The Ultimate Guide On How To Clean Grout Naturally

by Kara Richards on March 1, 2019

Heart floral hanging decor

Adding tile to a bathroom, kitchen, or other areas of your home is an easy way to make it look more aesthetic and even add value to your home if you ever plan to sell. While it’s relatively easy to keep tile clean, the grout can start to look dirty and discolored over time. Not only can it look dirty, but it can be a breeding place for mold and bacteria.

There’s nothing more stunning than a fresh tile job with clean and bright grout, and once you learn how to clean grout, you can keep it looking fresh and new for years to come. We’ll give you some cleaning tips on how to clean grout that will have you admiring your tile job in no time.

Hire A Pro Or DIY?

Before you learn how to clean grout, you might be trying to decide if you should hire a professional cleaning team or do it yourself. Your decision will depend on how much time you have and the state of your tile and grout.

If you’ve just purchased a home or moved into an apartment that has tile, you might have a big cleaning job on your hands. The grout (which is the mortar between the tiles) is made of water, cement, and sand, which makes it porous and a “magnet” for dirt and bacteria.

White ceramic toilet bowl beside glass wall

Ideally, tile and grout should receive a deep cleaning every six months, but depending on where the tile is located and if it gets a lot of foot traffic, you might need to clean more often. Tile surfaces with lighter colored grout get noticeably dirty more quickly. Darker grout is less noticeable, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean it a few times a year.

The costs associated with cleaning your tile and grout may vary depending on if there is mold and staining. The national average cost for a professional team to clean your tile and grout is around $465. Depending on size, condition, and other factors, this could be more or less. If you don’t have time to clean your grout or if it’s in bad shape, you might want to hire a pro otherwise it’s easy enough to do on your own, you just need a little time and the right tools.

Baking Soda And Water

Flour in a jar

If you like to clean with natural ingredients that you already stored away in your cabinets, you probably know that baking soda is versatile in regards to cleaning. Want to use baking soda to clean your grout? Here’s what you need:

● Clean cloth
● Baking soda
● Hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or water
● A bowl for mixing
● A grout brush or old toothbrush that’s clean
● Grout sealant

Before you can clean the grout, you need to wipe down the tile with a clean, wet cloth. If you haven’t cleaned the tile in a while, use a little soap and water to clean them. You want to clean away as much dirt and grime before cleaning the grout, so that it doesn’t get mixed into the grout while you clean.

You can use a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water to clean your tile before you begin cleaning the grout. The next step is to mix up your grout cleaning solution. If your grout is only a little dirty or you just want to do a maintenance cleaning, mixing a 2:1 ratio of baking soda to water should be adequate. If the grout is stained or is visibly discolored, mix a 2:1 ratio of baking soda with white vinegar. A 2:1 ratio of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is ideal for older or fragile tiles.

If you’re using the vinegar solution, apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area just in case it stains the tile (vinegar is acidic). Once your solution paste is ready, apply it to the grout and let it sit for a few minutes. Gently scrub with a brush, rinse with water, and allow the grout to dry for 24 hours.

Once your grout is clean and dry, apply a sealer to the grout as this will keep your grout cleaner and easier to clean in the future.

Some Natural Variations

Another ingredient that most people already have on hand is salt. If you have mildew or stained spots, scrubbing salt into wet grout can help get your tile cleaner and mold-free. The salt method works best for tile floors or areas that are flat. Make sure that the grout is damp and sprinkle a coarse salt (such as coarse sea salt or even
Epsom salt) onto the grout and gently scrub the area. Let it set overnight before cleaning it off the next day.

Lemon can help brighten up stained grout, but like the vinegar solution make sure you test out an inconspicuous area first. Mix fresh lemon juice with baking soda and apply it to the grout as we stated above.

If you make your own laundry soap, you may have a box of Borax in your laundry room; if not, it’s relatively inexpensive and nice to have on hand for other household cleaning. Borax is a natural mineral and is used for cleaning, deodorizing, and as a disinfectant when cleaning. You can try using Borax in place of baking soda and apply a paste of Borax and water to your grout

What About Bleach?

Many people use bleach as their “go-to” because they just assume it’s the best way to clean areas throughout their house. While bleach can be a good option for cleaning grout, it can be dangerous to use, and it’s essential to wear eye protection, gloves, and have ventilation. If your grout is stained, you can try a solution of a ¾ cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Use the solution and a brush to scrub the grout, but be careful not to scrub too hard. Never mix bleach with other household cleaners or with dish soap as the results are caustic.

