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Best way to clean grout: Revive your tiles with our top tips

Get the lowdown on the best way to clean grout and be rid of the most unsightly and stubborn stains for good

Tackling the dirt and stains between your tiles can be something you tend to put off and because of that, grime can really build-up in these areas and become increasingly troublesome to get rid of. So if you’ve found yourself here, looking for the best way to clean grout, don’t fear. There are some tried and tested methods you can use to spruce up even the grubbiest grout.

Knowing the right way to go about things is important, as using standard cleaners and methods may remove some of the dirt, but won’t lift off more deeply embedded stains or make your grout white again. Instead, it’s more likely to leave you with tired arms.

For the simplest and more effective ways to clean grout, follow our guide below, which will introduce you to some of the best commercial cleaners, as well as some nifty grout cleaning methods that only use household items. Below that, you’ll find our short list of tips and tricks to make things easier next time by preventing future grime build-ups.

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Method 1: Use a grout cleaner

If DIY chemistry isn’t your thing, there’s no shame in taking the path of least resistance and using a specially formulated grout cleaner to tackle in-between your tiles. For a list of our favourite grout cleaners for ease-of-use, effectiveness, whitening and more, check our full best grout cleaner round-up. Using a grout cleaner is fairly straightforward, simply follow the steps below:

1. Make sure the area of application is completely dry and free of dust or debris.

2. Gather your supplies: your choice of quality grout cleaner, with some of our top picks being Pro-Kleen Tile Grout Cleaner Restorer and Everbuild Forever White Grout Reviver. For really stubborn stains, it’s also worth picking up a grout brush, such as this specialised set of brushes.

3. Grout cleaners can be quite strong-smelling and astringent, so make sure the area you’re working in is ventilated and you’re wearing the correct PPE.

4. Apply and remove as suggested by the manufacturer’s instructions.

Method 2: Use household items

If you’d prefer to have at your grout with household items you likely already have to hand, then try this method:

1. As above, make sure the area you’re aiming to clean is bone-dry and free of any dust or debris.

2. Gather the supplies you’ll need, which for this method are baking soda, white vinegar, a toothbrush or similar non-metal brush, and, in stubborn cases, hydrogen peroxide.

3. Prepare a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, using an old spray bottle will make things easier later but you can also use a jug or bucket.

4. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to your grout.

5. Spritz some of your vinegar-water solution over the paste – the acidic vinegar and the baking soda coming into contact with each other will produce a fizzy foam.

6. Once the foaming has stopped, it’s time to scrub, scrub, scrub, then rinse.

7. If the above method doesn’t shift the staining and you happen to have hydrogen peroxide handy, you can reapply, substituting the water for peroxide when making the baking soda paste.

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How to keep grout clean

After what was probably a fairly arduous clean, chances are you’re in no hurry to clean your grout again. So, to prevent grime and grubbiness building up once more, try following some of these preventative tips:

1. Invest in an extractor fan: Grime, mould, mildew and other various nasty build-ups that stain your grout can be a sign of excess moisture hanging around the bathroom or kitchen. A possible way to reduce and prevent these build-ups is to invest in a more powerful or effective bathroom extractor fan or kitchen cooker hood – for specific suggestions and some of favourites, check out our articles linked above.

2. Use grout sealant: Another way to prevent excess moisture from getting at your grout is to apply a quality grout sealant, such as this Tile Protector from HG. Grout sealant helps form a fairly impermeable barrier between your grout and any moisture or dirt that would ordinarily tarnish it.

3. Floorcare: General floorcare, such as using mats in high-traffic areas, not over-wetting your mop, which will alleviate excess dampness, and sweeping and vacuuming your floor regularly, will go a long way to prevent your kitchen, bathroom and other household grouting from getting grotty.

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