Grout in between tiles is porous; it absorbs moisture, making it a magnet for mold, mildew and stains. And before you know it, your grout could already be discolored, stained, or full of molds and mildew which can be difficult to clean. However, with regular cleaning and maintenance of your grout, the task could be much easier. So much more if you know the proper techniques and have the right tools for the job. Making your grout clean and free of molds and mildew will then be a regular cleaning task and not as impossible or difficult as it should be.
Compared to sealed grout, unsealed grouts are more prone to staining, discoloration, molds and mildew. To avoid this problem, right from the start, you should already consider having your grout sealed. This way cleaning will be a much easier task. However, even if your grout is not sealed and you want to clean them and restore to its original condition, you can still find some hope by using simple tips, proper techniques and the right tools and cleaning solution.
Grout Cleaning Tips
1. The first step in cleaning your grout is to prepare a homemade cleaning solution (you could also use commercial solutions but be more cautious about the toxic chemicals they may contain). Simply combine the following:
- ½ cup vinegar + 1 cup baking soda, or
- 1 cup baking soda + lemon extract (just enough to make a paste)
2. If using a commercial grout cleaner, be sure to try it in inconspicuous area to see if it will have a bad effect on your tile.
3. When cleaning your grout, be sure that the area is clear with no rag or carpets around. Also cover the surrounding tiles with cloth or plastic as a precaution.
4. Apply the cleaning solution you prepared beforehand to the dirty area and scrub it with a brush (an old toothbrush will do).
5. After cleaning your grout, be sure to apply a fresh coat of grout sealer so that cleaning will be easier next time.
Stains, Molds and Mildew Removal Tips
1. As soon as you spot a stain, mold or mildew on your grout, don’t wait too long before you clean them. The sooner you can clean it, the easier it will be to remove.
2. The following are some of the effective homemade solutions for removing stains, molds and mildew:
- Pure white vinegar or rubbing alcohol applied directly onto the stained area and let sit for several minutes
- Baking soda and peroxide paste (use small amount of peroxide just enough to get the right consistency
- A cup of baking soda plus half a cup dish liquid detergent (leave overnight and rinse in the morning)
Grout Maintenance Tips
1. Make a regular test of your grout sealer to know if it is still effective and working. A simple test can be done by putting a few drops of water over the grout. If the water is absorbed, it’s a sign that you need a fresh coat of sealer.
2. Clean the grout regularly especially those that are prone to molds and mildew like in the bathroom. This way, you can avoid stains, mold and mildew from building up.
3. If your grout is already extremely dirty or it covers a very large area to clean, consider hiring a professional company to do the job for you.
By observing the abovementioned tips, you will now be able to easily keep your grout clean and free of stains, molds and mildew.