As a Florida homeowner, this is by far the most fun I’ve ever had with a blog. Because it’s about GROUT and grout can either make me smile or tear my hair out. It’s easy to become obsessed with grouting. When I laid my shower tiles, I was possessed! I had to get my grout totally even, totally fabulous, totally in line, and then, totally one hundred percent clean.
If you know anything about grout, you will know it is impossible to keep it one hundred percent clean! Crumbs, dirty and even a bit of mould just happen to creep in at the oddest of times.
One day I realized I might be going mad. And that dirty grout is a thing but it is not such a big thing. Plus, it’s pretty easy to fix dirty grout and it really doesn’t need to be perfect.
So if you feel that grout is the bane of your life too, I am here to save you from a life of groutiness. Er, grumpiness. Take heed: –
1. Keep your tiled areas clean.
You don’t need to walk around with a broom and mop in hand but if you do spill something, clean it straight away. And then, always sweep in the morning and sweep again the evening. It doesn’t take long, it’s good exercise and it gets rid of any dirt and grime that may just be planning on staying for good.
2. Vacuum your floor.
A vacuum cleaner does use up a fair amount of electricity so you don’t want to become a vacuum cleaner nut.
Vacuum a few times a week, depending on how much traffic you have in your house and how much mess. If you have dogs, vacuum more than not. And if you have kids who are constantly throwing food around, or bringing mud inside, vacuum daily.
3. Dry Mop Before You Use Water.
Use a cotton mop to get the dirt off your floor. You can use water afterwards but it’s somehow easier to remove dirty grout in Florida by dry mopping first.
4. Buy a special Nylon Grout Brush.
You can buy inexpensive nylon brushes from the hardware store that really do work. The bristles are not too harsh or brittle and they don’t cause damage. It’s a bit like massaging your floor. Use this brush, without water or product, and see your grout magically start to shine again.
5. Say No to Chemicals.
It’s really tempting to use chemicals to clean dirty grout, especially in the shower, bathroom or kitchen, but – DO NOT BE TEMPTED. Chemicals will work by eating away at the grout and before you know it, you won’t have any grout left. Yes, that stuff you hate so much – you’ll need to redo it. And products with chemicals are so bad for the environment.
6. If You really Want to, Use a Toothbrush.
You can get on your hands and knees and use an old toothbrush to get rid of some of the extra grout and therefore dirt if you really want to.
It is backbreaking work and I wouldn’t really recommend it but – it does work! Put on some music, or a podcast, get your toothbrush, settle down and start scrubbing. Note, you may want to add a bit of baking soda to the water, it does help. But do not overdo it and do not use the toothbrush your wife uses too!
7. Call in the big guns.
This is my way of saying hire a professional. If your grout really is stained and disgusting looking, it will look so much better when clean. Instead of dry mopping, vacuuming, sweeping, scrubbing and hurting your back, call in the Big Guns. They’ll make your floors look like new and in turn, your whole house will look fabulous.
When you buy your house, look at every little thing. Check the tiles in the kitchen, in the shower and in fact, all over your house. You might be looking at them and thinking – EW – because they look terrible.
Dirty grout does not mean it will always be dirty. There are definite ways to clean dirty grout in Florida that work and mean you don’t have to pull up the floorboards or start tiling all over again. Start slowly and try hard not to be obsessed. If you can get rid of just half the dirt, you should be okay.
You can slowly get rid of the other half at a later stage. And finally, you can always make friends with Mrs. Grout. I know I did!
By the way, there is a difference between grout and mould. If you have mould growing on your grout in your shower, get BUSY RIGHT NOW. Get rid of it. Strip down, put on your gloves, get your toothbrush, your baking soda, your mop and your broom and your nylon brush and MAYBE even your chemicals. Mould is terrible. Plus, it is pretty easy to remove!
Always remember to shower with a window open for ventilation – less mould – and always clean and dry up your shower after you. Or, once a week at least!
As always guys, ask questions, chat to me about your grout issues, let’s find the best, cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to deal with our grout.