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Are you ready to banish grimy grout for good? Whether it’s the tiles on your kitchen floor or the walls of your shower, clean grout can transform the look of a room.

Today, I’ll walk you through my two top methods for achieving sparkling grout, focusing on effective, non-toxic cleaning techniques.

Why Choose Non-Toxic Grout Cleaning?

Many traditional grout cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both your health and the environment. That’s why I prefer using non-toxic methods whenever possible. Not only do they provide excellent results, but they also ensure that your home remains a safe, chemical-free zone.

PLUS my two favorite methods work just as well as any commercial grout cleaner.

my mudroom grout before and after steam cleaning

Method 1: Steam Cleaning with a Handheld Steamer

My favorite grout cleaning solution is the Bissell handheld steamer. This powerful little appliance uses nothing but water to steam away the dirt and grime that can build up in grout lines. It’s an especially great option for homes with pets or children because it doesn’t involve any harmful chemicals.

steam cleaning cleaning grout.

How to Use a Handheld Steamer for Grout:

  1. Prep Your Area: Begin by sweeping or vacuuming to remove any loose dirt.
  2. Fill and Heat: Add water to the steamer and allow it to heat up.
  3. Steam and Clean: Move the steamer along the grout lines. The steam will loosen the dirt, making it easy to wipe away.

This method is not only effective but also incredibly simple and fast. The steam does the heavy lifting, eliminating the need for scrubbing and reducing the risk of damaging your grout.

author steam cleaning a mudroom floor.

It can be a little messy, as the steam leaves water behind, but just use an old towel to wipe it up and it’s an easy project that effectively cleans grout.

VIDEO: See this steam cleaner cleaning mudroom grout and watch the stains disappear!

Method 2: Cleaning with Baking Soda

While steam cleaning is my go-to method, I’ve also has good success with a mixture of bakind soda, hydrogen peroxide and a squirt of dish soap. Baking soda is a mild abrasive cleaner and works wonders on stained grout when used with a mini electric scrubbing brush.

cleaning grout with an electric brush and a bowl of baking soda mixture.

This combination is not only effective but also safe and easy to prepare with common household ingredients.

Steps for Using the Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Dish Soap Mixture:

  1. Prepare the Mixture: In a small bowl, mix 2 parts baking soda, 1 part hydrogen peroxide, and a squirt of dish soap. Aim for a thick, spreadable paste.
  2. Apply the Paste: Use a brush or an old toothbrush to apply the paste directly to the grout lines.
  3. Let it Sit: Allow the paste to sit on the grout for about 5-10 minutes to penetrate and loosen the dirt.
  4. Scrub: Gently scrub the grout lines with your brush to lift the stains.
  5. Rinse: Thoroughly rinse the area with warm water to remove any residue.

This method is particularly useful for areas with stubborn stains that steam alone may not remove. The scrubbing action combined with the natural cleaning power of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide typically results in grout that looks almost new.

Method 3: Commercial Grout Cleaners

There are several commercial grout cleaners available that can be effective for different types of grout and stains. Some popular options include:

  • Zep Grout Cleaner & Brightener: Known for its effectiveness on tough stains, but should be used sparingly due to its acidic nature.
  • Granite Gold Grout Cleaner: Safe for use on natural stone tiles and grout.
  • Soft Scrub with Bleach: Good for heavily stained grout, especially in showers.

I personally prefer to stick to my 2 natural methods, which have always worked for me.

Tools and Safety Gear

Using the right tools can make a significant difference in cleaning efficiency and effectiveness. Here are a few essentials:

  • Grout Brush: Opt for one that’s sturdy yet gentle enough to not damage your grout. I like this set as it comes with different attaches depending on the size of your grout lines.
  • Protective Gloves and Goggles: Always protect your hands and eyes, especially when using any chemical cleaners.

What to Avoid

It’s crucial to know what not to use on your grout:

  • Acidic Cleaners: These can erode grout over time, especially if it’s unsealed or damaged. Even something as simple as vinegar can ruin to the look of tile like marble.
  • Abrasive Scrubbers: Harsh scrubbing tools can scratch tiles and wear down grout.
  • Chlorine Bleach: Use sparingly as it can weaken the grout over time.

Aftercare: Sealing Your Grout

Once your grout is clean, consider applying a sealer to extend its cleanliness. A good quality sealer can protect grout from dirt and spills, making routine cleaning easier and preventing stains.  Before applying the sealer, it’s important to make sure that your grout is clean and completely dry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and allow sufficient time for the sealer to cure.

511 impregnator sealer.

Our tile installers have always recommended this impregnator sealer. It’s easy to apply just wipe it on, leave it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off! Then you can reapply it every 6 months to a year to maintain your grout.

Steps for Sealing Grout:

  1. Clean and Dry: Ensure the grout is clean and completely dry before applying the sealer.
  2. Apply Sealer: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the sealer evenly along the grout lines.
  3. Wipe Excess: Use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess sealer from the tiles.
  4. Cure Time: Allow sufficient time for the sealer to cure, as per the product instructions.

Final Thoughts

Different situations call for different cleaning methods. For regular maintenance, steam cleaning is an efficient, safe, and eco-friendly option. For more severe stains, a targeted approach with Bar Keeper’s Friend might be necessary. By choosing the right method and maintaining regular cleaning schedules, you can keep your tile grout looking pristine.

Remember, the key to effective grout cleaning is consistency and using the right tools and methods for your specific tile and grout type. Happy cleaning!

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