Today we’re looking at how to clean grout naturally, but first I want to tell you how not to clean it. Maybe you’ve seen the suggestion on Pinterest to squirt toilet bowl cleaner on your grout lines, wait a few minutes, and wipe it away?
That, my friends, is how not to clean your grout because the toilet bowl cleaner will create an awful mess. In fact, it will leave a film on your floor that will take you hours to remove. Since it’s not designed for tile, it may also damage your flooring’s protective surface.
Meanwhile, your family — and pets, if you have them — will walk all over that mess and track it through the rest of your house. It’s pretty alarming to think of your kids having toilet bowl cleaner all over their feet. I’m confident that it’s not good for your dog or cats, either, and hate to think what could happen if they get it on their paws and lick them.
So chalk that up to a Pinterest Fail and read on about how to clean your grout using all-natural and non-toxic methods.
How To Clean Grout
As an allergy sufferer, I love tiled floors, but as a busy housewife? Not so much. Oh, sure, it’s easy enough to surface clean tile floors: sweep or vacuum, then mop.
But the grout? Oh, how I hate cleaning the grout. Or, rather, I used to hate cleaning it until I figured out how to clean grout on tile floors, shower walls, even the kitchen back-splash effectively.
As with most natural cleaning methods, these methods swap harsh chemicals for elbow grease. So plan to spend time, but very little money, to get your grout looking great again.
How to Clean Grout on Wall Tiles and Backsplashes
Baking soda is a natural, gently abrasive powder that helps lift away soap scum and stains on grout. The dish detergent, meanwhile, cuts through dirt and grease. Hydrogen peroxide works in combination with both to loosen the bond between grime and grout while also killing mold and mildew spores.
You will need:
- Scrub brush (check out this battery-powered scrubber!)
- Small bowl
- Baking soda
- Dawn Original liquid dish detergent
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Plenty of microfiber cloths.
- Spray the shower walls with warm water and wipe with a microfiber cloth to loosen surface grime.
- Pour some baking soda into a small bowl. There isn’t a particular measurement to use — just enough to get the job done. For my shower, I use 1/2 cup. Add 4-5 drops of Dawn to the baking soda and stir well, then slowly add just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste. (About two tablespoons.)
- Using the toothbrush, scrub the baking soda paste into the grout lines. This is where the extension scrubber can come in handy.
- Wait 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly with warm water. (Related: Homemade Bathroom Disinfectant Spray)
How to Clean Grout on Floors
The mixture below uses oxygenated bleach, a chlorine-free product made by combining sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. While you could certainly use the above recipe on your floors, you’d need a lot of hydrogen peroxide to get the job done. The formula below is more affordable for larger surfaces. Since it’s a liquid, it also spreads easier and mops up quickly.
You will need:
- Mix 1 part Oxiclean and 4 parts warm water in a bucket. (I need 1 cup OxiClean and 4 cups water for my 20×26′ kitchen floor.) Do NOT put it in a spray bottle or it will erupt.
- Using the mop, spread the mixture on the floor. Make sure the grout lines are saturated. (Do not use this if your grout or tiles are broken, or you’ll damage the subfloor.)
- Wait 15 minutes then give the grout lines a quick scrub.
- Wipe up the remaining liquid.
- Mop the floor thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining grout cleaning solution.
Keep your Grout in Good Shape
Keep mold and mildew from growing on your bathroom grout by using this no-wipe daily shower spray.
Inspect your grout at least once a year and reseal it if needed. To test whether your grout needs to be re-sealed, dribble a few drops of water on it. If the grout absorbs the water within one minute, it’s time to reseal.
Be sure to use a sealant that’s formulated for the type of tile you have on your backsplash or floor. The proper sealant will protect your flooring as well as your grout without changing the color or texture.