Brilliant colors that last for decades, good-looking and durable -these are the benefits of ceramic tile. That only catch is the grout joints, which unfortunately, aren’t as durable, and get moldy or stained and are hard to clean. For cleaning ceramic tile grout, specialized grout cleaning products are on hand at tile and hardware stores. You can even opt for one of the new steam pressure cleaning services to come to your home and do this job for you.
On the other hand, why pay high prices for special services or cleaners when common household products serve just as well, if not better, and positively for less cost? For colored grout, a homemade paste of baking soda, water and white vinegar works marvels.
Spread the paste onto your grout, then pour a little vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz it onto the baking soda mix. Cleaning ceramic tile grout with this mixture does take a little scrubbing, however, baking soda is a mild abrasive in its own right so a little elbow grease goes a long way.
Light Colored Grout
On white or lighter color grout, liquid bleach is the best option. Bleach is effective against mildews and molds and is low-cost. Tip– when using bleach for cleaning ceramic tile grout, open all windows and doors in the room you’re working in. If you feel light-headed or nauseated, take a break outside. Don’t forget to wear old, throwaway clothes and some rubber gloves.
One way to use bleach is to dip paper towels or old cloth towels into a sinkful of bleach, or a mixture of one part bleach to one part water. Wring out the towels then lay them along surfaces where the grout meets a flat surface, like sink edges, tub edges, and tops of showers. Allow the towels to set in place 30 – 60 minutes. Remove and rinse grout with water. Voila!
Another way of using bleach to clean ceramic tile grout is to add bleach to some soapy water and apply to tile grout with a scrub brush, or discarded toothbrush. Dip the brush in the mixture and scrub, or you can pour the mix into a squirt bottle and spray on the grout, let it sit and scrub off after 10 minutes.
You may also substitute hydrogen peroxide for bleach. Although it is a little more expensive, it is safer to use and won’t smell up the house as bad, if at all. If you have any allergies or chemical sensitivities, then hydrogen peroxide is certainly the way to go for cleaning ceramic tile grout.
After you have cleaned your tile grout, give yourself a break and buy some good grout sealer at a hardware or tile store. It will keep your grout from mildewing and staining, and keep yourself from having to do more grout cleaning in the future.