Cleaning Grout and Removing Mildew Stains

Grout and a Variety of Methods for Cleaning Grout.

How to Clean Grout and Remove Mildew Stains

Everybody enjoys a fun-filled day of cleaning moldy, mildewy grout. Not! This has to be one of the most tedious and time-consuming household chores ever. Although the actual job is a pain, it really does need to be done on occasion.

Many people don’t realize that odors can be held within grout and that it’s the perfect place for dirt, grime and bacteria to live.

There are many grout cleaners available in stores. They’re usually expensive and have caustic chemicals in them. This simple home remedy will have your grout looking great without the expense or the chemicals.

Cleaning Tools Needed

  • Steam Mop
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Scrub brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Spray bottle
  • Bucket

Steps for Cleaning Grout

If you’re working on floors, sweep or vacuum the entire area in which you plan to clean the grout. Be sure to get in the corners of the room as well.

If there are tiles on the wall, be sure to clean and wipe down those as well to remove dust, dirt or other debris which will only impede the cleaning process.

Wear gloves to protect your hands, open a window or turn a fan on, and when finished, rinse away cleaning solution with plain water.

Moderate Cleaning

One of these methods may help for moderate clean of grout:

  • Starting with the mildest of cleaners and if there is not much mildew or the grout is not that dirty – it’s possible that warm water and a scrub brush will be all you need.
  • Pour hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, spray on grout, scrub and rinse. You can also mix a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Let sit about 20 minutes then scrub. Because hydrogen peroxide will turn to water when exposed to light – only pour in the spray bottle what you think you will need. Note: This method should only be used on plain not colored grout as it might bleach the color.
  • Barkeepers Friend is another route to take when cleaning grout. Wet the tiles, sprinkle barkeepers friend, scrub, scrub, scrub then rinse with water. If working on tiled walls, make a paste, apply, scrub then rinse with water.

Heavy Cleaning

One of these methods may help for a heavier clean:

  • If a heavy-duty grout cleaning is in need, mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water together. Spray on grout, let sit about 5 minutes, then scrub.
  • Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Cover the grout lines, then spray with vinegar and water mixture. Scrub, let sit 5 minutes then rinse with plain water.
  • Make a paste (like toothpaste) of OxiClean and water. Apply to grout, scrub and let sit about 10 minutes. Scrub and rinse with water.

Keeping Grout Clean and Mildew Free

After you have thoroughly cleaned the grout and there are no stains remaining, let it dry completely (about 3 to 5 days), then seal the grout. This will help protect the grout from water seeping in and drying it out and help to keep it clean. Grout sealers can be purchased at home improvement stores and is recommended by many professionals that grout should be resealed every six months. Reapplying grout sealer should always be done after you have cleaned it.

Using a steam mop can also help keep grout clean (as well as floors). There are many on the market so read and make sure it’s appropriate for your floor type.