The best way to clean tile grout is to keep it clean: at least once a year, scrub down the grout, dry it thoroughly and apply a commercial grout sealer to keep liquid out. |
Grout is the sealant that is placed in between floor tiles to prevent dirt and moisture from seeping in between and under the floor tiles.
With time, grout can get dirty, especially the grout used around kitchen and bathroom tiles which are exposed to food, soaps, and lots of water. It is relatively easy to clean tile grout, especially when it is regularly maintained.
If the grout begins to crack or crumble, it should be replaced. Damage to grout not only looks unsightly: it can reflect damage to the surface underneath the tiles, or can result in damage to the tiles.
As this is made from a different material than the tiles, it can get discolored, prone to mildew and can also absorb dirt and oils. With some elbow grease and regular cleaning you can have clean grout that can improve the look of your floor tiles. Here are some tips.
Sweep the floor to remove dust and dirt. Remove furniture and other objects in the kitchen that can impede your cleaning process. Wash the floor tiles and grout with water to loosen dirt and grime. Some stains can be removed by this simple process. For more stubborn grime and food stains mix an equal part of white vinegar and water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray over the area that needs cleaning. Use a stiff nylon scrubbing brush to clean the grout in circular motion. This will clean more area than by simply scrubbing up and down over the grout. Rinse the floor with water and dry with a sponge or cloth mop. For grout that has mildew, mix a paste of baking soda and water. Dip a stiff nylon brush on the paste and apply this directly on the grout. Scrub the affected area until the mildew spots are removed. Work in small sections of the floor so that it will be easy for you to clean, rinse and wipe the area dry. Open the windows when you are cleaning the floor tiles so that air can circulate and help in the drying process. If the grout is heavily stained you can a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, oxygen bleach and water and chlorine bleach and water. These chemicals should be used with open ventilation. Use rubber gloves when handling these products. Use these sparingly and only on very stubborn stains as this can cause the discoloration of your floor tiles. Always do a spot test in a corner where any discoloration will not be noticeable. Start with a one is to one ratio and increase the amount of water if you find that the solution is too strong. Inspect the grout. Some old grout may have become loose or cracked and the application of moisture will allow it to seep into the grout and under the tiles which can cause moisture buildup under the tiles and harbor the growth of mildew. Repair or replace cracked and broken grout by removing them. There are small pouches of pre-mixed tile grout that you can buy from a do-it-yourself shop to replace the grout. If you keep your tile grout clean by caring for it on a weekly basis, the annual stripping and re-sealing of the grout will require far less work. In addition, the clean tile grout will look nice and smell good.
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