Steam Cleaning Or Pressure Washing

If you have a large tiled area, such as a floor, steam cleaning or even pressure washing may be your easiest and quickest way to clean the grout on the floors. Remember, it all depends on how dirty the grout is and the condition of your tile. Steam cleaning or pressure washing may not be ideal for many homeowners, but it’s a method that professionals typically use.

Go to your local equipment rental center to see if you can rent a steam cleaner or pressure washer for a day or two.

Not Clean? Try Replacing Your Grout

While no one like a DIY project that turns into an even bigger project, you might want to consider replacing your grout if it’s too dirty, stained or covered in mold. This should be your last resort (after you’ve tried to clean the grout).

Equipment rental places may rent a tool for removing grout or you can find one at your local home improvement store. After you have removed the grout, make sure to carefully clean out the space with a bleach solution before applying the new grout. Once you apply new tile, apply sealant to keep it cleaner longer (just remember to wait about two weeks before applying it).

Grout Cleaners

There are dozens of grout cleaning products on the market. If you opt to use a commercially made cleaner rather than a natural DIY cleaner, you’ll have to do some research and read labels to make sure that they are compatible with the tile you have.

Person cleaning flush toilet

If you’re not sure what type of grout cleaner to purchase, ask a sales associate for assistance. For your personal safety and protecting your tile and grout, always follow the directions on the bottle of cleaner.

Tips For Cleaning Your Grout

Depending on the condition of your grout, it may take a few different cleaning solutions to get it looking sparkling clean and new. Here are a few additional tips to consider:

● Use an electric toothbrush for scrubbing grout
● Avoid letting the paste sit too long while scrubbing
● Add essential oils like citrus or tea tree oil to the paste
● Even if you’re working with natural ingredients wear eye protection
● Wear cleaning gloves and work in a well-ventilated area
● Use a more than one clean cloth, don’t reuse same cloth
● Use brushes that won’t scratch your tile
● Clean your grout at least a few times a year


How To Clean Windows: A Cleaning Professional’s Guide

by Kara Richards on February 28, 2019

Person cleaning window glass

Whether you’re trying to clean large commercial windows or small, multi-paned windows, we’ve got you covered with guides on cleaning inside and out.

Cleaning windows sounds like a tedious, time-consuming chore, but doing it yourself can save you a lot of money. We’ve rounded up the internet’s best guides on window cleaning for your perusal. Keep reading for some incredible tips and tricks that will have you cleaning better than the pros!

Things Get Serious At This Old House

Garry Jalowka takes window cleaning to the next level filming a window washing video with the team at This Old House. If you get frustrated with details or don’t want to invest in the tools he suggests, you’ll probably want to skip ahead to one of the other window cleaning methods, but if you want to learn how to clean windows the right way, Garry’s your man.

Step One: Prep

Step Two: Wipe Down the Frame

Step Three: Scrub the Window

Step Four: Squeegee the Window

Step Five: Clean Up Remaining Water With a Microfiber Towel

The Pro’s Trick For Quick Cleaning

Person cleaning window glass

If you’ve got yards and yards of glass windows to clean, the method we outlined above for how to clean windows might not be the best method. Instead, allow us to introduce you to Anthony Ford and the “S” technique, as seen in this video.

Here, Mr. Ford walks us through a technique that utilizes a bucket, a window scrubber, and squeegee, but makes quick work of all the extra water. After the window has been scrubbed with the scrubber, Anthony starts his squeegee somewhere in the middle of the window and drags it back and forth across the glass, keeping his eye on the uppermost corner of the squeegee.

Drawing the tool back and forth in an “S” shape allows him to remove every streak without leaving excess water. When you’re done with your “S” curve, Anthony recommends using your squeegee on the window ledge itself to wipe away excess water–this, of course, can only be done on metal window frames.

Cleaning Outside Windows With A Hose

Cleaning old windows using garden hose

This video from HGTV on how to clean windows features Ivy and highlights the inefficacy of
using a window cleaner like Windex. Window cleaner only moves the dirt around, explains Ivy.
Here are her steps for getting a streak-free shine:

Step One: Remove Window Screens

Step Two: Make Your Window Cleaner

Step Three: Gather Your Tools

Step Four: Scrub Your Windows

Step Five: Hose Your Windows Down

Step Six: Dry Your Windows With a Microfiber Cloth

Step Seven: Clean the Screens

Cleaning Your Windows On The Inside

Woman cleaning glass windows

It’s not just the outside of your windows that get dirty, it’s the inside, too. Even if your windows are being touched by little sticky fingers, they’ll still attract dust and grime that’s floating around inside your home, all of which builds up over time.

Here’s how A.E. Mackintosh Cleaning Services suggests you clean your windows:

Step One: Protect Your Floors

Step Two: Gather Your Supplies

Step Two: Clean Your Windows


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