Cleaning the Tile Grout

Cleaning the tile grout in your home doesn't need to be a huge undertaking. Regular grout cleaning is essential to preserve your tile and keep your floors, counters and bathrooms odor free and looking fresh. Your grout is your tile's first line of defense against mold, mildew and moisture which can seep in and destroy the beauty of your tile.

Cleaning your tile grout can be done one of several ways when cleaning your beach themed washroom. You should always begin with the least caustic and abrasive cleaning methods, so as to preserve the grout. Depending on the degree of stain or mildew, or even soap scum that has built up in between your tiles, you might need to perform a major cleaning, then maintain the grout thereafter.

If you don't have issues with major stains in your tile grout, or a significant build up of mold or mildew, you should first try to clean the tile grout with a mild natural cleanser. Lemon juice and vinegar, diluted, or added to a few drops of a mild household cleaner such as a liquid dish soap, are wonderful cleaners. They have natural deodorizing abilities too.

Baking soda is a good cleaning option, and thrifty as well. Simply make a paste and apply to the grout. As you rinse, take advantage of the naturally abrasive qualities of baking soda to help loosen any build up of soap scum or the like. For a particularly stubborn area, you may want to add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda. This will aid in stain removal by lightening the area. Don't use this method with colored grout, however, as it may have a slight bleaching effect. Use caution with your clothing also.

If you do have white grout, and you would like to use something that's stronger and has antibacterial applications, consider a diluted solution of bleach. Make a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water (1/4 cup of bleach to 3/4 cup of water, for example) and apply to the tile grout. Put the solution into a spray bottle for a more thorough application. Again, use caution with colored grout and clothing as this mixture will have a bleaching effect.

Before resorting to the heavy and caustic cleaners designed for grout cleaning, a good idea would be to invest in a steam cleaner. If you have a good bit of tile in your home-floors, counters, bathrooms-you will find this tool a wonderful asset. The steam cleans the tile in a gentle, yet thorough way. The hot steam jet works to loosen any build up of "gunk" and grime, which then is wiped away, leaving gleaming tile and grout. You'll find the investment a wise one as your steam cleaner can be used for many other jobs around the house.

Finally, if your tile grout is in need of a deeper cleaning, you may have to resort to one of the commercial cleaners. Take precautions and be sure to read any of the warnings. These can contain harsh chemicals and you don't want to cause damage to your tiles or grout. View the use of these cleaners as a once in awhile heavy duty choice.

When your tile and grout are pristine and good as new, consider applying a grout sealant as further maintenance. Depending on the amount of tile you have, this might take a few hours, but it will preserve your grout and tile for up to five years. Remember, good cleaning tile grout maintenance will lengthen the life of your tile, preserving it's beauty for years to come.

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