Grout is usually such a small part of the construction industry that it is often forgotten until the time comes for it to be cleaned. Then it becomes a homeowner’s biggest headache. As opposed to the tiles it surrounds, it is generally quite tedious to clean because a regular tile cleaning doesn’t always reach the grouted areas. This means that stains remain for longer on grout, and are more difficult to clean because of the nature of grout and the prolonged contact. Cleaning grout doesn’t always have to be this difficult, and we have explained a few steps that will help you get rid of stains and discoloration on grout in the simplest way possible without needing to use store-bought products.
If you need help you can always contact a cleaning company to do it for you. There are many maid services around town. In my areas I would just do a search for House Cleaning Services in Vancouver, BC (Yes I’m from beautiful Vancouver, Canada) and I would have an abundance of cleaning companies that would be willing to do this for me. And cleaning companies these days are relatively cheap. Especially since there are so many companies competing with each other.
Grout is a paste that is used primarily to seal, join and fill various gaps between tiles, glass and other surfaces on floors, walls, countertops etc. Grout comes in many colors and textures, and depending on what purpose it fulfills, it generally is a semi-solid paste made from cement, water and fine sand before it solidifies into place.
Types of Grout
Before going on to clean grout, it is important to identify the type of grout used to know how much resistance it has to cleaning liquids, and how the stain or damage is going to affect the grouting. Some grout needs to be regularly maintained (usually specified on the manufacturer’s instructions), whereas some grout is hardier and needs to be checked upon less frequently. Let us look at the main types of grout available on the market:
- Epoxy grout: it is the most resilient and durable type of grout, and is also by far the most expensive as well. This type of grout is made from cement, filter substances and epoxy resins. This means that this chemically cured grout doesn’t need a sealer because of the material mixed into it, and it is also more waterproof. It can handle stronger cleaning products as well. If you don’t fancy regular cleaning, but still would like your tiled surface to look great, epoxy grout is the best choice for you.
- Sanded grout: the sanded variety has grains of sand in the cement mixture to give it strength. The size of grains used depends on the desired finish and required strength of the grout. This grout helps support heavier tiles and building materials (like glass and stone) and is the preferred choice for larger gaps between surfaces. This grout requires a sealant. Because if it’s course texture, it is often more difficult to clean and traps a lot more dirt on its surface than other varieties of grout.
- Non- Sanded grout: this grout is easier to work with and easy to apply into place, but is also the least durable, and is sometimes prone to cracking and staining and requires more maintenance than other varieties. It too requires a sealant that needs to be checked regularly. It, however, is easier to clean than the sanded variety because of its smoothness.
Simple Steps to Cleaning Grout
How to properly clean grout? Firstly, it is very important to gather the necessary equipment before cleaning grout. Make sure you have a brush to clean your grout with and remove any dirt. There are ready-made grout cleaning brushes available in stores, but if not, a toothbrush should suffice. Make sure you have warm water to flush out the cleaning liquid, and a mop or a vacuum to dry the area after cleaning. Have a spray bottle that contains the desired cleaning liquid.
- When it comes to cleaning liquids, it is better to go for milder mixtures first because harsher liquids can damage the grout and the surrounding tiling or stonework. A few recommended mixtures are as follows:
- The mildest solutions are achieved by mixing baking soda, or salt with water and sprayed on the grouted area.
- If the previous mixture wasn’t enough to remove dirt, heavily dilute the vinegar with water and spray on the baking soda solution. This will cause a chemical reaction that will aid the cleaning process.
- For the stains that are deeper and tougher to remove, use a hydrogen peroxide and water mixture. This works particularly well against bio growth stains like lichen, mildew, and mold.
- Make sure you protect and cover any surrounding areas that may be harmed by your cleaning chemicals.
- Brush and sweep the area before cleaning.
- Spray cleaning solution (handle with care and use gloves when spraying).
- Scrub well, but be mindful not to damage the underlying grout.
- After leaving the cleaning solution on the grout for a few minutes, rinse away with warm water.
- Thoroughly dry the area and check to see if the grout needs resealing.