How to Clean Grout: The Secret to Success

Hint: The solution to dirty grout may be in your pantry. Grout lines are magnets for dirt and grime, and dingy grout can detract from the good looks of pretty tile. Eliminate dirty grout for good with these tips and tricks.

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Grout is a tricky to keep clean because it is porous. And on tile floors, crumbs and dirt can be left behind, even after sweeping. Plus, a quick wipe of the tiled surface can sometimes miss spots because the grout lines are often slightly deeper than the surface.

But common household products can be used to tackle dirty grout. Watch the video below to find out more.

Lightly Stained Grout

To clean stained grout, use a strong bleach solution (3/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water) and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush. Don't scrub too hard, though; you might damage the grout. Wear safety goggles to prevent the bleach from spattering in your eyes. Keep the work area ventilated. Or try a foaming grout cleaner that might need to soak for several minutes to be effective.

Deeply Stained Grout

If grout is deeply stained and discolored, replace it. Tile stores sell and sometimes rent tools for removing grout. Run the tool along the grout, taking care not to scratch the surrounding tile. Clean the space between the tiles with a strong bleach solution, then apply new grout and seal it. Do NOT spill bleach on porcelain because the solution might cause pitting or yellow or pink stains.

New Tile and Grout

Because grout is so porous and prone to collecting grime, you'll want to start your grout-cleaning regimen with prevention. If you recently installed new grout or renewed existing grout in a tile floor, keep that new grout looking its best by using a grout sealer 10-14 days after the grout cures.

More: How to clean tile floors.

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