The day has come for you to clean your floor grout. We know you didn’t want to—this cleaning task could be tiresome, besides being a risk for floor damage. However, did you know there are safe and scrub-free methods to clean your grout? Keep reading to learn more about it.
Why does grime build up in floor grout?
Due to its location, floor grout is constantly exposed to grime. Grout is usually porous, being the perfect terrain for dirt and liquids to get stuck. Therefore, dirt from muddy shoes or spilled food becomes harder to clean.
Also, in humid zones (like the bathroom), moisture can get trapped in porous grout, making it easier for mold to grow and limescale to appear.
Things to consider before cleaning grout
Before starting to clean, you should identify if your grout is sealed or unsealed, and also the type of stains you’re dealing with. These will help you decide the best cleaning method.
Sealed and unsealed grout
Keep special focus on this, as it'll give you an idea of how tough you can be while cleaning your grout. Unsealed grout leaves the material exposed and more vulnerable to damage. On the other hand, sealed grout is protected and has a smooth surface that is easier to clean.
Now, identifying whether or not your grout is sealed could be difficult. So, here’s a quick experiment for you: spray some water over your grout and wait for 1 to 2 minutes. While sealed grout will remain unchanged, unsealed grout will absorb the water, thus darkening its color.
Types of grime
Floor grout is constantly exposed to all kinds of stains and dirt, which could call for different cleaners. The most common stains are:
- Mineral buildup. Caused by hard water minerals, they are usually encountered in bathrooms or near faucets.
- Mold. It thrives in humid environments like bathrooms.
- Grease and oil. As these stains typically originate from food, you'll find them mostly in the kitchen and dining room.
- Liquids. Spillages are the primary source of these stains. They can be messy but aren't particularly challenging to clean.
Method #1. How to clean grout without scrubbing
There's a way to clean your floor grout effectively and without scrubbing. It's as simple as pouring the right cleaning solution and letting it work on the surface.
Step #1. Choose your cleaning solution
Vinegar and oxygen bleach are two powerful options you can use to clean your floor grout without scrubbing. Both have distinct cleaning attributes, so they fit better depending on what you want to clean.
Vinegar. Less expensive than commercial cleaners and with amazing cleaning properties, vinegar is the go-to cleaner for many homeowners. Its acid nature makes it perfect for dealing with limescale and mold in your grout.
To make your vinegar-based cleaning solution, just mix equal part vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle.
Oxygen bleach. Safer for your health and less harsh than regular bleach, oxygen bleach still has impressive cleaning attributes. Although vinegar is better suited to deal with limescale, this all-around cleaner is superior for removing all kinds of grime.
To make your cleaning solution, add 3 tablespoons of powdered oxygen bleach into a 2-gallon bucket with warm water. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution.
Step #2. Apply your cleaning solution
After picking one cleaning agent, pour some into a spray bottle and sprinkle a good amount on stained areas.
Once applied, let the cleaning solution sit for about one hour (for vinegar) or 15 minutes (for oxygen bleach) while it takes effect. Spray the area every now and then to prevent the solution from evaporating before time's up.
Disclaimers. Both vinegar and oxygen bleach could damage on the long run your floor grout, especially if they aren't sealed. These are powerful cleaners, so you won't have to scrub. However, please use them with discretion, just once or twice a year, and for badly stained grout.
Step #3. Wipe and rinse
Once the wait is over, you'll only need to mop the dirty areas with clean water. Although the cleaner takes care of the heavy job, you'll need to swab a few times over the grout to remove the grime fully. Continue mopping and rinsing until no traces are left.
Method #2. How to deep clean grout without damaging it
Most of the times, there’s no need to use powerful cleaning solutions on your grout. If you want to avoid damaging ot decoloring your floor grout, then this method is for you!
Step #1. Make a DIY solution
First, you'll need to prepare a homemade cleaner with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a 1:1 ratio. Although this all-around cleaner is not as powerful as oxygen bleach or vinegar, it is much safer for your grout.
Step #2. Cover the grout with your cleaner
If you are going to work on a few small areas, covering the grout by spraying it profusely will do the trick. Then, you should wait 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the level of grime. Moisten the area occasionally if it dries before the 10-15 minute mark.
For larger areas, soak your trusty mop with the homemade solution. That way, you'll be able to cover large spaces by moping them—just be sure to wet the floor grout thoroughly.
Step #3. Clean the grout
As said, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are a safer treatment for your grout. So, you'll need to be a bit tougher when wiping off the grime. For this, you'll need to dampen a clean, sturdy rag with warm soapy water and apply pressure as you work on the grout.
Sometimes the grout surface can be below the tile's level, thus more challenging to clean. For those cases, you can use a pencil (or anything thin enough) to help push the cloth, so it reaches the bottom.
Finally, rinse the area with clean water to eliminate any lingering dirt.
Pro tip: If wiping is not enough, a soft-bristled toothbrush can help you to deal with stubborn stains.
Method #3 Steam cleaner
While cleaning solutions are a great way to clean grout without scrubbing, they won't be effective against deeper ingrained stains. If you have the budget, investing in a steam cleaner could be a great idea, as it will deal with stubborn stains while saving you time—it also won't damage the grout.
Check this useful guide to fully take advantage of your steam cleaner potential.
Get more tips from Rain City Maids!
If you found these methods helpful, you'll love our cleaning advice. Our vast experience helping our community with their cleaning needs ensures the quality of our methods. So, check out our blog and discover many more amazing cleaning tips!