Grout is a type of plaster which fills in the cracks between tiles, keeping them together and preventing damage to the sides of the tiles. With time, grout can get dirty, especially the grout used around kitchen and bathroom tiles which are exposed to food, soaps, and lots of water. It is relatively easy to clean tile grout, especially when it is regularly maintained.
The best way to clean tile grout is to keep it clean: at least once a year, scrub down the grout, dry it thoroughly and apply a commercial grout sealer to keep liquid out. If the grout begins to crack or crumble, it should be replaced. Damage to grout not only looks unsightly: it can reflect damage to the surface underneath the tiles, or can result in damage to the tiles.
When grout becomes dirty, there are products specially designed to clean tile grout which you can put to use. Many of these products come packaged with tile cleaner, so that you can apply the cleaning solution to the whole tiled area, allow it to sit, and then scrub it off. Follow the manufacturer's directions about waiting times: it is easier to clean grout when a cleanser is allowed to fully penetrate and loosen all the dirt. Protective gloves should be worn when working with cleaners.
Most tile grout becomes infested with mildew and mold if it is in a splash area. In addition to staining the grout, these growths tend to cause a peculiar smell, and you may want to use a bleach cleaner to eradicate mildew and mold altogether. Cleaning with bleach will restore the grout to its original color and eliminate mold and mildew spores which could grow again.
Many people find a stiff scrub brush or special grout brush useful when they clean tile grout. The bristles of the brush can be used to abrade dirt from the surface of the tile grout, although it does require more physical effort. The result is well worth the strain, however, as a bathroom or kitchen can be totally transformed by the look of clean grout. After the grout has been scrubbed, dry it thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of sealer.
For regular maintenance of tile grout, use mild cleansers and a gentle brush or scrubber to clean tile grout. If you keep your tile grout clean by caring for it on a weekly basis, the annual stripping and re-sealing of the grout will require far less work. In addition, the grout will look nice and smell good. Add this gentle cleaning of grout to your weekly kitchen or bathroom cleaning regimen.