Beautiful shower tiles in your bathroom come with a terrible downside: keeping the grout clean. As grout is white and porous, it’s very easily prone to stains and water damage, especially as it’s constantly exposed to moisture. So while fresh grout can give your bathroom a beautiful look, it doesn’t stay that way for long, becoming stained or mildewed over time. Not to mention, when neglected for long, grout can start cracking, allowing water to seep behind the wall and cause some major water damage to your home’s foundational structure.
So how do you keep your shower tile grout looking clean and stain-free for longer? Here’s our comprehensive guide:
On a daily basis, you’ll need to perform a wipe-and-spray routine after every shower. Just take a squeegee and wipe down your tiles to remove excess moisture. If your shower has glass walls, you might also want to run it over the shower walls to prevent the moisture from sliding down to the tiles and making your work all for naught. Then, lightly spray the tiles with a daily shower cleaner. This can be bought from the store, or you can make one yourself using four parts water to one part vinegar.
This might be annoying to do, especially if it’s straight after a relaxing bath, but it’ll be essential for keeping your tiles clean and preventing premature staining on the grout. In the long run, the minute or so it takes to do the whole process will save you tons of work in the future. Not to mention, it’ll keep your shower area clean and prevent mold and bacteria from growing.
Once a Week
So you think doing the daily wipe-and-spray routine will spare you from a weekly deep cleaning on your grout? Think again! You still have to perform a deep clean on your bathroom at least once a week, because the wipe-and-spray method won’t wipe away the oil from your body or the soap scum that clings to the surface of your tiles.
Depending on how many people use the shower, you’ll want to do a deep clean weekly or bi-weekly. On the day of the deep clean, make a baking soda paste by adding water to a handful of baking soda, until the mixture resembles a thick paste. Rub the paste into the grout either with a grout brush or with a used toothbrush, and let sit for an hour or so, or until the baking soda has dried. Rinse off the mixture with warm water. If your grout is extra stained, you may want to replace the water in the baking soda mixture with hydrogen peroxide, as this will help lighten the grout. However, if you used vinegar as part of your wipe-and-spray routine, make sure that the vinegar solution has been rinsed off completely before scrubbing the hydrogen peroxide into the grout.
Fixing Serious Staining
If you’ve been neglecting your grout for a long, long while, your grout may look yellow, brown, or worst case scenario: dirt black. If this is the case, then a vinegar solution or baking soda paste just won’t cut it. You’ll have to use bleach to lift out the stains.
The good news is, using bleach won’t just act as a stain treatment, it’ll also act as an overall disinfectant, leaving your bathroom sparkling clean after the process! Since bleach can be harsh on your skin and dangerous when it gets near your eyes, make sure to handle the substance cautiously and with gloves on to prevent any injuries.
To start, pick which bleach you’re going to use on the grout. You may want to use a gentle powdered bleach first, as this is the gentlest bleach you can use on your grout. Apply it onto the grout with a grout brush and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with clean water. If any stubborn stains persist even after another round of using powdered bleach, you can break out the liquid chlorine-based bleach as a spot treatment. This type of bleach is harsher, so test it on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure you don’t damage your tiles.
When all else fails…
If you’re a persistent homeowner, then maintaining grout should be no problem. But more often than not, busy schedules don’t allow for any stringent routines. But if you want to be meticulous, hiring a professional cleaning service might be your best option, especially if you want to enjoy the look of beautiful, fresh-looking shower tiles for as long as possible.