Ceramic and other tiles can create a beautiful appearance in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other areas of the home or office. However, when dirty, the grout between the tiles can create a very unsightly show. The recessed grout is often hard to reach with everyday sweeping and mopping. However, it makes a perfect trap for mud, dirt, and mildew. Lighter colored grout often becomes dingy and darkened over time. The coloration of the grout in the room may vary in higher and lesser traffic areas. The negative affect that dirty grout gives a room often leaves one looking for grout cleaning tactics.
Basic Household Products for Cleaning Grout
Some basic items in the home can be used to clean grout. An equal part of vinegar and water can be an effective cleaner. Spray the mixture on the grout and use a stiff brush to clean. Try this exact same method substituting hydrogen peroxide for vinegar if the smell does not appeal to you.
Baking soda is also often a good cleaning product to use. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Dab the paste onto the grout. Once again, use a stiff brush for deep cleaning. In both cases, it I best to brush in circles rather than back and forth motions. Rinse the floor when cleaning is complete.
Home Cleaning Products
Basic home cleaning products are also a possibility. Use your everyday floor cleaning product in the same manner as described for vinegar. Simply mopping over the floor is not as effective at removing grime from the grout. Mildew stain removers and lime away products are also often good choices. A steam cleaner is often good for loosing the dirt and debris particles before cleaning.
Commercial Grout Cleaning Products
Many home improvement stores sell cleansers designed specifically for tile and grout. These are an option if home products have not worked. Look for a cleaner that is pH balanced. Apply the product and allow it to sit for several minutes.
Herbal Grout Cleaning
Those more in touch with earthy products look toward herbal alternatives. Some believe that using 2 tablespoons of tea oil in two cups of water will kill any mold or mildew on the grout. This is especially important in bathroom grout, which is stained from mold. This likely works because tea oil is an anti-fungal oil
Cleaning with Bleach
Using chlorine bleach can discolor colored grout. It also gives off a fume that irritates many. In some cases, the strong bleach is harmful to the grout. An alterative to this type of cleaning is oxygen bleach. Use oxygen bleach and water mixture to sit for about ten minutes on the grout. Scrub and rinse the tile and grout.
The condition of your grout makes all of the difference in the beauty of your tile and room. Once your grout is clean and free of stains, help keep it that way by applying a grout sealer. When the grout becomes dirty again, repeat the cleaning process. The sealer may need reapplying every one to three years.
Autor: Nathan Richardson
Added: January 30, 2010