One of the worst parts of having a beautiful tile floor, are the dark nasty mildew stains often occur in grout lines found in bathrooms and other wet environments. Luckily it isn’t that difficult to remove these, as long as you’re willing to apply a little elbow grease.
The main tool used to clean grout lines is going to be a small, specialty brush known as a grout brush. In a pinch an old toothbrush can sometimes be substituted for this. The idea is to have a tool that is small and narrow enough to allow you to work in between the tiles without scratching their surface.
Conventional Grout Cleaning Method
The traditional way to clean grout lines is using household chlorine bleach. The brush is dipped in the bleach, and then the grout is thoroughly scrubbed.
Wear old clothes as the bleach will tend to splatter. Make sure that windows are open and the area is well ventilated.
In some cases you may want to let the bleach set in the grout lines for several hours, and then attempt scrubbing them again to remove tough, set in stains.
When complete, a solution of baking soda and water can be wiped over the floor to remove the chlorine smell.
The final step is to thoroughly mop the floor with clean water, rinsing the mop periodically to ensure that all bleach is removed from its surface.
Important: Keep all pets and small children away from the floor while the bleach is setting into the grout lines. Keep the windows open and the room ventilated so that toxins are not allowed to settle.
Sealing Your Grout Lines
Cleaning grout lines can be a difficult and physical process. Once you have the floor looking clean and stain free, sealing the grout will create a protective surface over it that will prevent further dirt and mildew from sinking into its porous surface.
Wait until your grout lines are completely dry. You will want to give them at least 24 hours to ensure that there is no lingering moisture in their pores.
Choosing a sealer: There are many different grout sealers that are available to you. Some people worry that sealers, being chemical agents, may have toxic properties which are not necessarily listed on the label. If you are concerned about this, you will want to purchase a water based formula. Apply it using a foam brush, and then allow it to dry for an hour or two before using the room.
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