Bathroom tiles can usually be brought to sparkle with a quick spritz of cleaning solution and a light buff with a clean cloth. However, the crisscrossing lines of grout are a whole other story. Made from a mixture of water, cement and sand, grout is often light-coloured and porous. This makes for a fatal combination that is prone to staining.
Harriet Goodacre, Tile Consultant at Topps Tiles warned: “Whilst cleaning your grout might not seem like the most fascinating job, don’t skip it.
“As grout is a porous substance, if not properly cared for it can attract mould and mildew, which can build up and stain if not dealt with properly.”
Mould and mildew are the biggest culprits for stains when it comes to bathroom grout. These can leave grout a faded black colour, not a good look in a pristine white bathroom. However, even a build-up of shampoo can turn grouting into an unappealing shade of yellow.
When it comes to kitchen tiles mould is less of a dilemma, but washing up liquid or splashes of food can still leave grouting looking grubby.
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If the grout is still dirty, baking soda can be made into a paste with water before applying it to the grout lines.
Baking soda is mildly abrasive so it helps to remove the dirt that is stuck in the porous grout surfaces without causing any damage.
The household essential is also a natural whitener, helping to whiten grout again as well as removing stains.
Cleaning experts at The Maids, a leading residential cleaning company, also suggested using baking soda to clean grout.
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They said: “Baking soda is a safe deodoriser, whitener, and household cleaner – and it’s an effective natural grout cleaner.
“Because baking soda is also a mild abrasive, using it for cleaning grout lines gives you extra firepower without the risk of scratching your tile.
“Mix baking soda, a few drops of dish soap, and enough water to make a cleaning paste. Apply the paste liberally, let it sit for 20 minutes, then scrub the grout with a toothbrush and rinse.”
As well as being effective when paired with baking soda, white vinegar can also be used on its own to naturally clean grout.
The cleaning pros said: “White vinegar puts those notorious ‘cleaning miracle’ infomercials to shame. Distilled white vinegar is a safe, natural cleaner and disinfectant you can use all around the house.
“Pour or spray undiluted vinegar onto your grout and let it sit for 10 minutes before using a toothbrush, scrubbing in a circular motion. Next, rinse away the dirt and mildew. You can also use white vinegar to clean soap residue, mildew, and grime on non-porous tile surfaces.”
Lemons are also a natural ingredient to use to clean tile grout as the “high acidity” in the juice “eats away at stubborn stains and discolouration” in grout.
The experts instructed: “Soak your grout with lemon juice, leave it on for 10 minutes, and wipe down your grout and tile with a damp cloth.” As a bonus, homeowners are left with the aroma of fresh lemons instead of a chemical cleaning solution.