One of the most frustrating areas of the home to keep clean would definitely be grout! In what feels like the blink of an eye, the thin porous strip between your tiles becomes a magnet for all sorts of dirt, germs, and mould. It almost doesn’t seem to matter how clean and sparkling the surrounding tiles are kept – the grout itself can quickly discolour and look unsightly if not cleaned correctly. Unfortunately, stained and discoloured grout can make your flooring look old and dirty, and your bathroom unsanitary.
So what is the right way to clean grout?
You may think that industrial-strength cleaning chemicals are the only way to avoid back-breaking work and get fast results. Wrong! As a rough and porous surface, grout needs to be cleaned in a different way from tiles. It’s also recommended to avoid using overly harsh chemicals such as bleach, as these can erode the grout over time, and cause all kinds of problems such as loose tiles and leakage.
If you’re looking for an easier way to clean grout, help is at hand. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to clean grout.
Firstly, what is grout?
Grout is a paste-like substance that is used between the spaces in tiles. It helps to level out the surface of the tiling, and keep the tiles in place. When a contrasting coloured grout is used it can make an attractive design for splashbacks, bathrooms and kitchens. Grout is generally made from a mix of cement and sand.
Is there a natural way to clean grout?
While there are plenty of store-bought products available, making an effective natural grout cleaner at home is easy. One of the best DIY grout cleaners uses only two ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. A natural alternative to bleach, hydrogen peroxide is a non-toxic ingredient that’s great for getting rid of germs and brightening surfaces. Baking soda is also non-toxic and it’s mildly abrasive. This helps to remove dirt without causing damage.
How to make simple DIY grout cleaner:
Simply mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a paste, and apply. Leave the mixture on the grout for 10-15 minutes to let it work its magic. Then, scrub gently with a toothbrush and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
How often should I clean grout?
This depends on the location of the tiles and grout, and of course how dirty they are. High-use, wet areas such as bathroom shower recesses and around sinks, should be thoroughly cleaned every time you do your regular house cleaning (ie around every 1-2 weeks) to avoid mould and mildew from forming. Dry areas such as tiled floors in living areas can be cleaned as infrequently as every 12 months. How often you clean your grout really depends on how often the area is used, and whether there is moisture present.
How to clean grout tips
Tip #1 – Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach. Instead, make your own non-toxic (and cheap) grout cleaner by combining hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a smooth paste. As bleach is a corrosive substance, it can destroy the grout and cause significant damage to flooring and the environment.
Tip #2 – Once applied, allow the grout cleaner around 10-15 minutes to work. For best results, apply the paste and come back later to start gently scrubbing.
Tip #3 – A small, firm brush (such as a cheap toothbrush or a used one) is ideal for cleaning grout. Given that grout is porous, this means that the surface is made up of many tiny holes that can trap dirt and liquids. Only a small, firm brush will work to lift the dirt out of this porous surface. Then, use a cloth or damp mop to clean up the residue.
Tip #4 – Always scrub the grout before mopping. Scrubbing will lift and break up the dirt, while a damp mop will remove any remaining grout cleaner and leave the floor sparkling and shiny.
Tip #5 – If you suddenly notice a new stain on some grout, clean it straight away. Regularly spot-cleaning stains as they occur is a fantastic way to reduce the time taken to clean the grout in the long run. Catching fresh stains when they happen prevents them from becoming embedded and impossible to remove later on.
Tip #6 – Prevention is better than cure! Another common-sense way to keep grout clean is by applying a grout sealant to clean, new grout. This will prevent dirt particles and moisture from becoming embedded in the grout in the first place!
Need help cleaning your grout? If you would like to bring your tiled areas back to brand new, contact Clean House Melbourne. Our skillfully trained house cleaners can tackle all kinds of stubborn stains around the home – including tiles and bathroom cleaning, carpet cleaning, and everything in between. Contact us now for an obligation-free quote!