Tile floors, showers, and back-splashes give your home a warm, natural appearance. In general, tiles are fairly easy to keep clean and maintain, however, the grout in between can be a challenge.
The grout seems to be a magnet for dirt, grime, and mildew, but with the right techniques and the right supplies, you can have grout that looks great for years.
Types of Cleaning Methods for Grout:
There are numerous methods you can use for cleaning grout. From gentle cleaning with water alone to intense cleaning methods using harsh chemicals, grout cleaning runs the full gamut of methods.
Many people love using home methods for cleaning grout. With supplies that you can find right in your home, you can do gentle cleaning to lift light stains and dirt. While they may not be the best for removing heavy amounts of grime, they can be effective for regular maintenance. Starting with water and a brush, home cleaning methods also include baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, and bleach. These techniques can be effective, but some will leave residue or chunks that need to be cleaned afterwards.
Commercial grout cleaners are specifically designed to lift dirt, mildew, stains, and other contaminants from grout. They usually come in a spray bottle, making it convenient to coat the grout with the cleaning chemical. One of the biggest problems with grout cleaners is they have to be sprayed on and left to sit, sometimes for as long as a half-hour, in order to be effective. They can also be harmful to the environment when rinsed down a drain.
Steam cleaners are one of the best options for cleaning grout. A steam mop for tile floors can be used to blast the grout with steam, lifting dirt and grime quickly, and leaving your grout looking excellent, all in mere seconds. Because they use steam instead of chemicals, a steam mop is also environmentally friendly.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Grout:
There is a seemingly limitless amount of ideas for cleaning grout, but you need to be careful, because certain techniques can harm your grout and tile.
Never use bleach on colored grout, as it will remove the coloring and leave your grout looking ugly and discolored. You should also avoid cleaning grout around granite and natural stone with household cleaners, as these can discolor the tile and ruin the look of your flooring.
Finally, do not use brushes with metal bristles. This can scratch, scrape, and remove the grout. Use a soft brush and work your way up in stiffness, but never use a metal brush.
Cleaning Supplies that You Can Use on Grout:
There are many cleaning supplies that you should have for your grout. One of the most important items is a tough cleaning grout brush. Remember, no metal bristles, just a firm brush that will keep your tile looking clean and clear.
One of the most effective tools, especially for cleaning grout on floors, is a brush head that can be attached to a broom stick. This will give you the leverage and weight you need to really attack the stains and grime in your grout.
Finally, make sure you have a steam mop for your home. With the right steam mop for tile floors, you can lift dirt and grime quickly. You won’t have to use harmful chemicals, and you won’t have to wait for the steam to work. Check out our steam mop reviews to find the right one for cleaning the grout in your home.