If you have boarded the trendy tile train, then chances are you have grout in your home! Grout is what holds your tiles together and fresh grout looks beautiful but let’s face it, grout can be tough to clean. The problem is, grout maintenance takes time and effort. And many homeowners don’t know how to properly care for grout around kitchen, bathroom, and living room tiles, leading to problems down the road. Sealing grout is the most important thing you can do to keep it sanitary and avoid having it erode. If you decide to clean and maintain your grout it will last for years to come, here’s how!
Cleaning Your Grout: 4 Proven Methods
We have compiled four different methods that have proven effective for cleaning grout. When cleaning it, be conscious of the color of the grout and spot test a small area first. Wait overnight for the grout to dry completely before applying sealant.
Method 1 -
- Mix together the following ingredients: ½ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon of dish soap.
- Apply this mixture to the grout and wait 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub the grout with a toothbrush and then wipe clean with warm water.
Method 2 -
- Sprinkle baking soda over the grout.
- Add hydrogen peroxide to a spray bottle and spray over the baking soda until wet and bubbly.
- Wait 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub the grout with toothbrush and then wipe clean with warm water.
Method 3 -
- Mix together equal parts baking soda and white vinegar into a paste.
- Spread mixture over the grout and wait 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub the grout with a toothbrush and then rinse with warm water.
Method 4 -
- Sprinkle Comet over the grout.
- Spray a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water over Comet and wait 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub the grout with a toothbrush, rinse out the brush regularly with water.
- Rinse the grout thoroughly with warm water.
Once you have finished cleaning the grout using whichever method you prefer, you’ll need to reseal it. (Note: epoxy grouts don’t need to be sealed.) Choosing the right sealant is crucial and will depend on where the grout is located in your home along with its use. For instance, surface sealants or coatings will not be sufficient sealers for the grout in a bathroom. Bathrooms require silicone, not water-based products. Your selection depends on several factors, such as the type of the grout, location, your intention, applying method, and budget.
To Seal or Not to Seal?
Regular cleaning is required in good grout maintenance but alone it isn’t usually enough to prevent buildup of mold and bacteria. Grout is porous, it traps dirt and is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungus, so sealing it is a must. Properly applying a grout sealant protects the grout and helps keep you and your family healthy. Apply grout sealant based on traffic or usage patterns. The tile floor in a living room may get a lot of traffic, but little moisture, whereas bathroom tile gets a lot of use and moisture, especially tile showers or tubs. It is recommended that you reseal grout once a year in “hotspot” areas and also after you have deep cleaned your tile and grout. Low traffic or usage areas need resealing every 4-5 years to remain effective.
Types of Grout Sealers
There are many types of sealant products and each offers different benefits depending where the grout resides in your home, it’s use and your objective for grout maintenance. Regardless of product type, sealants fall under one of three categories:
Coatings are a thin layer on the grout surface so no oil, water, or dirt can penetrate the grout pores. There are two coatings available: permanent and strippable.
Color sealers will bond to your grout, filling the pores, while keeping the same look and texture of your original grout. Color sealers will also allow you to change your grout from dark to light, or even light to dark.
Penetrating sealers are made to penetrate the grout surface and deposit particles that will protect the grout, preventing water and dirt from penetrating the grout. These types of sealers mostly contain silane, siloxane, silicone, or some other silicon derivative.
Visionary Homes Tile Options
Depending on traffic patterns in your home, and general condition, when you keep up with grout maintenance, it can help your tiling and flooring sparkle for many years. Ultimately, the better you take care of your grout, the longer you can enjoy your beautiful tile in your home. Looking for some inspiration to add tile to your home or perhaps you are ready to upgrade! Stop by one of our award-winning design studios to check out our selection of beautiful tiles and grout options.