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Great Grout Cleaning Tips

Updated on July 24, 2010

A few years ago we redid our master bathroom. We retiled the shower and around the sink and mirror. We replaced the counters and painted everything. It looks great, but I sometimes regret the dark tile with the stark white grout that we used. As long as it is perfectly clean, the look is fantastic. But the white grout shows every little stain or dirt that gets on it. Now, I have a number of quick tips for cleaning grout.

Soft Scrub with Bleach does a great job at breaking up stains and returning the color of your grout. If your stains are set in, you can actually leave the Soft Scrub on the grout for a number of hours to let it really soak in and bleach out the stain. Apply the Soft Scrub liberally and use an old toothbrush to really work it in. Old toothbrushes are one of my favorite cleaning utensils. They get into tight spaces and everyone has them.

If you don’t want to spread bleach all over your home and want to save a little money, I have a great recipe for an excellent grout cleaner. To make your own grout cleaner, mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup of ammonia, ½ cup of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with about 6 cups of water. Mix the ingredients well and put in a spray bottle. Saturate any area that you need to clean and, again, break out the toothbrush and give the grout a good scrub.

If your grout becomes badly discolored, you may have to take more drastic measures. If the stain is really bad, roll a piece of sandpaper into a tube and work the sandpaper into the grout. This cleaning tip will remove the outer layer of the grout revealing the clean grout beneath. Of course, you can only do this a handful of times before you have removed enough of the grout to compromise its ability to keep water from behind the tile. If you do need to remove all of the grout, I recommend using a Dremel with a drywall cutting bit. It gives you real control over the cutter and has enough power to remove the grout, but not enough to hurt the tile. Once you have removed the grout, simply replace by running a continuous bead of grout along the entire length. Then use your finger or a grout tip to spread the grout out evenly. It takes a little practice, but you will get it.


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    • Vandelay profile image

      Vandelay 7 years ago from United States

      Toothbrushes are the unsung hero of many of my cleaning projects too! I used a bathroom grout by 3M. I looked for the leftover tube, but cannot find it right now. It was what the guy at the home store recommended.

    • nettraveller profile image

      nettraveller 7 years ago from USA

      Good advice. I have always used old toothbrushes too for bathroom cleaning jobs. They are great for cleaning behind the bathroom sink faucet. We have had our grout replaced, but now, about two years later, it is already crumbling. That seems too soon, don't you think? What is a good brand for grout?