Nothing dulls the lustre and sheen of a bathroom suite quite like discoloured grout. Grout, so often used to embed the space between tiles, helps cement tiles to their placement on the wall or floor and as a hardy, tough substance, it does its job well. Unfortunately when grout requires removal, it’s much heralded hard reputation can be a pain. You may only have slight unsightly discolouration to deal with or a build-up of grout that is practically overflowing between your tiles. Luckily, we have a few hints and tips to help you keep your shower grouting clean. Read on to find out how to clean grout!
How to Clean Grout:
What will I need?
- A rag, sponge, brush or cloth, perhaps even a squeegee.
- An old toothbrush or cotton buds.
- Hard-bristle brush.
- Dry broom or mop.
- A cleaning solution or product such as Oxi-Clean, Domestos, Mr Muscle, Bleach or a homemade solution such as a concoction comprised of vinegar, baking soda and warm water.
- A pair of gloves (optional)
Choosing your Cleaning Product
Decide on your cleaning product. There is such a versatile range to choose from. You might select a specialised shop bought product or whip up your own using every day household goods. It’s ideal to test a little of your chosen weapon on a small area of grout to see whether it is suited to your needs. Very tough grout sometimes requires a stronger product (or, alternatively a little elbow grease and patience!) A product with anti-fungal properties will assist with minimising the growth of mildew and mould.
Begin the Cleaning:
- Firstly, give your tiles (whether they be floor or wall tiles) a once over with warm water from the shower head. Then, give them a quick buff with a rag, cloth, dry broom or mop. This is ideal for prepping your tiles for grout removal, nullifying any surface barriers that may get between you and the matter at hand!
- Apply your product over the entirety of your tiles and allow them to soak. There is no specific time that the product needs to be able to soak for but 30 minutes is the minimum recommended. If you are using a shop bought product, be sure to read the instructions advising how much product to use. If you are grout-ridden, you may need more but you can add as you go.
Start to Scrub
- Once you are satisfied that the tile grout has soaked for long enough, use a hard-bristle brush to give the grout a thorough scrub. Some grout will loosen more readily than others. You can also use your toothbrush or cotton buds to reach hard to get to grout.
- If the grout doesn’t come away easily, keep going over your tiles with the brush. It may be necessary to apply more solution and allow it to soak once more, thereby loosening the grout further.
- Highly persistent grout can be removed using a hammer and chisel, although you’ll need to be careful not to damage your tiles. Using tape to cover the edges of tiles helps minimise the impact.
- Once you are satisfied that your tiles look healthy and clean, rinse the floor and wall thoroughly with warm water (add soap if you want to rinse away strong smells such as bleach or vinegar) and clean the tiles with a mop, cloth or rag until they are looking good as new and dry!
If you can’t get your grout to look clean it might be worth removing it and then regrouting the area. Read on to find out the best way to successfully remove any unsightly grout.
A highly efficient way to clean away old, discoloured grout is to scrape it away. Grout scrapers and saws are useful to clean away the build up of grout on a frequent basis as they enable precision when it comes to extraction. Grout saws can be used to create incisions between tiles and the scraper does the job of extracting the grout accumulated there. You simply need to dig the scraper in and drag it along the length of the grout. Chisel and hammers can be used in place of saws and scrapers but the latter is preferable because the process is easier and more accurate, enabling you to strip away old grout effortlessly. For larger tiles, power tools may be necessary, but work in much the same way. They simply allow you to make more of an impact more quickly. Smaller jobs work well when tackled with hand held tools allowing you accuracy and full control.
Grout is a stubborn substance and is also very hard. When it is removed, it tends to fly in all directions. Ensure your eyes and mouth are protectively covered with goggles and dust masks. It’s also beneficial to cover appliances, fixtures and accessories that may be damaged during the removal process. Tiles can also be damaged an accidental meeting with a scraper or saw. Using tape to cover the edges of tiles ensures you don’t accidentally scuff them in the process.
Ensure all of the grout is gone
No matter how effectively you scrape, small remnants of grout may remain. An easy way to do so is to use a hammer and chisel to knock out persistent grout that refuses to be scraped away. Remember that persistence is key. Some grout is a little unrelenting, but there is always a way to shake it lose. It can be painstaking to clean or remove grout but once you see the finished result you will be pleased you took the time. Your shower can be completely rejuvenated and tiled areas appear nearly new once again. Hopefully you have found this how to clean grout blog a useful read. Feel free to pass on your own handy tips to ensure the grout in your bathroom remains in a smart condition! Tweet us @BellaBathrooms.