Most modern homes make use of tiles in various areas of the house, such as the bathrooms and the kitchen.
This is because tiles offer several advantages over other building materials like wood and cement. They are water-resistant, look great, and are highly durable.
However, with regular use, tiles can accumulate dirt and grime over time just like any other building materials, especially in bathrooms. In most cases, tiles can be cleaned quite easily, but the same cannot be said for the grout that attaches them.
Cleaning grout stains can be a tedious job, involving a lot of effort and time, which is why today, we’ve created this guide to help you out.
It will help you learn how to clean floor grout without scrubbing so that your tiles can look as good as new. So, let’s get started!
- What is A Floor Grout?
- How Often Should You Clean Your Grout?
- Best Ways To Clean Grout Without Scrubbing
- 1. Cleaning With Warm Water And Whitening Toothpaste
- 2. Using Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda Paste
- 3. Applying Lemon Juice, Vinegar, and Hot Water
- 4. Using A Toilet Bowl Cleaner That Contains Bleach
- 5. Cleaning With A Vacuum Cleaner
- 6. Application of Chlorine Bleach
- 7. Using Oxygenated Bleach
- 8. Application of An Alkaline Cleaner
- 9. Using A Steam Cleaner
- 10. Using Polyblend
- 11. Whitening The Grout With A Grout Pen
- 12. Cleaning With A Magic Eraser
- 13. Restoring The Grout Using A Grout Sealant And Colorant
What is A Floor Grout?
Before looking at the methods of cleaning grout stains, it is important to understand what exactly grout is. Grout is the filling material used for the joints between the tiles after they are set. While there are different types of grout, most of them contain a mixture of lime, cement, color pigments, and sometimes sand. After mixing it with water, this mixture is left to cure and hardens over time, securing the tiles in place.
There are several reasons why grout is such a popular material for tile installations. Besides preventing dirt and debris from getting under the tiles, floor grout provides a finished appearance to the flooring. Plus, it provides the tile installation with strength and rigidity.
However, to maximize these benefits, it is crucial to select the right type of grout for the installation, especially with so many options to choose from. If the grout is of poor quality, dirt can enter and weaken the seal and cause damage to the tiles. And selecting the right grout will also help extend the life of your tiles and reduce the need for maintenance.
While grout is the best material that can be used for tile installations, it is also one of the hardest areas to clean. Dirt, grime, oil, and other materials can get easily trapped in grout and then set there, making it very hard to remove them. This is especially true in the case of bathrooms where there is plenty of warmth and moisture, providing the perfect place for bacteria to thrive.
These can lead to the development of mold and may also pose health risks in some cases. That’s why regular maintenance and cleaning of tile grout is very important to ensure that the tiles last longer and the highest hygiene standards are properly maintained.
How Often Should You Clean Your Grout?
We’ve already explained the necessity and benefits of regular cleaning and maintenance of floor grout, but you may be wondering how often to undertake a bathroom grout cleaning project.
If you find any stained grout lines in the bathroom, kitchen, or other areas, it is best to clean them up as soon as possible, which will prevent them from setting. Ideally, you should try to clean floor grout at least once a month and undertake deeper cleaning once every 2-3 months.
You can even divide up the cleaning process into different segments, which will help avoid overburdening yourself. For instance, weekly cleaning by wiping down the tiles and grout with a multipurpose spray, a cleaning wipe, and a cloth will prevent the dirt from settling. It can be accompanied by a bi-weekly preventive clean for high-use areas such as showers and backspaces.
Finally, you can even get the tiles cleaned professionally twice a year to retain their pristine appearance for long-term maintenance.
Best Ways To Clean Grout Without Scrubbing
Now, it is time to look at some of the best methods to clean floor grout with minimal to no scrubbing at all. Most of these methods are DIY alternatives to any store-bought grout cleaner and use materials that you can easily find at home or in the local supermarket.
1. Cleaning With Warm Water And Whitening Toothpaste
Sometimes, the simplest methods are the best and most effective, especially if your floor is relatively new and does not require strong chemicals for cleaning. Pour some warm water in a bucket and use a grout brush or an old toothbrush to apply the whitening toothpaste to the floor grout.
You can even use an old electric toothbrush or a scrubbing brush with interchangeable heads to make the application process easier. After application, let the toothpaste lie for a few minutes before rinsing the tiles with warm water.
2. Using Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda is among the best eco-friendly materials that you can use to clean floor grout effectively. Besides being able to remove stains, it can completely neutralize bacterial growth. It’s easily available in most kitchens or can be easily purchased from your local grocery store.
