Eclectic Homes

Get Grout Magically Clean — Stains and All

September 11, 2019

Tile — if it’s used as flooring, at the kitchen as a backsplash or for counters, or in the restroom — has one great downfall: grout. Since grout is porous in nature, unsealed grout absorbs all kinds of stains, from mold to java and everything in between. To say it’s a hassle is an understatement.

Notice: Be cautious of using a lot of lemon juice with marble, since it can etch or harm the rock if left too long. Hydrogen peroxide may be safe alternative.

Meg Padgett

We inherited marble countertops when we bought our house. It’s pretty apparent that the grout was never properly sealed, so it soaks up stains like mad. It makes our kitchen feel gross and filthy, even though it was cleaned. While I’d love to replace the counters with a solid surface like quartz, it’s just not within our budget also we just can not justify getting rid of something that’s perfectly alright otherwise.

Meg Padgett

Luckily, I’ve got a foolproof method that can lift most household stains out of this pesky grout.

What you’ll need:
Oxygenated bleach (like OxiClean)
Warm water
Coarse scrubbing brush (like an old toothbrush)
Grout sealer

Hint: Cleaning colored grout should be done with special attention. Bleaching agents (like chlorine bleach) can discolor and damage the colored grout. Luckily, oxygenated bleach doesn’t contain corrosive chemicals and is safe to use on most of grout.

Meg Padgett

1. Clean the surface thoroughly, removing any surface debris or residue. Let the grout dry.

2. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of oxygenated bleach in 2 cups of warm water. Wet the brush at the mix and apply it to the grout. Let it soak in, then scrub the grout in a circular movement, which will loosen the stain more effectively than the usual front-and-back movement. If necessary, dip the wet brush to the oxygenated bleach to make a paste. Wipe clean, then let dry.

Hint: To lift extra-dark stains, then squeeze lemon juice on the stain, let it soak in, then scrub, wash wash and let the grout dry. Use lemon juice sparingly, since it can harm some tile endings.

Meg Padgett

3. Spray the tiles and grout with an ecofriendly cleaning spray and wipe them clean. Let the grout dry completely prior to making a last choice on if your hard work paid off — moist grout appears darker than dry grout.

4. Apply grout sealer after the grout has completely dried to avoid any future stains. Be sure annually to reapply it.

The stain on this grout, which can be visible two photos above, came out fairly easily with the steps described here.

Meg Padgett

This coffee stain, on the other hand, took a bit more elbow grease, a longer soaking time and a few repeated attempts before it was sparkling clean again.

Meg Padgett

Still having trouble getting that grout clean? For all those impossible-to-remove stains, you may wish to contemplate:
A commercial tile and grout cleaner
A cookie brush (avoid using metal bristles, even however, as they may erode the grout)
Grout RenewIf once you have tried all three, the stain is still hanging strong, you might have to resort to removing the old grout and replacing it with new.

A electrical multitool, like the Dremel Mult-Max, helps create quick and secure work of removing the old grout.

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