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How do I Choose the Best Grout Cleaner?

Article Details
  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Cleaning grout is a chore most homeowners would rather avoid, but wherever there is tile, there is grout that needs to be cleaned periodically. Choosing the best grout cleaner is largely dependent on the overall condition of the grout and how dirty it is. There are a variety of products that can be used as grout cleaner ranging from everyday kitchen staples to professional strength cleaner. It is best to start with something mild and work your way up to harsher chemical products only if necessary.

Grout harbors dirt, which can become embedded in the grout giving it a stained or discolored appearance. In areas like the bathroom, where moisture builds up, mold and mildew will also begin to grow. All of these things can weaken the grout, causing tiles to become loose or damaged over time. This is why regular cleaning is important. Most grout cleaner is abrasive and professional grout cleaner tends to be the harshest. While harsh abrasives may do a fine job at cleaning up grout, it also tends to break it down if used too frequently. Start with gentler products and only graduate to harsher ones when the results are not adequate.

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Some of the best household products that can be used as grout cleaner are vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Properly sealed grout in good condition can be routinely cleaned with straight vinegar and lemon juice. Prepare a mixture of the two in a spray bottle, spray grout, wait ten minutes and wipe clean. If this fails to achieve the desired results, mix the two liquids with baking soda until a paste is formed. Apply the paste to the grout and gently scrub with a brush. If you see signs of mold or mildew, you might want to add a tablespoon of bleach to your spray bottle. Bleach will kill mold and mildew and prevent it from spreading further.

When these basic household products fail, it may be necessary to move to a chemical cleaning product. Look for grout cleaner products that are designed for cleaning all colors. Test the product in an inconspicuous area before applying all over. Be sure to follow the directions, wear protective gloves and have proper ventilation. Many of the commercial products sold in grocery stores may be adequate for cleaning grout in average condition. Extremely dirty grout that has been left unattended for a long period of time may require a professional grade product. These products may be found at home improvement stores or by ordering from professional suppliers.

It is difficult to pinpoint the best grout cleaner, especially because the age and condition of the grout may vary from room to room. To get the most out of any cleaner, it is important to make sure that grout is cleaned regularly and sealed properly every three to five years, depending on use. A proper sealant will help keep dirt from becoming embedded in the grout, making it easier to clean and preserving the life of the grout and surrounding tile.

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