Some people have dark grout (which looks like cement) and others have light grout (white cement) depending on what goes best with their tiles. Both these grout types can accumulate dirt, grime, stains from spills, mold & mildew (in bathroom & Kitchen) over time. Stains may be easily taken off from the tiles (which are on a raised level compared to the cement between the tiles) but the grout may house many of these stains for a long time.
How to Clean Cement between Tiles?
Grout usually doesn’t get cleaned when you mop the floors because you push dirty water on the floor and because the grout lines are slightly below the tile level, the dirty water accumulates in the grout.
Whether you have grey or white grout lines, we’ll look at the methods that can clean them thoroughly.
Before you use any of the steps of the various methods mentioned below, make sure to do the following first.
Clean the surface dirt and debris from the tiles using a broom or a vacuum. Also, pick up any larger items placed on the surface to avoid them from coming in the way of grout cleaning.
Method 1- Using Oxiclean (Oxygen Bleach)
This method is safe for all tiles and grout types except colored grout.
Caution: Don’t use chlorine bleach or Ammonia on the grout as these will cause grout erosion. They will also leave back a residue on the grout which will attract gunk and make the grout even worse.
4- Baking soda
5- Stiff grout brush/Brush attached to a drill/Stiff toothbrush/Electric brush
6- Wet rag
STEP 1- After you’ve done your surface cleaning, make a paste of water and OxiClean using about 4-5 tablespoons of OxiClean in a cup of water. Mix everything together in a bowl.
STEP 2- Dip a stiff toothbrush/grout brush/Scrub brush attached to a drill in the bowl and use it to lightly scrub the grout lines and wait for 10 minutes.
STEP 3- After letting the solution sit on the grout, again dip the brush into the OxiClean solution and scrub the lines again but this time a little harder. The stains and grime in the grout will get released. If there are tough stains here and there, then sprinkle more oxygen bleach from your container on those spots and scrub.
STEP 4- Now, once you’re done scrubbing about a 3 square feet section, use a wet rag to absorb the released grime and stains. Wipe the grout a bit harder. Then use a dry rag to wipe the area again. You may have to scrub a few times (perhaps after rinsing the rag) to get the perfectly clean grout lines.
STEP 5- Let the grout lines dry for some time naturally. Once dry, you’ll notice a tremendous difference.
Method 2- Using Baking Soda
Baking soda makes the dissolution of grime and dirt easy because it is an alkali.
1- Spray bottle (2)
3- Baking soda
4- Stiff grout brush/Brush attached to a drill/Stiff toothbrush/Electric brush
5- Damp sponge
STEP 1- After the preliminary step, In a spray bottle, put a cup of baking soda and fill the rest of it with water. Shake well to mix the ingredients.
STEP 2- Start to spray this solution over the gout lines in between your tiles. Start from one corner of the area and work in rows (section by section). You will cover the whole area in some time. Allow the solution to sit on the grout for about 4-5 minutes.
STEP 3- Again, go to the same corner where you started to spray the solution. If the solution has dried, spray again and use a stiff toothbrush or an electric brush, or a grout brush to scrub the grout lines.
You may also use a round drill brush scrubber that can be attached to your drill to save you all that elbow grease.
If the solution hasn’t dried you may simply scrub it with the toothbrush or wet it again.
STEP 4- With another spray bottle full of clean water, rinse the grout lines immediately after scrubbing. After rinsing the section, move to the next section of the same row for scrubbing and rinsing. Keep doing this until you have covered the whole area.
STEP 5- Give the area a final rinse and let the floor dry.
Method 3- Using Vinegar & Dish Soap
This method will be effective on all types of grout but make sure not to use vinegar on marble and limestone as it can etch and discolor the stone. Vinegar has the potential to penetrate into the grout and weaken it in time.
If you are worried about using vinegar, the next best alternative is to use Hydrogen Peroxide. Just don’t use it on Polished marble due to its acidity.
Dish soap loosens and breaks up dirt, grime, and bacteria for easy removal.
1- White vinegar/Lemons/Hydrogen Peroxide
3- Empty Cup
4- Baking soda
5- Dish soap
6- Stiff grout brush/Brush attached to a drill/Stiff toothbrush
7- Damp sponge
STEP 1- After the preliminary step, pour white vinegar directly over the grout lines. Don’t pour a lot of it. You can alternatively rub half-cut lemon over the grout lines. Or if you have chosen to work with Hydrogen Peroxide then get 3% H.P. and mix an equal amount of it with water to make a paste and apply this paste to the cement between the tiles (aka “Grout”).
STEP 2- Take water in a cup and add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to it. The solution will start to fizz. Mix well and then add a tablespoon of dish soap. Again mix the ingredients.
STEP 3- Pour the soapy solution over the grout lines (where you already poured vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide).
STEP 4- Now, using your stiff grout brush/brush attached to a drill/Stiff toothbrush, scrub the grout lines. The dirt and grime will start to loosen and eventually come out.
STEP 5- Let the solution stay over the grout for a few minutes.
STEP 6- Use the same brush to scrub once again and with a damp sponge, wipe away the loosened gunk. You will need to rinse and squeeze the sponge many times because it will keep absorbing the dirt.
Method 4- Using Steam
This method might not seem effective while you are in the process of cleaning but after the grout dries out, you’ll see the effect.
1- Steam Cleaner
2- Paper Towels/Sponge
3- Bathroom Cleaner
STEP 1- Using a toothbrush, apply a Ph-neutral bathroom cleaner (like Fabuloso) on the cement between the tiles (grout).
STEP 2- Use a steam cleaner to blow a jet of steam on the grout lines. This steam will soften and blow dirt and grime away. You might think that it is not working (as the grout would become damp, and thus dark) but that’s not the case. When the grout cement dries, you will clearly see a difference in the dirty and clean grout.
STEP 3- As you blow steam in one section of about 2 -3 square feet area, use a sponge or a paper towel to wipe the loosened gunk right away so as not to give it time to again dry while sitting on the grout lines.
STEP 4- Let the grout lines dry naturally.
1- Some suggest scrubbing the grout lines in circular motions which is counterintuitive and a poor way of scrubbing the grout lines. The scrubbing action should be in straight lines.
2- Grout should be sealed once every year for protection from mold formation (as the unsealed grout will absorb moisture and remain damp for a long time), dirt, and grime.
3- There are special tile and grout cleaners available that you can try if the above methods do not satisfy you (rare possibility), that are simple to use. You just need to apply these cleaners to a sponge and wipe the grout. You may need to scrub a little sometimes.
For cleaning cement between tiles (also known as grout) simple scrubbing using a hard bristled nylon brush along with a cleaning agent such as baking soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, Vinegar, or dish soap will do the job. Using steam to clean out the dirt and grime is a good way too.