After having laid the tiles, you will be pleased with white grout for some time. However, after a while, they get dirty and spoil the beautiful view of your bathroom or floors. Moreover, if you neglect caring for them for a long time they will be dirtier and dirtier. This happens because of the impact of a damp environment, shampoos and lime deposits. If you want to stop it, you will be glad to learn the rules for cleaning tile grouts. Remember that you will need to work hard to remove the dirt.
How to Clean Tile Grout
Cleaning with chemicals
First, you can try to remove dirt with a usual rigid brush and a little detergent (with active substance). Wet a small area, and then apply some powder on the grout. Do not forget to put on protective gloves using chemicals.
Do not rush to wash the powder off, and wait for about 10 minutes. Then by a little force, clean the joints with a brush. After that, wash it off, and then again clean with a brush to completely remove the powder. If necessary, apply the powder again until you get the desired result.
Pay attention! This method is the mildest and helps to clean the grout between the tiles only if the dirt is not much eaten.
If this method did not cope with dirt, then you can turn to more drastic measures.
Homemade grout cleaners
You can make perfect DIY detergents to clean tile grouts both in the bathroom and on the floors.
1. Mix 6 cups of water, 1/3 cup of both vinegar and lemon juice, and ½ cup of baking soda in an iron pot.
ATTENTION! When using this cleaner, be very careful! Before you apply the homemade detergent, you should open a window for ventilation.
Put on gloves and wash the joints between the tiles with the solution. Take a sponge or a used toothbrush. Just rub the solution into the dirty grout, leave thus for ten minutes, and then wipe the grout with a cloth soaked in clean water. You’d better repeat the procedure twice. Lemon juice, vinegar and soda eat into the dirt and clean it very well, even the strongest stains.
When mixing soda and vinegar or baking soda and lemon juice, they are foamed. So, be very careful when pouring the vinegar and citric acid.
2. This method involves hydrogen peroxide. It is a non-toxic compound, but when working with it, be careful, use a weak solution (3 %, is sold in any drugstore), do not forget gloves and ventilate the room.
You will need:
- baking soda,
- hydrogen peroxide solution,
- an old toothbrush,
- sponge or cloth,
Apply soda slightly dampened with water on the joints between the tiles. Then gently sprinkle or moisten it with a solution of hydrogen peroxide. You can use a toothbrush for application. Leave it for a few minutes, and then vigorously rub the joints with a toothbrush. Then rinse the cleaned areas using plenty of water, and wipe them with a cloth. It will take time and effort, however, the result will definitely please you.
Another way to clean the joints quickly and without the use of chemicals is to take a piece of sandpaper and carefully rub the joints so as not to scratch the tile. It is relatively fast and not troublesome way. Do not forget to wash the whole tile after the cleaning.
If Cleaning Does Not Help
If conventional methods for removing dirt from joints do not work, or after a certain time they fade again, then fungus may be the reason. You can distinguish it by a characteristic dark spots on small areas.
You can paint the spots with a special waterproof felt-tip pen. Just seal the trouble spots. Another way to cope with the dirt and fungus are the means to upgrade the joints, which are sold in stores. However, if there are more serious fungal deposits and the tile joints crumble when cleaning, then you should use more serious means, for example, grinder or sander.
ATTENTION! Before starting the work, remove all furniture or cover everything because there will be a lot of dust.
Carefully, so as not to spoil the tile, cut a layer of grout. Then, after wiping with a wet cloth, again use sander to make deeper channels. The remaining fragments can be removed with a large piece of sandpaper. Then you should treat the joints with a solvent, primer and apply new grout.
The main difficulty is to remove the old grout from the joints without loss. If you try to scrape or hit it with rough tools, then tiles’ edges will be damaged.
That’s why, to remove the grout from the joints, it is better not to use harsh methods and use solvents, for cement mortars, for instance. The solution is applied onto the joints, and after completion of the reaction the grout becomes soft. Only then, it can be safely removed. By the way, if there is too much grout in the joints, a single application of the solvent is not enough. In this case, remove as much grout as possible, and then repeat the procedure. Sometimes it is necessary to dissolve grout several times what takes a long time. However, it is a safe method that ensures that the tile itself remains intact.
Tile Grout Protection
If you want the grout to stay clean longer then you should care of its protection. After the joints completely dry, you should carefully cure them using protective liquid and a brush. Do not let the liquid get onto the tile, so it is better to wipe the drops that can get to it, with a clean cloth.
Not to use chemicals and save tile joints in their original state, you should periodically wash them. Once a month, wipe them with a stiff brush and warm water. Then you do not need to resort to drastic measures, and grout will remain snow-white for a long time.
Author: Anna Wallace