Jake Fitzjones, Getty Images
When grout is dirty and grimy (mildew and product buildup are usually the culprits), it can make an entire bathroom or kitchen look dingy. When it's clean, this typically white mortar between your tiles can significantly brighten up the room.
Whether on the floor, in the shower, or on the kitchen backsplash, grout can be cleaned effectively -- and naturally -- easily with just a few simple tools.
Tools & Supplies
Old toothbrush: if you have an old electric one to spare, all the better!
1. Wash the area with water using your washcloth.
This gets rid of any easy-to-remove particles and allows you to start with a relatively clean slate.
2. Combine baking soda and wate
r to make a paste.
3. Using the toothbrush,
apply the paste to the grout, scrubbing vigorously. This is where the electric toothbrush comes in handy if you have one -- the vibrations help loosen dirt more vigorously than your own man power can.
4. Wipe off any excess paste
. You also make want to wipe the tiles down again with a wet washcloth.
Jolie Novak, Aol
This solution requires
a lot of elbow grease, so be prepared to scrub. Some recipes suggest replacing the water with vinegar
for a deeper clean. For really tough stains, let the paste sit a while before scrubbing it. If the grout still isn't coming clean, apply natural lemon juice
directly to the stain, let it sit a few minutes and wipe it clean.
If the stains are too stubborn there are more grout cleaning solutions
available. These remedies aren't quite as natural, but each one pulls from items you already have around the house.
- Scrub the grout with toothpaste.
Choose whitening toothpaste for a little extra polish. Again, here's your excuse to get a new electric toothbrush because this job would be much easier with your old one!
- Erase the stains with a pencil eraser.
Yep, grab your number 2 pencil and erase away!
- Cover the grout with shaving cream.
Leave it for a few minutes then scrub it off.
- Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a paste.
When the bubbling stops, apply it to the grout. Let it sit for a while then scrub it off with an old toothbrush.
Once the tile is clean, it's time for a little preventative maintenance.
Inspect your grout regularly and apply a commercial grout sealer
once a year. Keeping it well sealed makes sure it doesn't become home to mold or mildew. Keep the grout dry when you can and take care of small stains as soon as you notice them.
Bring your tile back to life; you'll be amazed at how new it can look with some of these basic solutions.
We couldn't help but interject our own grout-cleaning tip: oxygen bleach
. It's non-toxic, fume-free, and is color- and fabric-safe, so your shower curtain or anything else nearby won't be harmed. We swear by oxygen bleach for a lot of cleaning tasks (our favorite is the powdered version of OxiClean
) -- but especially for grimy grout.
For more grout-cleaning ideas, watch this video: