How to Make Grout White Again
Grout in floor tiles and shower walls can get stained and caked with all sorts of things–mold, dirt, grime, soap scum, and the list goes on. It’s no surprise when it’s dirty, but it can be a real pain to clean. If you’re looking to make your grout look new again, the first step is to start with the right cleaning equipment. After cleaning, you can also stain it to make it even fresher and newer-looking.
All you’ll really need to start is a grout brush, which helps to get into the cracks to clean out that pesky mold and dirt, and an appropriate chemical cleaning solution. There are a few options here:
- Bleach. It’s strong-smelling, toxic, and it’s a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection and keep a window open while you’re cleaning with bleach, but it certainly does the job. However, it’s not a good choice for cleaning colored grout that you want to retain its color. To use it, simply dunk your brush into the bleach and scrub away, or spray a bleach solution onto the walls, then scrub with the grout brush. When you’re satisfied with the result, wash with water.
- Oxygen bleach. Hydrogen peroxide is one form of this, but it’s quite diluted in the forms most often sold in stores. Typically, you can find oxygen bleach in a powder which you can mix with water at home for cleaning. Unlike its poisonous cousin, oxygen bleach is non-toxic and color-safe, making it a much better choice when available. Try mixing it into a paste, applying it to the grout, and then rinsing and wiping it off about 10 minutes later.
- Commercial alkaline cleansers. There is a wide variety of these to choose from in the store, and they are formulated to do the job well. They are often found in powdered forms, which can be scrubbed onto the grout before wiping or mopping off.
While it’s common to hear people talking about cleaning grout with vinegar or baking soda, these are some of the least effective options. Vinegar is an especially bad idea for use on grout because it is acidic and can dissolve the cement component of the grout.
If you want to change the color of your grout or turn it back to sparkling white, you’ll need a toothbrush and some grout stain. Even better, look for combined stain and sealer to do two jobs in one. Simply apply the grout stain and sealer to the clean tile and work it into the grout with the the toothbrush. As you go, wipe excess stain off of the tile with a damp, clean cloth before the stain dries.
Cleaning your grout can be a big job, especially in large areas and extremely dirty areas. If you need a hand, don’t hesitate to call Royal Carpet Cleaning to help you with all of your grout and tile cleaning needs.