For anyone new to the homeownership game, grout is the substance between tiles that helps hold individual tiles together. Grout may not seem like a team player when it comes to your home (or your spring cleaning to-do list), but as anyone who has dealt with dirty grout can tell you, it can cause a real issue for your home aesthetics.
Easiest Ways to Clean Grout
Thankfully for your back, there are many ways to clean grout — all with varying levels of elbow grease required.
- Get a brush. The simplest way to clean grout is just to get a stiff-bristled brush and go at it with warm water. This process may be enough for light stains, but may not be harsh enough for longstanding dirt and grime.
- Warm water + vinegar. Vinegar is the go-to cleaning solution for many homeowners who don’t want to turn to chemicals. Simply create a one-part vinegar, one part warm water mixture to spray on the grout, leave it for five minutes, then scrub the stains.
- Baking soda + vinegar. Another tried and true natural cleaning mixture, baking soda and vinegar, work together to erode away problem stains with ease. Create a paste from the baking powder by adding small amounts of water and add it to the grout lines. Introduce some vinegar and wait for the mixture to stop foaming before attacking it with the stiff-bristled brush.
- Hydrogen peroxide + baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide is another foaming mixture that can be used in cleaning. Try it by itself, or add it to baking soda paste to clean mild grout stains.
- OxiClean. OxiClean is a form of oxygen bleach, a cleaning agent typically sold in powdered form. If you choose to opt for oxygen bleach, make sure to do so in a well-ventilated area and follow all manufacturer directions closely.
- Chemical cleaning agents. For harder to clean stains and even mildew, there are many cleaning agents specifically designed for cleaning grout lines. Some are a spray option that cuts down on the need for scrubbing, while others do require more hands-on help. As always, make sure to read all instructions for use with anything containing harsh chemicals, as certain mixtures can create toxic gases and other harmful issues.
- Steam cleaning. Residential steam cleaning appliances can be purchased from most hardware stores or home goods stores. Steam is one of the best ways to clean hard to remove stains, but it can cost more than other methods. You can also rent steam cleaning machines from the local Lowes to get the results without making an investment in a heavy-duty cleaning appliance.
There are many ways to successfully remove stains and keep your home clean, but there are also many ways to prevent things like mildew from staining your grout, to begin with.
Reduce Excess Moisture in the Home
Excess moisture can come from many places in our homes. The kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms that use the most water, and they can also be prime growing areas for mold and mildew. Follow these simple tips to reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do at home:
- Use exhaust fans while cooking and bathing. Turning on the bathroom ventilation fan before stepping in the shower may seem like second nature, but do you also use your hood fan while cooking? Steaming vegetables can create excessive moisture to settle on your backsplash, walls, or ceiling. If left sitting there for too long, it can absorb into the area and create mildew and mold.
- Fix any and all leaks. Even the smallest leak can lead to massive problems with moisture over time. If you suspect your home has a leak, contact your local plumbers to fix the issue right away.
- Use your HVAC system. Your air conditioner does more than just cool your home — it also helps to control humidity, so your home isn’t left with condensation collecting on window panes and other areas of the home.
If you’re worried about the plumbing in your home contributing to a mold or mildew problem, contact Pine State Services right away!