Similarly, hydrogen peroxide is a natural cleaning agent with antibacterial and antifungal properties and does not have a harsh effect on the tiles. Hence, it can remove stains from dirty grout most effectively without being as abrasive as other chemical-based cleaning agents.
Before using this method, it is recommended to remove the loose or dry dust and dirt accumulated on the tiles by using a broom or a vacuum cleaner. This is because the grout cleaning process can be quite muddy, but doing so can help reduce it to some extent. After cleaning the floor, use hot water and a lint-free mop to wipe the surface, which will help soften the dirt.
For the next step, mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a 1:1 ratio and a splash of dish soap if you want to remove the grease as well. Once the paste is ready, apply it to all grout lines and leave it for about 10 minutes before wiping with a clean cloth.
The baking soda can easily enter the porous surface of the grout without damaging it, while hydrogen peroxide acts as a natural alternative to bleach, helping brighten the tiles. Finally, the dishwashing liquid will eliminate any slime or grease between the tiles.
3. Applying Lemon Juice, Vinegar, and Hot Water
Another natural and homemade solution for cleaning tile grout that eliminates the need for scrubbing is applying a mixture of white vinegar, lemon juice, and water. The presence of citric acid in the lemon juice makes the mixture slightly acidic, which helps break down stubborn dirt and grime.
To prepare the mixture, mix about 830 ml or 3.5 cups of hot water in a spray bottle, 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, and the juice squeezed from half a lemon. After mixing the solution well, spray it onto the grout lines and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping the tiles with a damp rag.
Vinegar, while being highly effective, is relatively gentle and is also affordable. If required, you can use a toothbrush to work the mixture into the grout for the best results. This method can also help remove mortar from tiles and offers other advantages as well.
An alternate solution involves mixing half a cup of baking soda with a similar amount of white vinegar and half a cup of water. It will also get rid of any tough stains from your floor tiles, but make sure to avoid using vinegar on stone tiles as it can damage them.
4. Using A Toilet Bowl Cleaner That Contains Bleach
One of the easiest ways to clean floor grout without scrubbing is using a toilet bowl cleaner containing bleach. Simply apply the toilet cleaner directly onto the tile floor that requires cleaning. However, you will need to move quickly to ensure a uniform flow and straight lines when applying the cleaner.
After application, let the toilet cleaner sit for about 30 minutes. Once the dirt particles become loose, you can use a grout scrubbing brush and scour the grout carefully before wiping it off with a damp cloth. If there is some excess cleaner on the shower walls or floor, rinse the grout with water thoroughly to get rid of it.
Since there are several options when it comes to toilet cleaners that can be used for grout cleaning, selecting the right one can be tricky. We recommend using gel-based products that come with a nozzle tip since they allow precise application for both floor and shower grout. It reduces the amount of mess that you will need to clean up afterward.
5. Cleaning With A Vacuum Cleaner
Regular vacuuming of the tiled floor can ensure that it remains clean for longer and reduces the effort required when it is time to deep clean it. Vacuum cleaners can pick up most grime and dirt very effectively that can otherwise collect on the tiles and grout. Plus, it can be used on both ceramic and stone tiles.
Using a vacuum cleaner is also highly recommended before using any other grout cleaning method since it prevents grime formation when you apply any chemical or water. Vacuum clean your tiled floors at least once a week to keep the tiles and grout in good condition and ensure that they only require minimal scrubbing during cleaning.
Alternatively, you can use a wet vacuum cleaner that can be used on wet tiles to clean up grime that has already soaked up water.
6. Application of Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine bleach can be highly effective for removing bad stains and rust but should be used only in small areas instead of the entire surface. This is because it can damage the grout used for installing the tiles and is a essentially a strong chemical, which can discolor the grout and other surfaces.
For this method, you will need to apply undiluted chlorine bleach to the grout lines and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe it off. Clorox bleach is among the best options if you wish to try this method but be careful not to leave it on the tiles for too long.
While using this method, it is vital to take some precautions to ensure safety and prevent accidents. Firstly, always ensure proper ventilation by turning on the fans and opening all the windows and doors in the vicinity. Also, wear proper eye and skin protection when using bleach of any kind.
7. Using Oxygenated Bleach
This is the ultimate grout cleaning method for tough stains that are hard to eliminate using other methods. Oxygenated bleach is generally available in powdered form, and you will need to prepare the solution before it can be used for cleaning the grout.
Measure about 1.5 tablespoons of powdered oxygen bleach for every 3.8 liters of warm water. Once you have prepared the required quantity of solution for all the areas, pour it over the floor grout, flooding the grout lines completely.
