Using tile in your home can be a beautiful addition, but over time the grout can become stained or discolored, leaving your tile looking less than its best. Because tile is used in numerous places and for so many purposes, such as flooring, countertops, backsplashes, and shower walls, it is important to learn the tricks for keeping grout clean. Here are some of the most common types of grout stains and instructions on how to clean them effectively!
If you have tile flooring, odds are that you have noticed certain parts of the grout becoming stained over time. This is generally from dirt and miscellaneous grime that accumulates from walking across it. To remove this type of stain, using steam is very effective. From specialty steam mops to small, portable steam machines, the heated water will easily break down the grime, allowing from easier removal.
For grout that is in areas of high moisture, such as the shower, it is very common for mildew and mold stains to start appearing over time. To remove these, and keep your tile and grout looking clean and fresh, use a combination of 2 cups of white vinegar and two drops of liquid dish soap. This thick solution is best applied with a scrubbing pad or old toothbrush. Once applied, let it sit for a moment on the grout and then brush to dissolve the stain and buildup. Rinse with warm water. If the stain is especially old, you may have to repeat this process in order to remove completely.
For grout in kitchens and other areas where food and drink are present, it is likely that at some point you will need to remove a stain of this kind. The first thing to note is that food stains can often be more susceptible to bacteria growth, so they should be sanitized as well as cleaned. For light colored grout, a combination stain remover and sanitizing solution made with 1 part chlorine bleach to 4 parts hot water works well. Oxygenated cleaners also work well and should be mixed and used according to the manufacturer’s directions.
One of the worst grout stains that people seem to encounter is red wine. While it can be a difficult stain to remove, there is a solution that works well, even if the stain has set in the grout for some time. To begin, combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda, white vinegar, and ammonia with 1 ½ quarts of warm water. Spray this solution onto the stained grout and allow to sit for about 15-20 minutes. Wipe clean and repeat as necessary. This solution can be used on both light and dark colored grouts.
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