Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Clean Tile Floor Grout {Without Chemicals}

I'm just gonna start off by saying the tile floor grout in my master bathroom was pretty narsty.  What made it look worse was when we expanded the bathroom, we matched the existing tile floor instead of re-tiling the entire floor. While the tile matches pretty well - although not exact - what made the floor look un-seamless was the dirty grout next to the brand spankin' new clean grout.

So I set out to clean the old grout to make it look new again. Just look at this...ew! I'm slightly embarrassed to even be sharing this with you...but ya know. 

Cleaning tile floor grout is actually as easy as a trip to your pantry closet - and I don't mean reaching for the chemicals and bleach.  I am not necessarily anti-chemicals - I use them for plenty of jobs - but why spend an hour inhaling fumes when you don't have to?  Instead all you need is lemon juice, water, baking soda, and vinegar.

The ratio I used was:

3.5 Cups of Hot Water + 1/2 Cup of Baking Soda + (half of )1/3 Cup Vinegar + 1/3 Cup of Lemon Juice.

So you're probably wondering why I wrote half a 1/3 cup of vinegar...the answer is it's easier than saying .16666.  Just fill a 1/3 measuring up half way... You can obviously adjust the amounts to fit the job, but with these measurements I had plenty to clean my bathroom tile floor and plenty left over for the next time.

Okay, so once you have your tile floor grout cleaner concoction mixed, pour it into a spray bottle.  Spritz it on the grout and let it sit on there for a few minutes before you start scrubbing.

Now is where the elbow grease comes in - take a tooth brush and start scrubbing....or do what I did and take a chance on one of these handy dandy electronic grout brush cleaners and save your arm.  This Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber Brush was on clearance on Target.  The price was originally $15.99, but I snagged it for less than $8.

Let me tell you - I would have paid $30 knowing know how easy it made the job.  I used the toothbrush method on the tile walls of my shower where the grout lines are really thin and that was a tough job.  Doing the same method on the much thicker grout lines on the floor would have required a lot of effort.   Anyway - get scrubbing.

This video gives you a really good look at how I cleaned the floor (with one hand and played videographer with the other) and just how quickly it went with the brush. You can see the difference between the cleaned area of the grout and the 'before' after just a few minutes seconds of scrubbing. 

After I scrubbed all the grout lines I let my floor steamer sit on small sections of the grout for a few minutes at a time, then scrubbed a little more just to make them shine. This part is definitely not necessary. And just as an FYI all the pictures in this post were taken before I used the steamer so you could see the result just using the solution and scrubbing. 

Here's a great side by side of a cleaned area and an area where I had not yet cleaned the grout. What a difference! 

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