Exposed to moisture and splashing, whether in a powder room such as the bathroom or in the kitchen, Grout tends to grey, blacken or even scale. While the tile stays shiny and clean, the joints stand out and lose their freshness. Here are some tips and advice from professionals for cleaning and maintaining your Grout.
Why specifically maintain Grout
Even though they are very useful on floor tiles or wall tiles, household tile cleaning products can damage or even dull Grout. Which seems a priori quite contradictory!
Slightly porous, Grout can also exhibit mould, which is unhealthy and sometimes smelly.
Over time, unmaintained joints will tend to deteriorate quickly and jeopardize the waterproofing of your wall covering. It is, therefore, necessary to take care of it regularly.
Advice before cleaning the gaskets
Before cleaning the Grout, it is imperative to clean the surrounding tiles. If the tile is dirty, your grout will “catch” the dirt and never be sound and clean.
To thoroughly clean your Grout, first check the condition of your joints by passing a sponge in certain critical places: near a water inlet, in the corners of the wall, behind the tap, etc. If the joint tile is very smooth and seems in good condition, you can proceed to its maintenance.
- To renovate existing joints that are not very damaged, you will need to hollow out the old joint approximately 1 mm in order to be able to apply a renovation joint paste.
- If the existing joints are too damaged or even porous, then you will need to remove all of the old joints with the grinder, before cleaning the wall to be able to fit a new joint.
Tips and tricks for cleaning Grout
Whatever type of maintenance you choose, always remember to put on protective household gloves before cleaning Grout. In addition to the specific products such as Mold Remover, here are some cleaning tips with traditional or everyday products.
- Bleach: recommended for floor tiles, mixed with warm or hot water, bleach is very effective for cleaning, sanitizing and whitening Grout. But be careful not to use it too regularly as it could damage your joints. Apply and leave on for 30 minutes before rubbing with a toothbrush and rinsing.
- Dishwashing liquid: effective for regular maintenance, dishwashing liquid mixes at the rate of 1/3 dishwashing liquid to 2/3 water to be applied to the joints. Leave on, then rub and rinse. This can be done once a week.
- Baking soda: essential if your Grout is a little grey or blackened, or even dirty, on the floor as on your walls. Dilute the bicarbonate to 50%, spray or apply the mixture with a brush, scrub, rinse, dry and your joints will turn white again as on the first day. The product may “lather” a bit, but don’t worry, this is a normal chemical reaction!
Current Consumer Products
Grandmothers’ recipes are always relevant for this type of maintenance and are much more natural and economical than some products sold for this purpose.
- White vinegar: very effectively cleans and descales lightly soiled Grout like any other chrome-like surface in the kitchen or bathroom. Please note: not all tiles are vinegar-tolerant, so inquire beforehand or test on a very small hidden tile area.
Ventilate your room before you begin. Dilute 2/3 of white vinegar with 1/3 of water (and possibly add a little washing up liquid), dip a toothbrush in the mixture and vigorously scrub your Grout until completely clean. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly.
- Toothpaste: did you know the trick of cleaning with a toothbrush, to easily pass into the hollow of the joints? Well also opt for toothpaste which cleans and whitens the joints (like the teeth)! On a lightly soiled joint, put the toothpaste on a used toothbrush and scrub the joints. If necessary, put toothpaste on the joint and let sit overnight before brushing and rinsing. Hygienic, simple… and which leaves a good fresh smell in the bathroom!
- Claystone: just like vinegar but softer, claystone is effective on lightly soiled joints in regular maintenance. Apply, rub and rinse.
The maintenance of Grout is simple if it is regular, and keeps the joints clear, clean and healthy, therefore watertight. Always make sure to test on an isolated and hidden surface when using a new product: if the joints are resistant, the tiles are sometimes less so!
Depending on how dirty your joints are, here is a quick summary
- For regular maintenance: dishwashing liquid or vinegar
- For slightly grey joints: baking soda or toothpaste
- For clogged joints: bleach. We do not recommend the use of ammonia which, in addition to its very corrosive side, is very difficult to dose, handle in complete safety and has a very aggressive odour.