We all love ceramic tiles, of different textures, colour and styles; they add a royal or ethereal touch to our house. They make our houses shine like palaces, till their grouts get covered with dust! Then, the beautiful picture gets its stains. The worst part is, the onset of dust getting collected on grout is never too conspicuous till it begins to make you sick. We try to clean it when the dirt goes out of hand, only to realise that we have quite a task at our hands! Work smart so that you need not work too hard. Here are some tips to clean grout smartly and effectively.
How To Clean Grout
- The best way to keep the grouts clean for longer periods of time is to never let them get too dirty! That would mean, cleaning the grout periodically and regularly. This way, you will reduce your workload – in fact, the best way to keep grout clean is not to work hard, but to work smart.
- You may use a sealant on the grout to help keep away the dust for some time. There are two types of sealants available in the market – the topical and the penetrating sealants. The topical ones will stick to the surface of the grout and repel stains and water. These need to be reapplied periodically as they keep wearing off every two to three years; they are however, easy to apply. The penetrating ones are slightly difficult to apply, but stay for longer than ten years at a stretch. They attach themselves chemically to the ground and are ideal for wet surfaces like shower and the bathtub.
- You could use a combination of baking soda with white vinegar and use a small brush with relatively stiff bristles to scrub it over the grout. Let it stay for a while and then rinse it with warm water.
- Silicon based grout cleaners are quite effective, among the chemical cleaners. While using one, apply one or two coats of it to dry grout and clean it after keeping for a few minutes.
- Shaving cream is another cheap and effective cleaner. Spray shaving cream on the stained grout, leave on for a few minutes, and then scrub with a stiff brush.
- For stubborn stains on light coloured grout, the kind that looks very conspicuous, you could make a paste of baking soda and straight peroxide; apply to the stains and leave on for a good ten to fifteen minutes before you scrub it and then rinse away.
- One word of warning; do not ever use bleaching powder on coloured grout; it will cause the grout or, worse still, the tile, to lose colour.
- For all practical purposes, it is best to use a stiff brush for cleaning grout; some may recommend using an old toothbrush but we all know how the bristles of an old toothbrush become soft and useless. Also, do not ever use metal brushes and bristles as they may wear away the grout or the tile itself.
- If you are not too sure about how your tiles would react to the chemical cleaners, use them on a small, inconspicuous area before you proceed further.
- Always take care to protect yourself; wear latex or nitrile gloves and eye protection, especially if using chemical cleaners. Also, work in well-ventilated areas, open doors, and windows so that the fumes do not affect you.
- Never mix two chemical cleaners; it may cause toxic fumes to rise!