Ceramic tile can be a beautiful and functional material for a bathroom. But if there’s one complaint that we hear about tile from customers, it’s that the grout lines can get dirty and dingy over time.
Why is tile grout so hard to clean? First, unlike the tile itself, grout is porous, so contaminants can sink below the surface (which makes them extra stubborn to remove). Also, the bathroom is a very damp environment. Even tile that’s outside of the shower can be exposed to microbes such as bacteria and mold.
While cleaning bathroom tile can be tricky – it’s not impossible. Here are our tips for returning grout lines to the original glory.
Invest in a good brush
For any plumbing or home project, it helps to have the right tool for the job. And for cleaning grout, your best tool is a high-quality, nylon-bristled brush. An old toothbrush won’t be strong enough to get out tough grout stains. Trust us, your arm will thank you later.
Start with natural grout cleaners
We recommend that you start by trying a natural grout cleaner that’s gentler on you, your plumbing, and the environment than harsh-chemical cleaners. As a bonus, these solutions are also easy to make and cheaper than buying most products.
Here are some natural cleaners you can try, ordered from simplest to strongest:
- Warm water and dish soap. You may be surprised how effective your trusty brush and sudsy water can be.
- Baking soda – add water until it forms a paste. Let the mixture sit on the grout, then rinse with warm water.
- 3 parts baking soda, 1 part hydrogen peroxide, and a squirt of dish soap. Scrub the mixture onto the grout and rinse with warm water.
- Oxygenated bleach. Mix with water, scrub into the grout, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
Be careful with commercial cleaning products
If the natural approach doesn’t refresh the grout as well as you hoped, then it’s time to try a more powerful commercial cleaner. But be careful – these products can be dangerous if mishandled or used improperly. Here are some safety tips:
- Avoid products with acids that could deteriorate the grout
- Do not mix cleaning products, which could result in a dangerous chemical reaction
- Open the windows or turn on the fan to make sure the bathroom is ventilated
- Wear appropriate clothing and safety gear (such as gloves and eye protection)
- Read all of the directions and safety warnings on the packaging before using the product
- If you experience burning skins, eye irritation, headache, or breathing issues, stop using the product immediately and move outside or to a better-ventilated room
Plumbers in New Haven or Fairfield County
We hope these tips are helpful in cleaning grout lines so you can enjoy the beauty of your bathroom. If you ever have plumbing issues – large or small – the team at Rick’s Plumbing is here to help. To schedule an appointment, call (203) 874-6629 today.