For a faster, more profitable home sale
Cleaning grout throughout your home can make the difference between selling your house fast or having buyers walk away.
Dirty grout lines can make your entire bathroom, kitchen and floors look old and dingy. This will cause buyers to have the impression that your home has been neglected.
As a former real estate agent, I can attest to this!
Cleaning floor and wall tile grout does take time and a bit of elbow grease, but the results are well worth it. After you're done, your tile will look like new!
And as an added bonus, this will make your entire home more appealing to buyers and keep them from negotiating the price down.
There are a multitude of methods for cleaning grout, some of them quite unconventional and crazy!
White vinegar - Heat 2 to 4 cups of white vinegar, warm not hot. Pour into a spray bottle and spray on grout lines. Let it set for a few minutes, then scrub with a sponge or brush. Rinse with clean water.
Shaving cream - I was skeptical about the efficacy of using shaving cream for cleaning grout, so I grabbed my husband's shaving cream and tested it. I was impressed at the result! After a little scrubbing, the grout was so white. I'll definitely be using this nontoxic method again. Here's what I did...
I sprayed shaving cream (Gillette Fusion Pro-glide Gel) on grout lines and worked it in with my fingers. I let it set for 10 minutes, then gently scrubbed with a damp toothbrush, (or try a soft-bristled scrub brush). Rinse with clean water.
White vinegar, baking soda & lemon juice - To 7 cups of water add; 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar. Mix together well in a bucket, then apply the mixture to the dirty grout with a toothbrush. Allow the solution to set for a couple minutes, then scrub with the toothbrush. Wipe off with a damp rag.
Listerine - If you google "How to clean grout," a bunch of websites will pop up proclaiming the miracle of using Listerine on tile grout! As so many people were ecstatic over this method, I had to try it myself. (I would never recommend a product or method I haven't tried.) I was NOT impressed with the results-- it did okay, but not as well as other methods, plus it required a lot of scrubbing.
If you want to try it, spray the Listerine on grout lines and leave on for at least 5 minutes. Use a soft scrub brush or toothbrush, then scour the dirt away. Rinse well with clean water.
Baking soda & vinegar - Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar. You will need a damp toothbrush or small scrub brush as well. Apply to grout lines and scrub with a brush until the grime comes off. Rinse off with clean water.
See the video below by "essortment" for a demonstration on how to do this.
Zep cleaning and whitening product has received great reviews by many people. It's only for use on flooring tile, but I have to confess to sneaking a little on my shower tiles as well, because it works so beautifully.
Don't use Zep Grout cleaner and whitener on marble, stone, metal or Corian. ZEP doesn't contain bleach and requires little or no scrubbing when cleaning grout.
Another positive is the lack of noxious fumes. Zep Grout Cleaner and Whitener is inexpensive, easy to use and renders immediate results.
This product can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, and most home supply centers. This product not only whitens grout, it seals it too, making it more resistant to soil, stains, and mildew.
Apply the product carefully to grout lines according to the instructions, then use a stiff grout brush to scrub clean. Suitable for use in showers and on floors.
Rather then running the risk of damaging your natural stone tiles, it's best to purchase products made specifically for them. There are plenty of good products for this purpose to choose from, but I have been pleased with this one. Marblelife also makes a handy kit that includes the following products below. You can buy this kit at marblelife.com.
Oxygenated bleach is a compound of natural soda crystals and hydrogen peroxide, and is non-toxic to humans. This is the preferred bleach for those who wish to live a "green" lifestyle.
Mix up a solution of 1/2 cup of oxygenated bleach with 1 gallon of warm or hot water in a bucket. Stir until dissolved.
See the video demonstration below on how to clean grout with oxygenated bleach. Video by stainsolver.com.
Cleaning grout with sulfuric acid is a last ditch effort! You will need some "Tilelab Sulfamic Acid Cleaner", which can be found at any home improvement center.
When using this product, work in a well-ventilated area, wearing gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. Don't use on marble or other polished stone. It may also etch certain glazed tiles, so try it in an inconspicuous area first. Sulfuric acid is a very strong corrosive chemical.
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