Learning three simple steps on how to clean stained grout – is a tip every homeowner needs to know. As the grout in floors, kitchens and bathrooms ages, it eventually becomes stained or discolored. While stained grout isn’t something that will do any damage to your home, it is unsightly and prevents tiled areas from looking their best. Fortunately, there are many DIY methods on how to clean grout that has become discolored over the years.
How Does Grout Get Stained?
These are the three common causes grout stains occur:
- Floor grout stains are the result of dirt getting pushed into the porous grout or settling between tiles and staining the grout. People, as well as pets, stain grout as they track mud or dirt onto the floor tile.
- The kitchen tile backsplash grout will stain as a result of food or beverage incidents.
- And finally, Bathroom floor and wall tile grout occur as a result of hard water – containing calcium or iron deposits – hair dyes, and harsh soap.
How to Clean Stained Grout – Home Remedies
Here are the three steps on how to clean stained grout yourself – and get your floors, kitchen, and bathroom tile looking their best:
Step 1: Scrub Grout With Plain Water
Before you start applying chemical or even homemade cleaners, the first thing you should try on your grout is warm water. Take a cup of warm water and a stiff cleaning brush to the grout. Be sure to scrub vigorously as the brush and water may be able to dislodge minor stains that have been left on the grout surface.
This method may not work for deep staining, but it is simple, low-cost, and worth trying before you move on to more aggressive approaches.
Step 2: Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
When mixed, vinegar and baking soda have a surprising ability to clean hard surfaces. To use this mixture on grout stains you should follow this recipe:
- Mix equal parts of baking soda and water together to form a “paste”.
- Using a specially designed “grout brush” or an old toothbrush, dip the brush into the baking soda and water paste you’ve created, and scrub the paste onto the stained grout.
- Mix equal parts of warm water and white vinegar solution into a spray bottle
- Spray the warm water and vinegar solution onto the baking soda paste you applied previously to grout. You will see a chemical reaction as the baking soda and vinegar begin to “fizz”.
- Wait five minutes for the chemicals to work, and naturally loosen stains on the grout.
- Scrub the grout again with some elbow grease to make sure grout stains are gone.
- Remove the baking soda and vinegar paste with clean water; using a clean cloth or paper towels.
- Follow with a clean bucket of water and mop to remove any additional residue.
Step 3: Apply Hydrogen Peroxide
For extra stubborn stains that could not be removed with baking soda and vinegar, you may need to take an additional step and use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean grout.
If you’ve ever accidentally spilled a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on your clothes, you’ll know that it is a powerful whitening agent. The same effect can be used to whiten stained grout.
Fill a small container with hydrogen peroxide, and using a clean brush, apply to grout, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a stiff brush. Peroxide is often the best solution for tackling tough stains without having to resort to harsher chemicals.
For even more cleaning power, you can make a cleaning paste from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Mix a small amount of peroxide into the baking soda, just enough to turn it into a paste. This mixture can be applied to the grout and allowed to sit – then scrubbed off as usual.
Other Methods For Cleaning Stained Grout
Chemical Grout Cleaners
For the absolute worst stains, you may have to resort to using a chemical grout cleaner. Be sure to buy a product meant especially for grout and tile to ensure that you don’t damage either material.
Grout cleaners are harsh chemicals. Always be sure to ventilate the space you’re working in properly and wear rubber gloves to prevent skin irritation.
As with the other cleaning agents listed above, grout and tile cleaner should be applied directly to the grout, allowed to sit for a minute or two, and then scrubbed and removed with water.
Grout cleaning solutions such as the best selling Grout-Eez at Amazon are the best approach for stains that remain after “home remedy” methods listed above have proven unsuccessful.
Grout Cleaning Tools
There are a few very useful grout cleaning tools on the market, that many have had success with. Tools such as the Drill Brush available at Amazon is a marvelous attachment you can use with any cordless drill. In addition, tools such as the drill brush can also be used to remove hard water deposits or stains from faucets, tubs, or sinks.
Tile Grout Renewer (Paint)
In some cases, you might try everything above and find that some of your stains are still too deep to be removed. When this happens, you can use a Grout renewal compound to cover up the old grout and make it look like new. Here is a quick video on how to use grout renewer on your tile:
Grout renewers are essentially like paint compounds applied directly to your old grout with a small brush to give it grout a new look, in the color of your choosing.
Grout renewers are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply, but you do have to be careful not to allow any to harden on the tile itself. Grout renewal can be purchased as a liquid product such as Polyblend Grout Renew or Grout Refresh.
Additionally, for very tight grout joints, you can also use a Grout Pen – which is also available in many colors.
While painting grout renewer across all the grout on your floor may seem like a massive project, it is much simpler than the alternative of removing and re-grouting the entire area.
Grout renewers will give you the effect of entirely new grout – without all the work, and at a fraction of the cost.
Cleaning Grout – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I Use Bleach on Grout?
First off – Never clean “colored grout” with Bleach. Only consider Chlorine Bleach with “White grout”. Chlorine bleach can be used on the grout to remove severe stains. However, being a harsh caustic chemical, it can cause damage to the grout itself if applied at full strength, or if it is allowed to sit too long.
Also, Chlorine bleach can react with other chemicals you may have used earlier in your efforts to clean your stained grout and produce noxious or dangerous fumes. For these reasons, bleach isn’t recommended for cleaning grout.
If you do use Chlorine bleach, wear hand and eye protection, apply with a brush at full-strength, have adequate air ventilation, use extreme caution, and remove all bleach residue with water as quickly as possible.
How Do You Keep Grout From Staining?
If you want to avoid difficult cleaning in the first place, the best thing to do is to keep your grout from staining. Making sure grout is sealed correctly is the first step to prevent staining.
You should also clean the grout regularly, using a mild approach like warm water or vinegar and baking soda. If you keep the grout clean on an ongoing basis, you won’t have to bring in the heavier chemicals to remove accumulated stains.
How Often Should You Reseal Grout?
As stated above, proper sealing is key to preventing grout from staining. Unfortunately, many homeowners go years or even decades without resealing their grout. Ideally, you should try to reseal wall grout once a year, and floor grout twice a year. Be sure grout has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, before sealing.
Having Toilet Repair Issues?
Is your toilet leaking or constantly running? Check out our simple DIY toilet repair article.
What Is the Best Homemade Tile Grout Cleaner?
Among the homemade cleaners, the most powerful option is hydrogen peroxide. White vinegar and baking soda paste as described earlier in this article are also great home remedies and a highly effective way to remove grout stains.
How Can I Maintain A “Safer” Tile Floor Surface?
Tile floors by their nature are hard surfaces, that when water or oil is left alone can result in a dangerous household surface. The Canadian Centre for Health and Safety offers some great “preventative” tips for potentially dangerous falls on hard surfaces.
Now that you know how to clean stained grout, you should have no trouble keeping your tiled floors and walls looking like new. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to grout cleaning.
If you clean your tile grout regularly and don’t let the stains accumulate over a long period of time, you’ll find it much easier to keep your tile grout looking great.
Thank you for visiting BestHomeGear.Com and don’t forget to leave your comment below, and let us know any other tips you learned cleaning grout in your home.
Additional References and Reading:
How To Clean Grout With Baking Soda – WikiHow.Com
How To Become A Tile Installer – BLS.Gov
How Much Does Tile, Grout, and Supplies Cost? – HomeDepot.Com
Ready To Repaint Your Old Kitchen Cabinets? – BestHomeGear.Com
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