Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So you want to clean your grout.

Do you have ceramic tile? Didn't it look great when it was first installed? I work for a home builder and my new homeowners ask me all the time if they should seal the grout or not. (If you seal the grout, make sure you keep and eye on it. It will eventually wear off and then you have to reapply sealant, after you clean the grout). Then, gradually, the grout lines started to change. Life happens. People don't take their shoes off. People don't put socks on. Little girls spill things. Little boys test their plumbing. The years pass by, and then you notice:

My grout looks absolutely filthy!

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I am a "diy-er". (If I can come up with the energy). I have tried every single thing I can think of or have heard of. I bought a steam powered cleaner. You have seen the informecials, they clean everything. One of the things it is supposed to clean is tile grout. I eagerly opened the package and filled it with distilled water (as the manufacture directs). I marked a spot and let it clean the grout out. When the grout had dried up, it was still as dirty as it was before.

I then saw a commerical for Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser. They say the magic eraser will clean grout. It actually does, but it takes a lot of scrubbing and the eraser disentergrates as you clean the grout. It is a lot of work.

Then, one day my lovely wife googled "clean grout" and after filtering through the various gadgets and gizmos, she found something.

This is actually the secret ingredient of the Magic Eraser. It is safe for colored grout. I didn't find it in the grocery store, but found it at the local janitorial supply store for $1.50. You can also purchase it through online stores, but you have to pay shipping & handling.
Here is how it works-

Sprinkle it out on the tile like this.


If you look behind the sprinkled cleanser, you will see the grout I just cleaned.

The next stepis to work it up into a lather and let it sit for 30 minutes. This is where the oxygen bleach cleans the grout.


After 30 minutes wipe up the remaining cleanser. Do not use good towels or your wife may get upset.


Finally, use a mop to finish cleaning the residue. Here is a product I recommend:


This works very well.

Here is the final result (now, I ended up taking a picture from a different angle, so it does not look like the same tile, but it is).


It is a lot easier than scrubbing for hours, sealing the grout every three months or freaking out on the kids.

26 comments:

Jeanette said...

It does look amazing. I don't think the pictures do it justice. I'm glad I found the product & even more glad you did the cleaning. ;)

Jeanette said...

Oh, and I wasn't happy that ou used the good towels. Luckily, it bleached out in the wash.

Blarney Girl said...

One day I'm going to own a house and I'm going to use your blog to help me get it presentable!!! :D

lynette said...

please remind me of this post when we move back and i need to deep clean our house! it looks great!

Russell said...

wow - I am sold. You always have been handy and good at figuring things out.

Love ya

Angie and Mike said...

Impressive. So where is the janatorial store you bought this from? I need to make a trip out there, our grout is awful and could use a good scrub. Thanks for sharing the great tip!

Theo Hill said...

Hello,

My name is Theo. I am new to blogging I noticed that we have similar interest. I think it would be beneficial to both of us to exchange links. Please send yours so I can do the same.
My email is cleanpros@live.com

Thank You

BrooklynBargainista said...

WOW! I've used the magic erasers before. You're right- they do a great job but require a LOT of elbow grease! I'll be trying this in our new home... full of white tile with white grout... what was I thinking?!?!

Milliscent Morgan said...

Very well information this is the best blog I encounter that's why I really appreciate it it seems like the post of tile and grout cleaning Fairbanks.

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William Cane said...

Thanks!! Great tip! I just LOOOOVE your blog.Magic Cleaner Sponge

nfmermaid said...

Is the Ajax Oxygen Bleach safe to use for cleaning the ceramic tile, too? Thanks for your post!

Kaz said...

No, the stuff in Ajax is not an ingredient in the magic eraser.

The magic eraser is a foam of the plastic melamine. The foam breaks down as you scrub with it and cleans by scrubbing the surface at the microscopic level and absorbing dirt into the foam. It really is "erasing", similarly to how rubber erases pencil lines.

The risk with Ajax is that it will discolour the tiles because of its bleaching action. That is why there are specific non-bleaching products for cleaning tiles and grout. (Lucky that it worked for you, though.)

Also, your grout probably became dingy because no sealer was applied to it. Once you have it nice and clean like this, seal it!

Porous tiles (those that don't have a shiny glaze) also benefit from sealing.

Sealed grout and tiles will be easier to clean. You have to re-apply the sealer from time to time if it is in a high traffic floor area.

Micaella Lopez said...

That is a great tip! Do you think it will work with old grout that has been dirty since we moved into this house? I am going to give it a try. So far, nothing has worked, and I have white grout in my master bath. If you can even call it that. It is so dirty looking.
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CozaNostra said...

Works like a charm! Thanks

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Great job, friendly service, and attention to detail...the system was friendly but got the job done quickly and the couch and rug looked much better. Sweeney Cleaning Co

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Holly Trillo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly Trillo said...

I located this product yesterday in a store. Label (on the front anyway) says the same thing but the packaging is newer / updated from what is shown in the picture. However, I hope it is the same product...and I hope I learn how to produce the same results. I tried it tonight on my floor tiles and the results were lackluster. I have questions about the process you followed. When you first sprinkle the product on the floor, is the floor dry (and how much product do you use)? Then when you work it into a lather, what are you using to do so (and how much water approximately are you adding)? I was very excited to find this post on your page and am definitely wanting to give this product another try. If you could just supply a few more details about the steps you followed (and perhaps the ingredients / back of the label so I can compare with what I purchased). Thank you very much!!

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