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The tile in your kitchen and bathroom might have been a charming feature that attracted you to your home. That is, until you wondered how you were going to clean the grout.
The best way to keep grout looking fresh and spotless is through prevention and maintenance, so don’t neglect your grout until it’s stained or covered in mildew. Regularly clean grout — even if it’s just a quick daily disinfecting spray — in high-traffic or heavily-used areas, such as in your front entrance way or the shower.
When it comes to cleaning grout, start with DIY solutions or the mildest possible products first before trying stronger chemical cleaners. For light, daily cleaning, mix up a bleach solution of one part bleach to three parts water and store it in a spray bottle. Bleach is a disinfectant, so try spraying the solution in your tub after showering to get rid of mold and mildew and to keep white grout looking bright. Beware: if you have colored grout, bleach could discolor it.
Try a solution of equal parts vinegar and water as another mild daily disinfectant option. Spray the solution on tile and grout and let sit for 10 minutes to disinfect. Then, depending on how tough the job is, scrub with a sponge or brush, then rinse and dry.
For more thorough grout cleaning, create a paste of one part baking soda, one part salt and one part vinegar. Apply the paste to dirty, discolored areas, and then scrub in a circular motion with a bristle brush. As with all grout cleaning, rinse with water and dry thoroughly to prevent new mold and mildew growth.
If you have tough stains or large tile-covered areas of your home to clean, it’s time to pull out the big guns: steam cleaners. These are often multitasking devices that can be used to clean floors, refrigerators, woodwork, and porcelain sinks and toilets. Plus, they can cut down on scrubbing time without the harsh chemicals. For occasional deep cleaning, try renting a professional-grade steam cleaner. You can also purchase a steam cleaner for as little as little as $25.
Don’t forget the patio tile! Outdoor grout can quickly become overrun with dirt, mold and moss, so use a grout scraper tool to get rid of hard-to-remove areas of dirt, mold and moss. Clean more lightly soiled areas with the vinegar-and-water mixture and a firm scrub brush.