Grout is a useful solution that helps keep your floor tiles in place and some protects against water damage. This cement-based mixture is used to fill in the gaps and spaces between ceramic, glass or stone tiles.
There are two different types of grout formulas, sanded and unsanded. Sanded grout is used in larger gaps since the unsanded formula will not stay in place as well in joints that are spaced apart more than 1/8”. Unsanded grout is often used in narrow joints or with delicate tiles such as those made of glass.
Is All Grout Waterproof?
It’s a common misconception that all types of grout solution are waterproof. But the truth is that most grout that you buy is not waterproof at all. It is actually very porous. Because of this, grout can absorb liquid easily, which causes those horrible stains.
Newer types of grout formulas are made with epoxy and are more resistant to stains. If you are installing tile in your bathroom or kitchen, be sure to look for a formula that contains epoxy. For even more stain-fighting power, apply a grout sealer after you install the tile. And to avoid stains from occurring, always wipe up spills quickly and clean the tile walls in your bathroom on a routine basis.
How to Clean Grout in Your Home Successfully
The key to having a beautiful tile floor or wall is cleaning the grout. Your tile should resist stains and dirt easily, but grout will easily attract dirt and spills, causing it to stain. Your tile may look brilliant but if you’re not cleaning grout regularly then your floor or walls will never look their best.
The first thing you will need to do is wipe down the grout using hot water. This will help to remove any dirt and grime on the surface. Once the entire area is wiped down, spray with a grout cleaner. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Spray the grout and allow it to set for five minutes. Once time is up, scrub the grout using a soft brush. You can purchase a small scrub brush or use a toothbrush. If you want more power while scrubbing, you may even try using an electric toothbrush. You should never use a metal brush because it will scratch the tile’s surface and could even remove parts of the grout. After scrubbing, rinse the area thoroughly using hot water.
How to Clean Stubborn Grout Stains
Sometimes grout will become so stained that a simple cleaning solution simply won’t cut it. For stubborn grout stains, you can create a homemade stain remover. Create a paste that is two parts baking soda and one part water. Apply the paste to the stain and allow it to sit overnight. The next day, scrub the area using a nylon brush, then rinse with hot water.
Another trick to try with stubborn stains is to use sandpaper to scrub the area. Fold the sandpaper in half and use the creased edge to work back and forth against the stain along the line. Go back and forth until the stain is gone and then rinse with hot water.
Easy DIY Tricks for Cleaning Grout
There are several DIY tricks for cleaning grout lines using household products. This one using vinegar and baking soda seems to be one of the most effective.
First, you sprinkle baking soda on the grout line. Use your finger or a toothbrush to make sure the entire line is covered. Wipe away any excess powder. Then use a spray bottle that contains vinegar to spray the grout. The chemical reaction will do all the work for you as it starts to bubble and foam up. Allow it to do the job itself for a few minutes before you start to work.
Using a grout brush or an old toothbrush, start to scrub the grout line. You may want to keep a glass of water handy to rinse off your brush as it will get muddy, just be sure to not add too much water to the floor. You want the solution to be gritty so that it will help with the scrubbing.
Wipe away the muddy residue and clean as usual. Use a mop or floor vacuum to remove any excess baking soda on the floor. Compare this DIY solution to your grout lines cleaned with a store-bought cleaner and you might be surprised at the difference between the two.
Once you have finished cleaning your tile and grout lines, allow everything to air dry for 24 hours. Then you can apply a silicone-based grout sealer which will help reduce the amount of stains, dirt, or grime buildup. It is important to reapply this sealant at least once every two years, or more often if needed. By following these helpful cleaning tips, you will improve the look of your tile flooring or walls and extend the life of the product.