Grout, as we know it, is a mixture of cement, sand, and water that helps hold our tiles together — sealing and strengthening the gaps between them. However, since grout is a porous material, it easily absorbs spills, soap scum, and moisture. Over time, this sealant becomes a breeding ground for dirt and grime, making the grout linings appear dull and discolored. So, what is the best way to clean grout and keep your tiles looking their best?

And what if you overlook this maintenance aspect and leave the grout on its own? Well, apart from making your tiles lose their beautiful appearance, dirty grout invites bacteria and mold. This creates an unhealthy environment and makes the sealant prone to deterioration, leading to costly repairs in the long run. But don’t worry; this blog will list the finest tried-and-tested hacks to give your kitchen floors and shower tiles a new life (without the unsightly grout stains). 

1. Prepare the Grout and Surrounding Area

The success of any deep-cleaning process depends on how effective the beforehand prep is, and the same is true when cleaning grout. To get started, sweep or mop the floor to get any dirt and dust particles out of the way. Then, spray the grout with hot water and scrub gently to loosen the grime buildup and pesky stains. 

During the scrubbing process, it is advisable to choose a soft bristle brush rather than a hard steel one. Any old toothbrush lying around in the house would find a good use here! Use the brush to rub the grout lines in circular motions, followed by a steam cleaner (if available). However, remember that too much water may seep into the porous cement of grout, leading to mildew and other issues. 

2. Spray a Vinegar Solution

If you have a sealed surface that has been catching heavy dirt or mild stains lately, then a vinegar solution is the best way to clean tile grout for you. Why vinegar, the age-old DIY hack? Well, this solution has an acidic nature that helps it break down and dissolve the buildup of dirt, soap residue, and mild stains. Plus, since vinegar is cost-effective and readily available around the house, it offers an eco-friendly option compared to harsh cleaners. 

To make a vinegar solution, all you need to do is mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and you’re good to go. Next, spray this solution on dirty grout linings and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Use a stiff toothbrush for a scrub session, and then wipe the remaining moisture with a damp cloth. Keep in mind that this solution does not work on unsealed grout, as it may absorb the solution, doing more harm than good. 

3. Use Baking Soda for an Extra Boost

Have you tried a vinegar solution and are still thinking about how to clean grout so that there is no dirt left? It’s time to add baking soda to the mix. Serving as a safe whitener, deodorizer, and household cleaner, baking soda is the best way to clean grout with stubborn stains. It also has a mild abrasive nature that lets you clean grout lines without worrying about damaging your tiles. 

To begin, combine a few drops of dish soap, water, and baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Once done, apply the mixture to cover the grout lines and then spray the vinegar solution over it (only for a sealed grout). When the paste stops producing foam, scrub the grout using an old toothbrush before rinsing it with plain water. Wipe the surface dry, and you’re done. 

4. Apply Some Hydrogen Peroxide

Grout cleaning can be an off-putting task, especially for moderate stains that refuse to loosen out. This is where hydrogen peroxide comes in. You can use this household staple on its own or combine it with baking soda to form a powerful grout-cleaning paste. Plus, unlike vinegar solution, a baking soda paste works for both sealed and unsealed ones. 

Here’s how you can make and use this solution:

  • Combine one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts baking soda
  • Add a few drops of dish soap if the grout area is prone to grease (Read: the kitchen)
  • Apply the paste onto the grout lining
  • Let it stay there for 7-10 minutes
  • Scrub the area in circular motions and rinse off

When you use hydrogen peroxide to clean grout, the mixture adheres to the lines without slipping away, thanks to its consistency. Plus, the paste is great at tackling areas attacked by mold and mildew, making it the best way to clean grout attacked by these fungi. 

5. Add Lemons to the Mix

When faced with grimy grout lines and yellowing tiles, the solution might just be as easy as adding lemons to the mix. The highly acidic nature of lemon juice makes it the best way to clean grout affected by stubborn stains and discoloration. All you need to do is apply lemon juice to the stained sealant and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, wipe it away using a damp cloth. 

Bonus Punch: Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Need an extra cleaning punch? Mix lemons with other household staples like vinegar and baking soda. See, vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner with acidic properties, while lemon juice has a mid-bleaching nature. On top of it all, baking soda imparts an abrasive quality to the mix, scrubbing away even the most resilient of stains. This lemon-added mixture is the best way to clean grout anywhere, whether in the bathroom, kitchen, or any other tiled area. 

6. Use Oxygen Bleach 

Oxygen bleach is the easiest way to clean grout without scrubbing, thanks to its gentle nature and effectiveness. Unlike chlorine bleach, this compound does not carry a strong odor (good on your lungs, great on your grout). As a result, oxygen bleach is for people who want shining-clean grout lines without the harshness of traditional bleach. 

For the solution, mix 1 part water with 2 parts powdered oxygen bleach. You’ll see a toothpaste-like consistency. Apply this paste to the grout lines and let it stay for 15-20 minutes, followed by rinsing it with water. However, before jumping into the process, remember to have proper ventilation in the area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Wrap Up

A dirt-free grout keeps your tiles from discoloration and helps maintain a hygienic environment. So, how do you prevent your sealant from soap and spills? When it comes to the best way to clean grout, there’s no definite answer. Lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda are all tried-and-tested ways to minimize fungi growth and loosen dust buildup. 

However, if scrubbing your grout yourself is a bit too much, or if stubborn stains are taking away from the beauty of your tiles, it’s time for professional help. Mill City Cleaning has been a trusted name in residential and construction cleaning services for over 20 years. With trained team members and a high attention to detail, this Minneapolis cleaning service is here to take the burden off your shoulders. 

By Published On: January 18th, 2024Categories: Uncategorized0 Comments