Mrs Hinch shares tips for cleaning tile grout
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Cleaning grout is one of the most neglected household chores yet doing it just once can completely transform tiled areas. Grime, mould, and mildew can all leave grout looking dirty, and it can be hard to know what to use to get rid of it. However, according to a cleaning expert, harsh chemicals and even popular items like white vinegar and baking soda are unnecessary to get the job done. Instead, all you need is some elbow grease to instantly brighten dull tiles.
How to clean grout
Toilet cleaner, baking soda scrub and white vinegar are all go-to ingredients for cleaning up the filler in between household tiles.
While these are effective, strong acids and items with a low pH level are more damaging than you may think.
For this reason, Donna Smallin Kuper, certified house cleaning technician and author at Unclutter.com believes that a damp scrubbing brush is the safest way to clear dirt and grime.
Speaking to Martha Stewart, she said: “Elbow grease really is the most important ingredient.”
Though it may sound like hard work, the simple method is completely safe to use on all surfaces and avoids the need for harsh chemicals.
This is beneficial as many ingredients are actually too acidic for the cement mixture, and can leave it looking worse for wear.
In fact, according to Robb Roderick, a technical trainer at the National Tile Contractors Association, the popular recommendation of using white vinegar can be bad news for the overall finish.
He said: “Diluted vinegar is a common recommendation, but vinegar is very acidic.
“If the solution is too strong, you’ll weaken and damage the grout, and vinegar can etch stone tiles.”
A damp scrubbing brush works just as effectively without compromising the grout as water has a neutral pH of seven.
Highly acidic or alkaline ingredients have much more extreme levels of around two for vinegar and 12 for bleach.
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To achieve a deep clean, always start brushing in an up and downwards motion along the edge of the tiles where they meet the grout.
Washing the brush as you go, continue to the centre of the grout and then repeat on the other side where it borders the tile.
There’s no denying that this takes time, but it will give instant results that you can easily replicate on a daily basis for maximum upkeep.
If you are set on adding a fragrance or extra ingredient, Mr Roddick advised that the only other ingredient that should be used on grout is dish soap.
Simply spray a diluted water and dish soap solution directly onto the grout, or buff a small drop of the soap directly onto the surface instead.
Use a small sponge or soft cloth to work it into the stains and leave it to sit.
Once the foamy residue has settled, wipe with a damp microfiber towel or cloth.
Do this regularly to prevent organic stains such food, drink or soap scum from clinging to tile grout.
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