how to clean tile grout

How To Clean Tile Grout & Keep it Clean

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Cleaning Tile Grout

Cleaning tile grout is a tough job. It can be hard to clean and to keep grout clean. With these simple tips, you’ll learn how to clean tile grout (and keep it clean!). 

We know that this isn’t anyone’s favorite chore. So we’re going to share how you can easily clean things yourself, or you can also hire a professional to deep clean your house to take care of it for you. 

Why is My Tile Grout So Dirty?

Daily shower use can cause build-up on the tile grout. Lots of different things like dirty water, residue from shampoos and soaps, and a moist environment can contribute to the increasing gunk and stubborn stains. If you’re noticing mold around your bathroom, it may need a good deep clean. Soap scum can build up over time, making it look dirty, so you’ll need to continue to clean the grout periodically.

Mold and mildew in bathrooms is a very common occurrence, especially around bathtubs, sinks, and shower walls. Because mold likes to grow in damp, warm places that have low light, bathrooms are the perfect place for it to grow. Mildew and mold can cause health issues, so you want to get rid of them. 

What Do I Need to Clean My Tile Grout?

The best way to clean grout varies for each home. If you have new tile floor, they might respond better with a lighter cleaner. Grout that’s been in your bathroom for a while may take a little more elbow grease and a stronger cleaner to get it clean.

You’ll need a few things before you start cleaning grimy grout: 

  • Cleaning products (ammonia, chlorine bleach, vinegar, baking soda, 3% hydrogen peroxide, or borax all work well)
  • Spray bottle (clean and empty)
  • Sponges, scrub brushes, or toothbrushes
  • Rags or towels
  • Rubber gloves

Because tile and grout cleaning is very detailed work, using rubber gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals while scrubbing can keep your hands safe.

Choosing the right cleaning products for the job is a personal choice. Some people prefer to use a DIY grout cleaner, like a baking soda paste or mixture in a spray bottle. Others prefer just purchasing a commercial tile and grout cleaner from a local store or ordering it from Amazon. 

How to Use Natural Products to Clean Your Caulk

Some more natural cleaning products can be used as they are. Others require you to dilute them or make a paste before using them, depending on their ingredients. Be sure to follow these recommendations to keep yourself safe. Never mix chemicals or cleaning products. 

Here are some things you can use to clean your tile and grout:

  • Ammonia or Chlorine Bleach. Mix the ammonia or bleach with a one-to-one mixture (one-part ammonia or bleach, and one part water) before spraying it in your shower area. Do not use chlorine bleach for colored grout because it will bleach the color out. 
  • Vinegar or 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Use these products without diluting them when cleaning grout lines by spraying them directly on the area.
  • Baking Soda. To use baking soda, make a paste of baking soda and warm water before putting it directly on the grout lines.
  • Borax. Make a mix of one part borax to ten parts water to spray it.

Where Do I Start?

Upstairs Downstairs suggests cleaning smaller spaces first, like enclosed showers or bathtubs, before moving onto larger areas like tile floors in bathrooms.

Prepare your bathroom by clearing the tiled space in which you will be working. Take out the things that sit in your shower, tub, floor, or sink. Starting with an empty space will allow you to focus on cleaning without having to move around unnecessary items.

How Do I Clean My Tile Grout?

patching tile grout

After you have the bathroom cleaned out, it’s time to start the tile and grout cleaning. Bathrooms are usually small spaces that don’t have great airflow. Before cleaning, you will want to turn on exhaust fans and open windows to circulate airflow. This will help disperse the fumes from cleaners used to clean dirty grout.

Use your sponge, scrub or grout brush, or an old toothbrush to help remove stuck-on grime. Wipe the area clean with a rag to be sure there’s no damage to the surface you’re cleaning. You may need to repeat cleaning and scrubbing several times.

For the remaining portion of the shower, clean the tile and doors in the shower by using a squeegee after every shower use. Wipe down dirty surfaces to help keep mildew from coming back as quickly.

As you’re cleaning, take frequent breaks to get some fresh air. Fumes from the cleaning products can be strong, especially in smaller areas like bathrooms. You’ll also want to make sure kids and pets avoid the area as well. 

After you’ve got things cleaned up, stay on top of your bathroom with housekeeping service

How Do I Clean My Floor Tile Grout?

These steps above are also how you clean floor tile grout. Use your cleaning products and a stiff brush to clean the grout in the floor tiles once you’ve finished the sink, tub, and shower areas. 

If the floor needs to be swept before cleaning the grout, vacuum the excess dirt and debris with a tile-safe vacuum on a low setting. Vacuuming gets more dirt from the tiles to make cleaning more effective.

You can start by focusing on the grout. Use your preferred grout cleaner on the stains and problem areas. Once the floor tile grout is clean, you can scrub and clean the floor tiles. Work by starting furthest away from the bathroom door so you’ll be moving closer to the door as you’re cleaning the floor. 

Related: How to Clean Your Floor Tile Grout Without Scrubbing

Be sure to take breaks as you’re cleaning and work in a well-ventilated area. The fumes can become strong and kneeling on hard, tiled floors can hurt your back and knees. 

Upstairs Downstairs is a housekeeping company that offers a variety of different services to our customers in northwest Chicago: 

We can get you a quote online now or call us at (630) 394 – 5543 to talk with us about your needs.

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