If your home or cottage has tile, marble or stone used for flooring, countertops or back splashes then you have grout! Whether it is in the bathrooms, or kitchen or entrance foyer, grout can be a major challenge. Grout is porous in nature, if it is unsealed or not regularly re-sealed, it can absorb all kinds of stains; mud form your boots, dirty doggy paws, spilt coffee or wine (Who would spill good wine?) or even worse mildew and a multitude of other things can grow it in when it is damp. This can make your rooms appear dirty, even if you’ve just freshly cleaned.
Fortunately, the following process should remove most household stains from your GROUT.
What you need:
OxyClean or a similar oxygenated bleach*
An old toothbrush
An old white towel
Disposable latex or rubber gloves
This is a relatively safe procedure with components that will not pose a health threat to you if used in accordance with the directions, however, it is a procedure that requires rubbing a tooth brush into the grout and so it is best to protect your eyes from any splashing and your hands from prolonged exposure.
What to do:
- Thoroughly clean the surface of the GROUT. Remove any residue or debris, and then let it dry fully.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oxygenated bleach to 2 cups of warm water. Stir till dissolved.
- Use the toothbrush to apply the mixture to the GROUT.
- After letting it soak in, scrub the GROUT in a circular motion. This looses the stain better than scrubbing back and forth. A thicker paste can be made if needed by dipping the wet toothbrush in the oxygenated bleach.
- Wipe the GROUT clean and let it dry completely.
- For extra-dark stains, try squeezing the juice from a lemon** onto the stain. Let it soak then repeat Steps 4 & 5 from above.
- Make sure your hard work has paid off. Spray the tiles and GROUT with cleaning spray, and then wipe them clean. Allow the GROUT to dry thoroughly as damp grout looks darker.
- Finish by applying a GROUT sealer to prevent future staining. Make a note to re-apply yearly perhaps when you are changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.
* Unlike bleaching agents that can harm GROUT, oxygenated bleach is safe even for coloured GROUT.
** Don’t use too much lemon juice on marble as it can etch the stone if left on too long. A safe alternative is hydrogen peroxide.
*** Some stains may need more elbow grease, a coarser brush, longer soaking, repeated treatments, or a commercial tile & grout cleaner to get the GROUT sparkling clean.
Taking care of your Muskoka cottage or home is like putting money in the bank. Scheduling grout maintenance on your calendar once a year will reap rewards and it will make you feel good too. And remember to imbibe the wine! Don’t waste it on your counters or floors.