The best ways to clean grout are those surefire ways to safely and effective clean grout and keep it, along with your tile, sparkling clean. Grout is a fickle beast, with its porous surface full of hiding spots for stains and mildew but with regular cleaning, the right combination of cleansers and a little scrubbing, even the ugliest grout and be crystal clean again.
Picking the right cleaner for your specific tile is key to efficient and safe cleaning. Tinted grout and bleach, for instance don't play well together, neither do abrasive or vinegar-based cleaners and marble tile. Before trying any of these steps, verify that you are using the right cleaners. Otherwise, you could quite easily destroy your tile and grout, leading to costly repairs.
But what's the best way to clean regular old ceramic tile with white grout? That's up for debate but the good news is that there are many great options, including many which are non-toxic. Natural options involve a combination of baking soda with either bleach or vinegar to form a paste which is then used to scrub tile clean. If convenience is more your style, picking up oxygen bleach or a product specifically formulated for grout cleaning can often work just as well, though the fumes from such chemicals are certainly a drawback for some.Whichever cleaner you choose, adding some old fashioned elbow grease is usually required for best results. Grab a toothbrush or a stiff-bristled nylon scrub brush and go to town on stains and mildew. Alternately, grab a steam cleaner and let the magical powers of heat and steam do the heavy lifting for you.
Pick the Right Cleaner for Your Tile
Before attempting any kind of tile or grout cleaning, it's important to pick the proper cleaner for your specific type of tile. Choosing incorrectly could discolor, scratch or totally destroy your tile. Standard ceramic tile with white grout can withstand most cleaners, including those with mild abrasives but use caution with other setups. For instance, bleach is not recommended for use on colored grout as it can permanently discolor the grout. If you have marble tile, always pick a non-abrasive and vinegar-free cleanser as the tile can scratch very easily.
Carpet Cleaner Foam
Though not marketed or designed as a tile or grout cleaner, foaming carpet cleaner spray is oddly effective on cleaning grout. Spray the foam on the grout and let sit for about 15 minutes. Scrub quickly with a stiff bristled brush then wipe or mop away. If you have any cleaner left, you can tackle those pesky carpet stains next.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
For those looking for solid cleaning without all the caustic chemicals, meet your new best friends baking soda and vinegar. Mix two parts baking soda with one part vinegar, one part lemon juice and about 10-15 parts water in a large bowl bucket. Pour over your grout then scrub with a toothbrush or scrub brush. Wipe clean or mop and enjoy!
Though a bit of a time-consuming option if you have a lot of area to cover, using a bleach pen is another popular way to clean grout. Using the pen like a writing instrument, "draw" the bleach pen over your grout. Allow to sit for several minutes, then scrub gently with a sponge. Rinse well then be sure to get out of the area and into some fresh air.