If your grout is grossing you out, this deep-cleaning method will help it look new again!
Tile - whether it's used as flooring, in the kitchen as a backsplash or for counters, or in the bathroom - has one great downfall: grout. Since grout is porous in nature, unsealed grout absorbs all kinds of stains, from mildew to coffee and everything in between. To say it's a headache to keep grout clean is an understatement.
NOTE: Be wary of using too much lemon juice with marble, since it can etch or damage the stone if left on too long. Hydrogen peroxide can be a safe alternative.
We inherited marble tile counters when we purchased our home. It's pretty clear that the grout was never properly sealed, so it soaks up stains like crazy. It makes our kitchen feel gross and grimy, even if it was just cleaned. While I'd love to replace the counters with a solid surface like quartz, it's just not in out budget - plus, we just can't justify getting rid of something that's perfectly fine otherwise.
Luckily, I have a foolproof method that will lift most household stains from that pesky grout.
What you'll need:
- Oxygenated bleach (like OxyClean)
- Warm water
- Coarse scrubbing brush (like an old toothbrush)
- Grout sealer
TIP: Cleaning colored grout should be done with special care. Bleaching agents (like chlorine bleach) can discolor and harm the colored grout. Fortunately, oxygenated bleach does not contain corrosive chemicals and is safe to use on all grout.
1). Clean the surface thoroughly, removing any surface residue or debris. Let the grout dry fully.
2). Dissolve 2 tablespoons of oxygenated bleach in 2 cups of warm water. Wet the brush in the mixture and apply it to the grout. Let is soak in, then scrub the grout in a circular motion, which will loosen the stain more effectively than a front-and-back motion. If needed, dip the wet brush into the oxygenated bleach to make a paste. Wipe clean, then let dry.
TIP: To lift extra dark stains, squeeze lemon juice onto the stain, let it soak in, then scrub, wipe clean and let the grout dry. Use lemon juice sparingly, since it can damage some tile finishes.
3). Spray the tiles and grout with an ecofriendly cleaning spray and wipe them clean. Let the grout dry fully before making a final decision on whether your hard work paid off - damp grout looks darker than dry grout.
4). Apply grout sealer after the grout has fully dried to avoid any future stains. Be sure to reapply it each year.
Still having trouble getting that grout clean? For those impossible-to-remove stains, you might want to consider:
- A commerical tile and grout cleaner
- A coarser brush (avoid using metal bristles, though, as they can erode the grout)
- Grout Renew
If after you've tried all three, the stain is still hanging strong, you may have to resort to removing the old grout and replacing it with new.
TIP: An electric multitool, like the Dremel Mult-Max, helps to make quick and safe work of removing the old grout.