01 April 2012

Cleaning Grout is Fun!

Okay, not really.

But if you want or need to turn your unsealed grout from whatever shade of mud it has devolved to back to a nice, pristine white, here's how to do it without harsh chemicals.

What You'll Need:
  • One of those giganto-sized boxes of baking soda
  • A spray bottle filled with vinegar
  • A rag you aren't all that attached to because you will wear holes in it (not kidding)
  • Muscles and time
  • A bucket of clean water
First, sprinkle a good dusting of baking soda over the grout, until it looks something like this:

Now with your damp rag, rub the baking soda into the grout.  Make sure the rag is just damp enough so that it begins to form a bit of a paste, but doesn't get washed away.

Let the baking soda sit for a minute, then spritz it all with the vinegar spray.  It will bubble and foam quite nicely, so this part is fun to let the kids in on.

Next is where you're going to need the aforementioned time and muscles.  After rinsing the rag well in your bucket of water, you're going to scrub the grout with your rag until it's as white as the driven snow.  Grout can turn slightly darker when it's wet, so if it's nearly as white as the driven snow, call it good.

Repeat with all grout.  (Yay.)  You're definitely going to want some good music or an audio book for this part in order to avoid the insanity that can result from mind-numbing boredom.  Also, you're probably going to need to change your bucket water several times, as it will get extraordinarily yucky.

When you're done, your grout should look something like the nice, pretty, sparkling grout in the left side of this picture of my floor:

Nice, huh?

And yes, I know.  My grout was quite dirty.  Thanks for noticing.

Once you've scrubbed away years of muck and dirt, you're going to be left with a nice layer of dried baking soda on your floor that will cling to the soles of the feet and make you want to run screaming from your kitchen or bathroom. 

First, sweep away any lingering chunks that have dried.  Then, thoroughly mop the floor with clean water, possibly two or three times, until all traces of the baking soda are history.

A light swiffering of the floor it ain't, but when you're done, your grout will be CLEAN.  This will clean your tile nicely as well, so if you have the time you can do this to every square inch.

Have fun!  (Okay, maybe not so much.)

  • Stumble This
  • Fav This With Technorati
  • Add To Del.icio.us
  • Digg This
  • Add To Facebook
  • Add To Yahoo


Post a Comment