By Erica Young
Tile grout is one of the most challenging things to clean. Even when sealed correctly, over time it can become porous and therefore easily stained. No matter how many times you mop your floors, those grout lines remain dirty and much darker than their original color. But fear not, we’ve got an easy (and surprising!) solution.
Ready for the secret weapon? Toilet cleaner. Yep, good old-fashioned gel toilet cleaner with bleach is all you need to bring your grout back to life. So when you’re done with the toilet bowls, don’t put away that cleaner just yet. Squeeze a bit on your grout lines and watch the magic happen! Here’s how it’s done.
1. Apply Toilet Cleaner to Grout Lines
Toilet cleaner is perfect because it contains bleach for cleaning the grout; and also comes in a clingy gel substance that is easy to apply to thin grout lines. Another benefit is its small spout applicator, which is the perfect size and shape for applying to grout lines. Turn the toilet cleaner bottle upside down and gently squeeze while you drag the tip along the grout lines. This method will ensure perfectly straight lines of cleaner exactly where you want it. Let the cleaner soak for a few minutes.
2. Scrub the Grout
Using a toothbrush or a grout brush, scrub the toilet cleaner into the grout lines. Without much effort, you’ll start to see the grime disappear because the cleaner does most of the work itself. Wipe away excess with a damp rag. The cleaner will make the tile very slippery, be sure to wipe and rinse as much as needed to get rid of any residue.
3. Take One Area at a Time
Although simple, cleaning your grout is a tedious job – especially if you’re tackling a large room. If you’ve decided to clean your entire kitchen floor, for example, work on one small area at a time. This way you can take breaks as needed, and wipe up the cleaner before moving on. To make the job a little more comfortable, wear kneepads.
4. Admire the Results
Once you scrub and wipe away the cleaning gel, you’ll be amazed at the results. Your grout will literally look brand new. Professional grout cleaning services can cost on average 75 cents to a dollar per square foot, costing you hundreds of dollars. There’s no need to waste your money when really all you need is a $2 toilet cleaner and an old toothbrush! Who knew?
Once you’re done giving your grout a makeover, you’ll want to preserve your work. Consider sealing the grout with a grout sealant available at any hardware store. Sealant will protect your grout from getting dirty for a longer period than unsealed grout, but eventually, it will become dirty again no matter what. Plan on a good grout-cleaning session at least once a year to keep your floors looking their best.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Erica Young