Tile is undisputedly beautiful and durable, and not to mention easy to clean. But, on the other hand, the task of cleaning grout can be daunting. After all, grout is susceptible to stains owing to its typical light colouring and porous quality. Therefore, it is sooner or later expected that your tiles will suffer from grime and dirt in the mudroom, spills and stains in the kitchen, and mildew and mould in the bathroom. But fret not; here are some everyday household products for tile & grout cleaning.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda
A neutral cleanser, hydrogen peroxide is the mildest and safest way to clean grout without eating away at it. You can use it straight and pure. Mixing it with baking soda creates an oxygenated bleach paste, a chemical reaction that is perfect for cleaning surfaces. For extra grime and dirt, allow the paste to sit for about 15 minutes to brighten and whiten grout. Afterwards, start scrubbing in a circular motion using a stiff-bristled brush and warm water and let it dry.
2. Diluted Vinegar
Dilute one part warm water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on grout, letting the solution stand for at least five minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. This time-tested mix is a stronger alternative for mild stains and heavier dirt.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Mix a little water into the baking soda to create a paste to cover the grout lines. Spray a generous amount of half-and-half water & vinegar solution to the baking soda paste. Once foaming stops, start scrubbing with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly with water.
4. Oxygen Bleach
Tougher to remove stains and extra grimy grout may require stronger stuff. You can buy oxygen bleach in powder form. To avoid skin, lung, nose and eye irritation, make sure to read the label for correct application and instructions. When using bleach, it is advisable to keep the area well-ventilated. To avoid inhaling the suffocating fumes, wear protective gear, leave the bathroom door and windows open, and turn on the exhaust fan if there is one. If bleaching is to be done in the kitchen, make sure the doors and windows are also open, turn a fan on, and keep children, the elderly and pets away from the area. Leave the oxygen bleach solution to stand for around 15 minutes, and rinse thoroughly afterwards to keep dirt from resettling.
5. Commercial Products
They offer a quicker approach in mould and mildew removal and grout line whitening. You have two options: the spray-and-wipe and the spray-and-scour. The former forgoes the scrubbing and is thus time and energy-saving, although it most likely contains harsher solvents, acids or chlorine. The latter demands some scrubbing and is most effective on the grout with extra grime. Before choosing a product, read the active ingredients and follow precautions and instructions to the letter to prevent injury.
A little elbow grease and the right household product will do the trick of keeping grout clean. Always do the testing in a less conspicuous spot, such as behind the toilet or under a kitchen appliance. However, if you lack the time or the patience to do the dirty work, the decision to hire a tile & grout cleaning expert is yours to make. Especially if it concerns a food business or a property being staged for selling, resorting to a professional cleaning is a necessary investment.