Grout Cleaner, step by step guide to Clean Grout.
Cleaning grout is not on anyone's must do list. But it has to be done from time to time. It's not very hard perform the task of cleaning grout, you just may not be happy with the results if the grout doesn't come clean. The type of cleaner you use will play an important role in when cleaning grout. You will need several items to start the process, a bucket with warm water, a mild cleaner to start, a sponge, a soft bristle brush, some protective gloves and goggles, and clean water for rinsing. The basics are to fill your bucket with warm water and add a couple squirts of dishwasher liquid. The soap will act as a degreaser to get you started. Dip the sponge into the bucket of warm, soapy water and wipe down all of the grout lines, some scrubbing may be needed. Then rinse with the clean water. If this didn't do the trick, then the next step is to use a grout brush, or some type of soft bristle brush, and dip the brush in the water and then use it to start scrubbing on the grout lines. This should be good enough for most jobs. If your grout is still dirty, then you will have to use a more aggressive chemical for cleaning.
Which grout cleaner should I use?
There are a variety of cleaners and chemicals that you can use, some claim that one or more of these below are considered the Best Grout Cleaner. I'm going to put these in a list form, from the mildest down to the harshest. Most of these are used with water and then applied to the grout, and either left for some time or scrubbed in. Make sure to read all cautions and warnings with each product you use, and wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glass when scrubbing, because small droplets of cleaner could splash into your eyes.
- Baking Soda made into a paste
- White Vinegar and Water
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Oxygen Bleach
- Oxalic Acid - Bar Keepers Friend and Water made into a paste
- Muriatic Acid - professional use only, needs ventilation
How Do I Keep my Grout Clean?
The best way to keep grout clean after you've spent all of that time cleaning it is to allow it to dry for a couple of days and apply a grout sealer on the grout. Apply the sealer according to the manufacturers instructions, and it is best to start with small sections at a time and make sure that you work from left to right. This will ensure coverage of your grout lines and will enable you to more effectively seal the grout. Have a dry lint-free terry cloth towel handy in case you over apply or spill the product. If you don’t remove these spills off of the tile within 5-10 minutes, then you may end up with a hazy film that you won’t be able to remove from the surface of the tile without reapplying and dissolved the dried sealer. Once you have completed with the first coat, then you are going to want to give it time to dry, about 30-60 minutes for the sealer to dry enough that a second coat can be applied. For maximum effectiveness, most grout sealer manufacturers recommend that you use two to three coats of sealer for adequate protection. Allow your tile to dry for anywhere from 24-48-hours, this drying period is necessary to make sure that the product can cure to full protection. Once the recommended time period has elapsed, you can then enjoy your newly clean and sealed tile.