Grout is the name we give to the mortar used to fix tiles to walls, floors, and even worktops. Grout comes in a range of different colours, but the most common is white, which means it’s really obvious when the grout is getting dirty. If grout isn’t cleaned for a long period of time, you might even see unhealthy black mould growing on grout. Why? Because grout is a porous material and tiles are commonly found in rooms that are moist, such as in kitchens and bathrooms. These are exactly the conditions that fungus, or mould, love. So knowing how to clean bathroom tiles and care for tile grout is really important to help minimize mould growth in your home.
Although the easiest solution is probably to buy a grout pen and cover any stains with liquid-paint, the technique for cleaning grout is pretty simple to master and once you know the method for cleaning shower tiles and grout, you’ll know how to clean kitchen tile grout and floor tile grout, too. Here are our recommendations for the best tile and grout cleaning techniques to use for kitchens and bathrooms, and how to prevent similar problems in the future.
How to Clean Tile Grout with Bleach
Before you get started, make sure you protect your hands and clothing, open the windows so the room is properly ventilated, and read the safety instructions on the bottles of any cleaning products you’re going to use.
Be aware that regular bleach is not a good choice for coloured grout, as this will gradually fade the colour. It can also damage some types of tiling (marble, for example), so check the suitability first. Bleach is, however, highly effective at preventing mould and mildew growth on white, cream or light grey grout. Simply:
- Use a diluted solution of commercial bleach to scrub away at the bathroom grout – a toothbrush is a good tool to use, as it’s small enough to get into small crevices.
- Alternatively, apply an oxygen bleach solution (equal parts powdered bleach and warm water) via a spray bottle.
- Rinse the area with cold water afterwards and allow to air dry.
- Remember – never mix bleach with any other cleaning product. Always follow the directions on the label.
How To Clean Tile Grout Naturally
If you’re not keen on using commercial products designed to prevent mould and mildew growth, or you need to avoid bleach because of the type of tiles in your home, you can try the following natural method – just remember to test on a small area first:
- Mix together a thick paste of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar and apply it directly to the grout.
- Leave the paste to work its magic on the grout for a good length of time – at least 30 minutes.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any stains.
- Rinse the grout with cold water and let the area dry.
Preventing Mould and Mildew Growth
The best way to avoid scrubbing your grout repeatedly in the future is to try to reduce the likelihood that it mould will occur in the first place. You should:
- Make sure all rooms containing tiles are well ventilated. Open windows or use extractor fans to remove humidity from the air.
- Dry bathroom tiles with an old towel after every shower or bath. Make sure splash-backs are kept dry in the same way.
- Following the instructions on the label, apply an antibacterial/antifungal product to the grout on a regular basis.