Typically, tile installers and do it yourself type homeowners apply grout between the tiles to protect the substrate from water damage and to provide nice, uniform lines between each tile. Over time and because of use, the grout holds dirt, soap scum and grease turning the nice clean lines into anything but. Cleaning ceramic tile grout can be a painstaking process, trying to follow each grout line around each tile. Stains on ceramic tile grout make grout look dingy, dirty and disgusting especially on white or light color grout. Mold and mildew can also be a problem on grout in bathrooms, kitchens, laaundry rooms and other areas that are damp or constantly moist. There are a few different ways to clean the grout, green cleaning is preferred because many chemical cleaners are very harsh and will damage grout and the finish on the surrounding ceramic tiles. There really is no need to subject yourself, your family or your grout to these harsh chemicals and the fumes they emit. Green cleaning is just as effective and better for surfaces.
Regular Grout Cleaning
White vinegar is a great all purpose grout cleaner, it disinfects, deodorizes and is completely safe to use on ceramic tile grout and ceramic tiles.
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
Spray the grout and tiles or if you prefer, dip a sponge, nylon scrubber, soft bristle brush or soft rag into the white vinegar.
Scrub the grout lines to remove buildup soap scum and grime.
Rinse the grout and surrounding tile thoroughy with water. Never leave the white vinegar or residue on the surface of the tile because the acid in the vinegar can etch the tile, making it look dull.
Removing Grout Stains
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of 20 Mule Team Borax to a small bowl.
Slowly add lemon juice to the Borax while stirring continuously until you form a paste that has the consistency of toothpaste.
Dip a rag into the paste and apply the paste to the grout.
Allow the paste to to dry and scrub with a soft scrub brush or nylon scrubber untl you remove the paste and stains.
Rinse the grout with plain water thoroughly.
Dry the grout and surrounding tile with a microfiber rag.
Cleaning Grout with White Toothpaste
Squeeze white toothpaste onto an old toothbrush.
Scrub the stained grout with the toothpaste until the stains disappear.
Do not use gel type toothpaste because it is not abrasive enough.
Cleaning with Baking Soda
Pour baking soda onto a small plastic plate or shallow bowl.
Wet an old tooth brush or a soft bristle scrub brush and dip it into the baking soda.
Scrub stains away.
Thoroughly rinse the area.
Dry with a soft rag or microfiber cloth.
Removing Mold and Mildew on Grout
Spray the mold and mildew with white vinegar.
Allow the vinegar to remain on the molded or mildewed grout for five to 10 minutes.
Scrub the mold and mildew stains with nylon scrubber or soft scrub brush.
Rinse the vinegar off teh surface thoroughly.
Dry the grout and tile with a rag.
Removing Mold and Mildew with Hydrogen Peroxide
Pour hydrogen peroxide into a small cup or bowl.
Dip an old tootbrush into the peroxide.
Scrub the stained grout lines until the mold and mildew disappear.
Rinse the area thoroughly and dry it completely.
Steaming Away Mold and Mildew
If you own a steamer, steam away mold and mildew. The heat from the steamer will kill it, but may leave behind a light stain. If any stains are left, scrub them away with one of the above remedies.
It is always best to seal grout which helps to keep it from staining.
If you are palnning to seal your white grout, but can't seem to get rid of a particular stain -- paint a coat of white out over the stain. Let the white out dry completely and tehn seal the grout.