Blayne asked: How can I whiten tile grout that is stained from dust and debris within the pores of the grout? I recently had bathroom tile laid, but it has not yet been sealed. Other work done in the bathroom has caused dirt and dust to stain the grout and fill in between the small pores. The tiles and grout are all (supposed to be) white. How do I make my new tile grout look new and bright white?
Grout is porous, meaning that it is filled with tiny holes. These holes quickly collect dirt and grime, which affects the color. If the grout is not sealed, this happens fast. Even mopping will discolor unsealed grout. The rough and porous surface scrapes the dirt off of the mop and stores it in the tiny holes. In order to remove this dirt, it needs to be loosened and then extracted.
You Will Need:
- Baking soda
- Scrub brush
- Wet Vac
Steps to Remove the Dirt and Grime:
- Mrs. Clean offers a cleaning solution that is safe to use over and over on tile and grout. Combine ½ cup baking soda, 1/3 cup vinegar, ¼ cup ammonia and 7 cups of water in a bucket.
- Pour some of the solution into a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution onto the soiled grout.
- Remove it by wiping the area with a soft cloth or sponge.
- For heavily soiled grout, pour the solution onto the surface and scrub with a scrub brush.
- Vacuum the dirty solution away with a wet vac.
- Allow the area to dry completely.
- Apply the sealant following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If the dirt is not removed, bleach can also be utilized to cut through the grime.
- The bleach can be used straight out of the bottle or mixed with water. Do NOT mix bleach into the above solution. Mixing bleach and ammonia results in dangerous fumes.
- Allow the bleach to set on the grout for a few minutes before rinsing with water.
- Vacuum all moisture away to pull the dirt out of the grout pores.
Additional Tips and Ideas:
- Steam extraction cleaning is the best way to loosen and remove dirt completely. The steam and detergents cut through the dirt and the vacuum pulls it out of all the tiny holes and pores. Though floor steamers can be costly, they are effective and may be rented from some rental locations. Another alternative is to have a professional complete the cleaning for you.
- Seal the grout immediately with a high quality sealant. This is the only way to really prevent it from becoming dirty again.