms at a greater rate, leading to an increased risk of mold and mildew.
The thing to remember with alkaline cleaners is that you have to follow the instructions. Each one may be different from the next, so don’t deviate. Like bleach, they can be potentially dangerous to your health, so follow safety instructions, too.
Sealing the Grout
The most effective way of cleaning grout without scrubbing is by sealing the grout. Sealers have been specifically created just for this purpose. There are more than a few grout cleaners out there but none is absolutely guaranteed to work.
By sealing the grout, you give it an extra layer of protection against dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and anything else that could impact the look of the grout. If you don’t want to mess with one of the aforementioned cleaners, seal the grout instead.
How to Maintain Clean Grout
So, now that you have cleaned your grout and got it looking white again, you no doubt want to know how to properly maintain it. After all, it is not fun cleaning grout, so you want to find ways to avoid having to do that again. Here are a few of the best ways to maintain your grout and keep it from becoming grimy again.
Seal it Once a Year
If you do seal your grout, make sure that you do so once a year. This is the best method for not only keeping your grout clean but preventing any potential discolorations as well. The right sealant is essentially a barrier that protects your ground from all the other outside contaminants.
Just don’t forget to re-seal your grout. Letting it go for too long will result in a seal that is too weak to do its job. That kind of defeats the purpose, now doesn’t it?
A quick vacuum of the flooring and grout can go a long way, too. By vacuuming regularly, you pick up most of the dirt and grime that can collect on your tiles and grout, you can prevent enough dirt and grime from ever building upon the grout in the first place.
Even once a week should be more than enough to keep your bathroom grout and tile nice and clean. Anything longer is not ideal but still better than nothing at all.
While vacuuming is a good idea, you should be pairing that with regular mopping as well. Vacuuming should get most of that loose dirt and debris up, but not all of it. Use a mild detergent mixed with a lot of water and give your flooring a good mop.
Mopping has a couple of benefits. For one, it leaves your tile looking shiny which only adds to the aesthetic of the room. By mopping, you get any of that leftover dirt and grime that may not have been picked up while vacuuming.
Keep in mind that these are preventatives but you will have to clean your grout eventually. The good news is that with proper upkeep, you can prolong those cleaning days for much longer than you would without preventative maintenance.
Know Your Flooring
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when it comes to keeping your grout clean is what your flooring needs. Wooden floors don’t need grouting, using an unseen adhesive to stick to the subfloor.
But tile requires proper grouting and regular inspection. Without a fairly regular inspection — at least yearly – you might end up seeing degradation of your grout. When that happens, usually in the form of cracking and chipping, it can take away from the aesthetic appeal of your flooring.
Avoid the Scrubbing
Clean grout can make a huge difference aesthetically. To keep your tile grout as clean as possible, keep up with its maintenance. Vacuum and mop your flooring regularly. Have inspections at least yearly to ensure that there are no structural issues.
Most of all, just keep on top of it. When you ignore your tile grout, that is when you will notice a buildup of dust, dirt, grime, mold, and mildew. It is always easier to implement preventative maintenance than have to get down on your hands and knees, scrubbing the day away.