The Perfect Tile and Grout Love Story
Though hard as a rock, grout, the mortar-like substance that frames your tiles, requires a little maintenance from time to time. In spite of its hardness, it is porous and is susceptible to stains. These joints also collect dirt and debris. Most often, cleaning the tile and grout lines along with regular cleaning is enough. There are times, though, when special steps to whiten grout should be carried out. Since not all grout is white, the cleaning techniques used on colored grouts should be selected with care as whitening grout would cause these specialty grouts to lose their color as well.
Basic Tile and Grout Steps to follow:
Use a basic detergent for general grout cleaning. For regular cleaning or cleaning grout that is not too stained or soiled, you can use a solution of warm water and household cleaning soap or detergent. Lightly scrub the grout lines with this cleaner.
Apply bleach to make grout white again. With a ratio of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, spray or dab the solution onto the grout lines. Allow the bleach to sit on the surface for 2 minutes. Use a small brush, like a toothbrush, on the grout. Rinse the area thoroughly with water. Repeat this process until the grout has taken on the whiteness level you desire.
Select a less harmful cleaner to whiten grout lines. Vinegar is a staple cleaner for those who shy away from harsh chemical cleaners. Touted as a universal cleaner, vinegar can be used to clean your grout as well. Though it is free of chemicals, vinegar is an acid so begin with a mixture of half water and half vinegar. If the solution does not seem strong enough, add more white vinegar. Another option would be to make a paste with baking soda and vinegar. Apply the vinegar solution to the grout and let it sit for a few minutes. A small brush can be used to scrub the dirty areas of the grout.
Steam your grout back to its original white. Steam cleaning your grout does not use any cleaners at all, but rather combines water and heat to create steam and, when expelled from the machine under pressure, cleans the dirt and debris in the grout line. Begin with the steam pressure at the lowest setting on the machine, and work up to a higher setting if necessary. Connect the brush attachment to the steam hose if you believe some scrubbing will be needed to thoroughly clean the grout.
Target stained areas with specific cleaning agents to spot whiten grout. Apply hydrogen peroxide to any area where blood has dripped. A general purpose spot stain remover is to apply a line of shaving cream along the grout line. Let the cleaning agent sit for a few minutes, and then rinse the area and wipe it up with a rag.
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