Tiles are versatile and durable materials to have in rooms where there is high humidity content. They provide long-lasting protection to walls that would otherwise suffer from peeling wallpaper and are available in a number of different styles to suit everyone.
However, due to the tiles being commonly light in colour, especially the grout in between them, they can easily become blackened with dirt when exposed to a moist environment. Mouldmou and general mildew can build up, no matter how many times you clean the area.
The kitchen is another place that has high humidity. The tiles can become wet whilst cooking is happening, plus from the splashes of water by the sink and food that splatters from stirring a saucepan. All these factors can lead to the staining of grout and tiles.
Whilst it may be tempting to want to retile or regrout an area, it is best to try and clean it first – plus, it is much cheaper and less of a hassle, too.
Read on to find out how commercial cleaners can effectively clean the grout around tiles, and make sure you have a foolproof way of doing it in the future too.
Where To Start
There are many ways to clean grout, from using simple water and a brush to investing in a chemical that can do all the hard work for you.
There are some simple things to think about before you start cleaning to make the process easier and less complicated if something does not work.
When you first begin, always test a chemical solution on an area of grout that is not too exposed. This is because if a reaction does occur on the grout or tiles, it is hidden away from view.
Also, always start by using the mildest form of cleaning first, such as water, and work your way up to using stronger formulations. Sometimes something simple will work, so there is no need to try something stronger.
Lastly, always make sure you clean away any chemical solution. Mixing different solutions can cause terrible reactions in the air or on the tiles, and you do not want to produce anything that may affect a person’s health.
Water And A Brush
Sometimes the simplest of ways can produce the best results. People have been using elbow grease to remove tough dirt for years, and it has been a tried and tested way to remove grout stains.
All you need is a stiff-bristled brush to dislodge debris and warm water. To do this method, spray or pour warm water onto the grout and scrub the area in a circular motion using the brush.
You will see the dirt coming away which you can wipe to remove if necessary. Other than that, let it air dry.
Steam The Grout
There are many high-tech steam mops available that can remove some of the dirt, if not all, from grout and tiles. If using a brush and warm water does not work, investing in a steam mop may be just what you are looking for.
If Water Is Not Enough
Sometimes water by itself just is not enough to remove dirt that has lodged itself into the grout. When this is the case, you will need to make a mixture. To do this, you can use items that you may already have in the home, or that you can easily buy from the grocery store.
Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda is a common natural alternative to cleaning tough stains within the home, as well as being used in baking.
Make a paste of baking soda by adding a bit of water and use it to fill the grout. It will bubble away for a while as it does its job. Use the brush to scrub the baking soda and grout. If this has not done the trick, create the same baking soda solution and apply a vinegar spray. You will find out how to make that next.
You can use a vinegar spray alone or with the baking soda solution. Here is how to do both:
Using both equal parts of warm water and vinegar, put it into a spray bottle and shake gently to mix. Spray onto the grout and let it do its job for around 5 minutes. Once the time has passed, use the brush to scrub the area to remove the dirt.
To use with the baking soda, create the paste and apply it to the grout. Spray the solution and top and watch the whole thing bubble away. Once it has calmed down a bit, scrub at the grout to remove the dirt.
Moving On To Stronger Chemicals
Whilst it is great to use natural ingredients from within the home, sometimes you just have to admit defeat and move on to stronger alternatives. Here we shall give you some great examples that can be used to remove stubborn grout stains.
If you are thinking about using something stronger than an ingredient you can find within the home, it is best to search your local store to find what is available to clean grout.
Something like the Grout-eez is a great solution as it works in a similar fashion to the above methods, only it has a formulation that is targeted at cleaning grout and tiles.
A shop-bought cleaner is best used for a larger surface area, or on extremely stubborn dirt that you are struggling to remove with any other method. Do keep in mind that no matter what solution you use, it may still include you having to scrub the grout with a brush.
Those who bleach their hair blonde may be familiar with hydrogen peroxide, but it also has many other uses than just turning your hair a pale colour.
If you only have a minor stain, then using hydrogen peroxide could be the best way to remove it. Not only that, it is available at most drugstores.
Whilst wearing gloves, apply it either straight onto the surface or mix it with baking soda to make a paste. This one actually does not require you to brush at it, though you can if you would like to.
This should be one of the last attempts at removing grout stains. Use sparingly on the affected area and gently scrub with a hard-bristled brush. You may also want to use gloves and wear a mask due to its strong smell.
How To Stop Grout Stains From Returning
Whilst sometimes inevitable, you can stop the majority of grout stains from appearing. Make time once a week to spray tiles and grout with a vinegar spray which you can then wipe down with a cloth.
Another great way is by rubbing the surface with alcohol. Both these methods can help keep mould at bay and will stop you from having to do extra cleaning.
Unfortunately, because tiles have to be placed in high-humidity environments, they are prone to mildew and dirt. These stubborn stains that appear between the tiles can prove unsightly, but they can be easy to remove with the know-how.
From using warm water and a brush to buying a commercial cleaning product, you will find that removing grout stains is pretty easy. So the next time you find yourself staring face-to-face with a grout stain whilst you shower, just take a look at the list above to remind yourself how to get rid of it quickly.