Tired of looking at that grungy, moldy, unappealing grout between those still-attractive tiles in your bathroom or kitchen counter areas? Well, short of digging it all out, some people think there’s not much one can do. But, wait! There is! There is! So before you haul out the tools and chemical grout removers, take a look at some of the following suggestions on how to make grout look like new (or nearly new, anyway!).
Try the Easy Way First
If your aim is to figure out how to make grout look like new, it’s only logical, and cost effective too, to start with simple cleaning solutions first. Most of the time, tile grout looks really bad from the spread of mold and mildew that’s caught hold and grown to perfectly pugnacious proportions. One of the easiest ways to get rid of unsightly mold and mildew is so easy, you’ll wonder why you’ve never thought of it before.
Simply fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of water and liquid bleach. Spray the grout and wait. That’s it! Leave it alone for a little while, around 15 or 20 minutes, and come back. You may be amazed to find all the mold and mildew magically gone!
For tougher spots, you can attack with targeted blasts of bleach or use something like the Clorox bleach pen, which is convenient, quick, and so easy to use. It even comes with a scrubber tip for stubborn spots of mold that take a little elbow grease. Be sure and provide plenty of ventilation when using bleach in any form.
Pulling Out the Big Guns
For other types of dirt and stains, how to make grout look like new may call for somewhat tougher tactics. There are a plethora of heavy-duty cleansers specially made for grout available both on the Internet and at your favorite hardware and/or home improvement store. Beware, however, of the harsh chemicals that may be part of the makeup of some of these cleansers.
If you’re at all sensitive to such as these, you’ll certainly need to use heavy rubber, up-to-the-elbow gloves when you’re using them. As with bleach, you’ll also need to make sure the windows are open and even place a fan in the doorway to blow away any potentially toxic fumes.
If All Else Fails
The final, most drastic way of learning how to make grout look like new is, of course, the most difficult and really is not making old grout look like new, but actually adding a layer of new grout to the old. You’re essentially covering up the old, ugly grout with new, freshly applied grout.
First you’ll need a chemical grout softener (available online, at home improvement centers and hardware stores) to brush on to the old grout.
After letting it set for a while, scrape off the top layer of grout with a scraper or large screwdriver to about half the grout’s depth. Apply the new grout, let dry overnight, and then seal to make further maintenance much easier in the future.