How To: Freshen Up Your Grout Lines (for $2 or less!)
Why is it so hard to keep grout clean?
Grout is porous and usually a lighter color, so it can be challenging to keep it looking clean and prevent mold and mildew from forming.
Even though you regularly clean your floors, bathroom tiles and backsplash tiles, mold and mildew can quickly turn grout dark in moist conditions.
Materials needed to refresh grout
You can clean your grout with products you already have at home, plus a little elbow grease and a stiff bristle brush. Your grout should start looking cleaner in days. The best part is that you don’t need to use cleaners with harsh chemicals to clean your grout lines.
Start by using one of the choices below, and then move to combinations of these ingredients and soluations if you find you need more strength to clean stubborn dirt or mildew.
- Baking soda – Scrub the grout with a hard bristle brush after applying baking soda and water with a sponge. Wipe with a damp cloth.
- Salt – Take advantage of salt to freshen your grout. Leave it on overnight so the salt can gradually lift the dirt from the grout.
- White vinegar – White vinegar is an effective cleaning agent, but it can damage certain finishes so test it first on a hidden area. Pour some vinegar onto the grout, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a firm brush.
- Citric acid – Citric acid is also very good at removing grout, but it’s best not to use near granite and marble. Use a hard bristle brush to scrub the grout after letting the citric acid soak in for a few minutes.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray your grout and leave it for one hour. Rinse the area with water and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
- Epsom salts – Did you know that the Epsom salts you use to soothe your muscles after strenuous exercise also work well to clean grout? Rub the Epsom salts into the grout with a damp cloth, leave it overnight and wipe it the next morning with a clean cloth.
- Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide solution recipe – Mix together: 1/2 cup baking soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon dish soap. Apply the mixture to the grout and let sit for ten minutes. Gently scrub with a damp cloth. The baking soda combined with the hydrogen peroxide will help to extract dirt from the grout while cleaning.
- Baking soda and vinegar solution recipe – Mix together: one cup warm water, baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Pour white vinegar along the edges of grout lines. Pour baking soda mixture along grout lines. Scrub grout lines with a hard bristle brush. Leave the mixture on the grout lines for five minutes. Scrub the grout lines a second time. Remove any remaining vinegar mixture with a sponge. Let the cleaned area air dry for approximately 45 minutes.
- Grout knife – If you are dealing with stubborn stains on your grout, you can use a grout knife to gently remove the soiled top layer of grout.
- Another method for serious grout stains, mold and mildew, is bleach or a bleach pen. Be sure to open the windows for ventilation when using bleach products. Take extra care not to let any bleach on your porcelain or any stone surfaces to prevent staining and pitting.