How to Clean Tile Grout
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 left uncleaned 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 – namely kitchens and bathrooms. These are exactly the conditions that fungus, or mould, love.
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 how to clean grout in floor tiles, you’ll know how to clean grout in tiles on the wall and surfaces too. Here’s our recommendation for the best way to clean grout and tips on preventing similar problems in the future.
Instead of attacking mould-ridden grout only when it becomes unsightly, regularly clean between your tiles with a commercial surface cleaner, like Jif Bathroom Spray. This will reduce the likelihood that mould will develop in the first place, and drastically reduce the amount of time you spend scrubbing.
Cleaning 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 grouts 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 Domestos Thick Bleach* to scrub away at the bathroom grout – a toothbrush is a good tool to use, as it’s small enough to get into any nooks and crannies.
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.
How To Clean 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:
Mix together a thick paste of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar and apply it directly to the grout.
Leave the paste to work it’s 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.
Vinegar is also great for cleaning limescale off a showerhead:
Do not swallow; do not mix with other detergents or chemicals, particularly cleaners. Mixing may generate toxic chlorine gas. Ensure adequate ventilation when using, vapour may be harmful. Strongly alkaline and corrosive. Attacks skin and eyes so avoid contact. May produce severe burns. Wear protective gloves and eye protection when mixing or using. Do not mix with hot water. Store upright below 25 degrees celsius. Rinse containers with water before disposal.
*Domestos kills germs such as:
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.
Avoid mould growing on grout with regular cleaning.
Apply a commercial grout cleaner, a Domestos and water solution, an oxygen bleach, or a natural grout cleaner.
Use a toothbrush to scrub between the tiles.
Rinse residue off with clean cold water.