There are quite a few home-remedies we run across over the years for removing grout stains. It's also a good idea that anytime you clean your grout lines with any remedy, home or store-bought, you should reseal the grout with a sealer. |
In some instances, the grout may even be permanently stained to the point where even the best cleaning is not effective. Although replacing your floor may seem like the only option, there is an alternative, less costly solution.
General Grout Cleaning Tips:
First clean the grout with water to remove loose surface debris and allow to dry Don't use bleach on colored grout, bleach will discolor the grout. Don't clean granite or natural stone with household cleaners. When cleaning with acids such as vinegar, be aware that grout often contains cement which is alkaline. There are also plenty of natural stone tiles that have alkaline properties such as marble and travertine. Cleaning with acids can and will etch away the surface.If you're determined to clean with acids, always test an out-of-the-way spot, rinse thoroughly, and use baking soda to neutralize the acid. Use a stiff nylon brush for cleaning, metal bristles will scratch the grout and the tile and make your efforts look dreadful. Toothbrushes are OK but the bristles are generally too soft. Use protective gloves, and safety glasses with working with any chemical-based grout cleaner. Even if you don't think you need it, your spouse will generally find you more attractive when you're in uniform. Test on a small area not easily visible to traffic. Don' skip this test because it takes extra time, you might just find that your old grout doesn't like chemical cleaners (especially true on old and damaged grout). Also take note that while cleaning your grout you're bound to get the cleaning solution on the tile as well. Slate, marble travertine and limestone are generally sensitive to acids. Don't mix cleaners together. Bleach and Ammonia create the same type of Chlorine Gas that was used as a chemical weapon in WW2! If you mix Bleach and Hydrogen Peroxide, you end up with saltwater with oxygen bubbles (saltwater soda anyone?) which isn't a very effective cleaner if you ask me. When you're done cleaning, keep it cleaner, longer, by applying a couple coats of grout sealer. Grout sealer will break down after repeated cleanings, and using high pH or low pH cleaners such as bleach (alkaline) or vinegar (acid) will only hasten this process. So at the very least, a fresh coat of grout sealer should be applied every year. Uneven grout color is not normal, but there can be a number of things that can cause blotchy grout. Also, how uneven the color appears can be somewhat subjective. Certain color grouts are not as easy to control. The easiest colors to work with are the medium grays and beiges as opposed to bright colors, whites, blacks, etc. Since most grout is cement based, it tends to turn gray with time and grout cleaning. Grout sealers are now recommended to reduce this effect.
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