How to Clean Floor Tile Grout [Like a Pro]

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ways to clean floor tile groutTile can be one of the most appealing and long-lasting forms of flooring in any household. Whether it is in your kitchen, bathroom, or throughout your entire house, tile is timeless and holds up well appearance wise in almost any circumstance.

The main knock on tile is not the tile itself, but the grout that lies between it.  Grout looks great when it’s brand new, but over time it can lose its color as it becomes dark, dirty, and most importantly difficult to sanitize. When grout gets dirty, it can seem almost impossible to clean.

You try scrubbing out the dirt again and again, but after hours on your hands and knees, the grout still exists with little to no improvement.

The good news is that tile grout is not impossible to clean any longer.  In fact, cleaning the tile grout on your flooring does not have to be a chore any longer. Using only a few necessary tools and ingredients, you too can have spotless, shiny, grout.

Rounding Up Your Items

items needed to clean tile groutFirst, you’ll need to gather the following:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Mop
  • Rubber gloves (if wanted)

Most of these household items will be found in every kitchen in America. A fancy miracle solution or an expensive buy-one-get-one-free television infomercial item is not needed to get your kitchen floors back looking good as new.

The Process

cleaning process for tile groutPerform the following steps carefully to achieve maximum results with the least amount of effort possible.

  1. Create the cleaning paste using a mixture containing three parts baking soda and one-part water to make a thick residue that can easily be applied to the grout directly.
  2. Apply the cleaning paste directly with your fingers or using a household cleaning glove if you have skin that is particularly susceptible to irritation or breakouts. Let the paste sit on the grout for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Make a secondary solution that is equal parts water and vinegar. Place this solution in a spray bottle and begin to apply the solution generously on top of the baking soda paste. (Note: do not apply vinegar to certain surfaces that can be damaged with the application of vinegar such as marble). In these instances, an alternative solution should be considered as not to damage the surface area.
  4. The solution that is sprayed will begin to have a chemical reaction as bubbling occurs indicating the deep cleaning is taking place. Once the bubbling begins to subside you now have a clear indication that the cleaning process is complete.
  5. Take a cleaning brush that has heavy bristles and scrubs all of the grout in entirety. Be sure not to cut corners in this step as some elbow grease will be necessary to achieve the fully desired effects.
  6. Take a mop and begin cleaning off the excess solution with only water. Perform extra care during this step to ensure that the water is changed frequently. Rinse the mop frequently and often during this step to achieve a clean finish.

If you want to speed up the process slightly purchasing a steam mop is a sound investment. Steam mops make the process more convenient than a conventional mop as it requires fewer hands-on work than a traditional mop.  Furthermore, a steam mop can clean and sanitize tile and grout with little to no chemical usage.

If you have a particular type of flooring that is sensitive to chemicals such as vinegar such a marble, then a steam mop may be a popular alternative method of cleaning.  Since the steam mop runs entirely on the water, there will be no harmful byproducts left to damage your household flooring.

The most effective grout cleaner is the steam cleaner. The advantage is that you can direct the power of the steam directly on the grout. While a bit slower to work with, it is generally more effective than a regular steam mop.

Here is a list of the best steam cleaners for tile

The Bottom Line

Cleaning grout can be a pain in the neck for just about anybody. Although it looks great when it’s new, the appeal quickly turns to angst as it ages over time.  Certain people avoid flooring with grout entirely as it can be difficult to clean when not performed correctly.  However, by being informed about the process, you can make it simpler than you ever thought possible before.

Take our advice and have your home flooring looking brand new in almost no time.  What are you waiting for? Have the brand new looking floor of your dreams without spending a dime today!

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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