How to Clean Grout like a Pro 

Person wearing blue rubber glove to clean white tile grout

Grout, the stuff holding your tiles together, might look harmless, but it can hide dirt, grime, and mould. Did you know that neglecting grout cleaning not only dulls the appearance of tiles but also poses health risks due to mould and mildew? In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps and tips to clean grout like a pro, ensuring your tiles shine like new and your home stays healthy.

What is grout?

Grout is a vital part of home building and design. It is made from cement, water, and sometimes sand and other materials, depending on what is needed. Grout holds tiles together by filling the gaps between them, giving surfaces a neat, polished look and enhancing the overall appearance of floors, walls, or countertops. 
Besides looking good, grout also protects. It acts like a barrier, stopping water, dirt, and debris from getting between tiles. If grout doesn’t seal properly, moisture can seep under tiles, causing damage and mould, especially in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. By sealing gaps well, grout keeps surfaces strong and looking nice for a long time.
Person putting grout onto tiles

Essential supplies for Grout Cleaning

Before diving into how to remove grout effectively, it’s essential to gather these necessary grout cleaning supplies:

How to clean grout

Keeping your grout clean is crucial for maintaining the appearance and hygiene of tiled surfaces. Follow these step-by-step instructions using standard household supplies to clean grout and revitalise the look of your tiles effectively.

Put on your PPE: 

Prior to beginning the grout cleaning procedure, put on protective gloves and goggles to safeguard your skin and eyes against potential splashes or fumes from the cleaning solutions.

Prepare your cleaning solution:

Now, combine the multi-purpose cleaner with water in a bucket as per the instructions on the cleaning label. You can use a limescale remover for tougher stains or limescale buildup. 

Apply the grout cleaning solution: 

Dip your grout cleaning brush into the cleaning solution and apply it generously along the grout lines, ensuring the grout is thoroughly saturated with the cleaning solution.  

Scrub the grout lines: 

Use the grout cleaning brush to scrub the grout lines. Focus on areas with visible stains or discolouration. – for tight corners and smaller areas, use a small brush or toothbrush to reach difficult-to-reach areas. 

Let the solution sit and repeat:

Allow the grout cleaning solution to sit on the grout for a few minutes to penetrate and loosen dirt, grime and stains. This dwell time will make the scrubbing process more effective. To remove stubborn stains on your grout, you may need to scrub the area again with more cleaning solution and elbow grease

Rinse the grout with clean water and dry: 

Once you’ve scrubbed the grout lines thoroughly, use a sponge to wipe away any excess cleaning solution from the grout lines. Use a dry cleaning cloth to wipe the tile and grout lines to remove any remaining moisture. This will prevent water spots. 

Inspect and repeat if needed: 

After the grout has dried, inspect it to see if any stains or discolouration remain, and if necessary, repeat the process. 

Consider applying grout sealant: 

After cleaning and drying the grout, consider applying grout sealant to shield it from potential stains and moisture infiltration. Adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding application and drying durations.

Person wearing yellow gloves cleaning bathroom tile grout with a toothbrush

Maintaining grout and preventative measures

Regular care and preventive measures are crucial in extending the life and appearance of grout in your home. By implementing simple maintenance practices into your cleaning routine, you can preserve the cleanliness and freshness of your grout for years to come. Here are some key points to consider:

Regular grout cleaning: 

Wiping down tile surfaces with a damp cloth or sponge after each use is crucial for maintaining clean grouts. Regularly cleaning them prevents dirt from building up and reduces the need for deep cleaning sessions. 

Bathrooms, particularly shower areas, are prone to moisture buildup, promoting mould and mildew growth in grout lines. After each shower, use a squeegee to remove water from the tiled surfaces. 

Prevent dirt with a grout sealant: 

Sealing grout is an effective preventative measure to protect it from stains and moisture penetration. Grout sealants form a protective barrier that stops liquids from seeping into the grout and repels them.

This extra layer of protection extends the lifespan of your grout and makes it easier to clean and maintain over time. 

Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals: 

Using mild, pH-neutral cleaners specifically formulated for grout cleaning is essential for preserving its integrity. Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can cause premature deterioration of grout. Opting for gentle yet effective cleaning solutions ensures proper maintenance without compromising the grout’s strength.

Steam cleaning grout

Another effective method for cleaning grout is through steam cleaning. Utilising high-temperature steam, this approach offers a powerful solution to dislodging and removing dirt, grime, and bacteria from grout lines. 
The process involves using steam cleaning machines that emit hot steam, typically exceeding temperatures of 100°C (212°F), to penetrate the grout’s porous surface. With the application of steam at high pressure, dirt is effectively lifted and dislodged from grout lines, ensuring thorough cleaning. 
Unlike many conventional methods that rely on chemical cleaners, steam cleaning grout requires only water, making it an eco-friendly and chemical-free alternative. Its versatility is also noteworthy, as steam cleaners come with various attachments and nozzles, allowing for precise cleaning of specific areas such as narrow grout lines. 
Additionally, steam’s high temperature cleans and sanitises grout by eliminating bacteria, mould, and mildew. Steam cleaning is an efficient, environmentally friendly, and effective method for maintaining clean and hygienic grout surfaces.
Person wearing yellow gloves steam cleaning bathroom tile grout

Remove grout effectively at home

In conclusion, maintaining clean and healthy grout surfaces is essential for preserving the aesthetics and hygiene of tiled areas in your home.
 By incorporating regular cleaning practices, preventive measures such as grout sealing, and utilising effective techniques like steam cleaning, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your grout while minimising health risks associated with mould and mildew buildup. 
With proper care and attention, your grout will remain resilient and attractive, enhancing the overall appeal of your living spaces for years to come.

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