How to Clean Tile Grout

cleaning the floor tile grout with a toothbrush and wearing yellow gloves

A fresh, newly-decorated bathroom is going to be as clean as it ever will be. Given what happens in a bathroom, or even a kitchen, removing dirt and grime are going to be part and parcel of keeping it clean. If you’ve got a ceramic tiled floor or wall, keeping the tiles themselves clean is relatively easy, but it’s the grouting in-between that can be the real headache. If you’re wanting to clean tile grout, we’ve got some of the best ways to restore it to its former glory.

What is the Tile Grout? 

Grout, for those of you who don’t know, is the mortar added between tiles to help seal their installation. Unlike the tiles, grout is a porous and rough substance, so it can’t be cleaned in the same way the tiles themselves are.

 

Why Should I Clean Tile Grout? 

Let’s start with not ‘how’, but ‘why’ you should clean grout. 

Over time, thanks to the build-up of water, steam, and dirt, black spots will start to appear on your grouting, in addition to any natural discolouration. This is known as mildew or mould. 

The spores from these can get released and spread into other areas of your room. They tend to land in the corners of window frames, shower-heads, etc. But can cause health problems if you breathe them in, especially if you already have asthma.

cleaning the tile grout with a sponge and cleaning spray

 

How to Restore/Clean Your Tile Grout? 

Hopefully, you now understand why it’s important to keep your grout looking its best, so how do you do that? 

Invariably, to get the best results, you need to use a chemical cleaner. You can buy specific grout cleaning products, but you can also use household bleach as the cleaning agent. If you’re doing the latter, then please remember to open windows to dispel the fumes. 

If you’re using bleach as-is, the best way to use it is to pour a little into a small container (e.g. an old cup) and use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout directly.

Another option is to mix the bleach with some bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda) until it forms a paste. If you don’t have bleach, vinegar works well too. The acidity of the vinegar and the whitening properties of the bicarb combine to make your tiles look amazing once cleaned.

Once done, wait about 15 minutes, then you can use the paste and brush to scrub the grout. An old toothbrush is a great way to do this. Once complete, use a small amount of cold water or a damp cloth to rinse any excess paste away. Don’t use warm water as it will intensify any vapours from the bleach.

It’s worth pointing out that bleach should only really be used if your grout is white (or a very pale colour). Any other darker colour will fade much more, especially if it’s exposed to bleach directly.

Another option when it comes to cleaning tile grout is with a grout pen. Yes, that’s a real thing!. Whilst the effects might not last as long, or clean the tiles themselves, it can be a quick, temporary solution if you’ve got guests coming round and the state of your grout is embarrassing.

Ceramic tiles look amazing when done well, and the grout around them is the icing on that particular DIY cake, but too often the grouting can diminish the look of the tiles. Cleaning tile grouting is simple and cheap, and not only does it make the mortar look great, but your tiles also look refreshed too.

If you’re in the market for some new ceramic tiles, whether that be for your bathroom, kitchen or even utility room, get in touch with Elstow Tiles today. We have a great range, and you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll love. Give us a call on 01234 263080, or why not visit our showroom! We’d love to see you.