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How to clean grout for whiter, brighter tiles

Article by Homes to Love

A step-by-step guide for removing grime and dirt from grout between tiled surfaces

white tiles, marble bathroom

How to clean grout

1 Give the area a good clean

Clean the area with a scrubbing brush and a mild cleaning solution (such as dishwashing liquid) mixed with warm water. Dip a nylon scrubbing brush in warm soapy water and scrub the affected area. Use a circular motion – and try not to scrub too hard. Wipe excess water and soap away with a cloth. You’ll start to notice a difference already!

TOP TIP: Avoid any heavy-duty wire scrubbing brushes as these are too harsh for grout.

2 Try a homemade solution for mildew stains

For mildew stains in wet areas such as bathrooms, try a homemade solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part warm water. Spray this mixture onto the stained areas, wait 5 minutes, then scrub it off using a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse the area with warm water.

TOP TIP: Avoid vinegar on marble or stone tiles as vinegar can damage these materials.

3 Tackle heavy-duty stains with a natural cleaning paste

For heavy-duty stains try another homemade solution – a paste made from water and baking soda. Mix enough water into some baking soda to form a thick paste. Spread this paste onto the affected area. Scrub the area with a stiff-bristled brush, then rinse with warm water.

4 For heavy-duty stains, call in the big guns

For ultra heavy stains, use bleach or a store-bought grout cleaner. Mix oxygenated bleach powder with water to create a cleaning solution and apply to the grout. Scrub with a brush or toothbrush. Wear gloves and safety goggles. Rinse the area with water.

Make sure the area is well ventilated by turning on a fan or opening doors and windows.

TOP TIP: Bleach will stain clothing, so wear old clothes. The cloth used to wipe away the bleach solution will also end up discoloured.

5 If all else fails, replace the grout

If grout is stained beyond repair, it may need replacing.

6 Apply a grout sealer

Protect the freshly cleaned grout by applying a grout sealant, available from hardware stores.

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