Leave the solution for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off. Using oxygen bleach is better than chlorine bleach since it is not toxic to animals, plants, and humans. However, be very careful when using it as it is a strong chemical and can damage the grout if used in high quantities. Also, make sure to open all the windows for proper ventilation before proceeding with the process.
8. Application of An Alkaline Cleaner
You can buy several alkaline cleaners that help clean floor grout without requiring intensive scrubbing, as they are very effective in dissolving all the grease and oil. These are usually left behind in the shower from soap scum and can coat both the drain and floor tiles. Most alkaline cleaners are available in the form of washing soda, which is generally used to remove stubborn stains from clothes.
However, keep in mind that various store-bought grout cleaners come with different dilution and usage instructions. So, make sure to read them before application. Most products require you to leave them for about 5 to 10 minutes, after which you can just rinse off the grout cleaner.
Also, such cleaners may contain chemicals that might be dangerous for you and your pets, so carefully follow all safety precautions before using them. And keep a scrub brush, old toothbrush, bristle brush, or a specially made grout brush handy, which will make your job easier.
9. Using A Steam Cleaner
If you want to avoid using chemical cleaners, then this is another excellent method you can use. Steam cleaners use high-pressure and hot water to remove dirt and dust from the floor tiles. For the best results, turn the steam cleaner up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 93 degrees Celsius, which will help disinfect the grout.
Hold the steam cleaner close to the grout and move it back and forth repeatedly, which will help loosen the dirt. Since the steam does not come out from the cleaner consistently, make sure to go slow, which will ensure that the grout gets a good burst of steam.
You can also use a bristle attachment with the steam cleaner but avoid using too much pressure, as it can wear out the brush. Likewise, use different types and sizes of attachments for floor and shower tiles that work best for the respective areas.
While working on the floor, turn the steam cleaner off periodically to mop up the cleaned grime from the area that has been cleaned. This will prevent it from settling back into the grout.
10. Using Polyblend
Polyblend is a product that has been specially developed for the purpose of cleaning grout. It is a water-based acrylic sealer that can help renew your old, dirty-looking grout effectively. Made from fade-resistant pigments, polyblend seals the discolored grout, which helps restore its appearance. You can use it to whiten and clean all types of floor grout without scrubbing.
It can even clean hardened and stubborn dirt and stains effectively while being less harmful to the tiles and your body. Furthermore, polyblend is available in several color options and prevents future stains, mildew, and mold growth.
However, using this method will require considerable effort since you need to apply it all along the grout lines. Polyblend can also be used in combination with other methods such as hydrogen peroxide and baking soda solution.
11. Whitening The Grout With A Grout Pen
If you are still not satisfied with how your floor grout looks even after using the various methods mentioned above, then using a grout pen might do the trick. A grout pen is easy to use and can help brighten tile grout in no time by covering up any stains and discoloration through its water-resistant tint.
Shake the grout pen properly, and then gently apply the felt tip of the pen to the grout. Start by following the lines of the grout slowly while wiping away any smudges that bleed onto the tiles from the grout.
12. Cleaning With A Magic Eraser
A magic eraser is a very powerful cleaning product that can be used to clean almost any surface and can become the ultimate grout cleaner, which works effectively on all grout types. Using it to clean floor grout is also a straightforward process. Simply dampen the eraser with water and start wiping the grout without using any other harsh cleanser.
However, a magic eraser can deteriorate after heavy use, so make sure to have a spare one if you run out. Also, avoid adding too much water as it can accelerate the speed at which the eraser deteriorates.
Once you’ve worked on all the areas where the grout needs cleaning, mop up the grime and water using a clean sponge. Since this method does not involve the use of any cleaning chemicals, it is among the safest options to use.
13. Restoring The Grout Using A Grout Sealant And Colorant
Sealing the grout properly and frequently is a highly effective technique that will eliminate the need for scrubbing. It will prevent moisture and bacteria from entering the grout while also helping recolor the grout, helping you revitalize the bathroom tiles easily.
Additionally, sealing the grout will provide an extra layer of protection against dirt, mold, mildew, grime, and other materials. This method is most effective when used at least once a year to help prevent any potential discoloration.
For cleaning floor tiles, natural methods are safe, economical, and the best way if you wish to avoid manual scrubbing. However, for some stains, such methods might not be very effective and you will require using stronger chemical methods.
In that case, always make sure to take the necessary precautions since the strong chemicals can harm your tiles and pose a risk to your health. For best results, use a combination of natural and chemical methods as required and make grout cleaning an important part of your regular house cleaning routine.
On that note, it’s time to wrap up. Until next time!