No matter how clean your floors are, how often you clean them, and pains you take to prevent your tile from becoming stained, your grout will still eventually start to yellow and eventually turn brown. Grout is like a magnet for dirt, mold, and mildew, and once your grout is stained, cleaning it can be difficult.
The tiles may remain perfectly clean, impervious to dirt and stains, but the porous surface of the grout is much more likely to attract that same dirt and those stains. If you have cleaned and cleaned and cannot get your tile floor, walls, or backsplashes clean, then seeking professional help may be the answer. In the meantime, here are some ways that you can get your grout clean, using products you probably already have around your house.
Understand the Difference between Sanded and Unsanded Grout
If your grout is sanded, it is going to take to chemical cleaners much better than if your grout is not sanded. Sanded grout is much more resilient than its unsanded counterpart. You can usually tell which your grout is just by touching it. Sanded grout will feel rough. Unsanded grout will feel smooth. If your grout has not been sanded, it will usually require a gentler hand during the cleaning process. While both will usually stand up just fine to your cleaning efforts, knowing what type of grout you have can ensure that you treat it properly while you are cleaning.
Cleaning Your Sanded Tile Grout
The best tools for cleaning sanded tile grout yourself? Hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate—your standard peroxide bleach and baking soda. Apply a little bit of the hydrogen peroxide to the tiles and start scrubbing it into your grout. If your grout is not white, you may want to dilute the peroxide before pouring it over your tiles. Once the grout has started to absorb the peroxided, add a little bit of baking soda and keep scrubbing. As you scrub, your tile will eventually give up its dark appearance and lighten to white. Keep persisting as it is worth the effort to get your grout white and clean again.
Cleaning Tile Grout that Is Not Sanded
If your grout is smooth and not sanded, this means you will probably want to be a little more careful than if your grout is sanded. While sanded grout will stand up to the scrubbing that the peroxide and baking soda method requires, unsanded grout is better cleaned with white vinegar and baking soda. This combination, with a little bit of scrubbing, will still remove the stains from your grout.
It is important to remember that the stains will not immediately disappear. No matter what type of grout you have, the cleaning mixture will have to be left on for more than a few minutes for the stains to start to fade.