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Easy ways to refresh old grout

Sure, you clean your tile floors regularly, but the grout between tile squares can accumulate dirt, mold and mildew, causing it to discolor or even to potentially get the family sick. But cleaning grout doesn’t have to be a big fuss. It’s easier than you think.

tile being cleaned

The old elementary science experiment

By now you probably know the wonders of cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. It’s a cheap and effective way to clean just about anything in your house! Plus, it’s a totally green method that won’t stink up the house with harmful chemicals. The same natural chemical reaction that caused your elementary Plaster of Paris volcano to explode can also clean your grout!

First, put some baking soda in a shaker. Then, shake a thin line of baking soda over the dirty grout. Using a gloved hand, make sure the baking soda completely covers the grout. Then, pour a little vinegar over the area and let it soak. The reaction should cause some bubbling, so don’t be worried — that means it’s working!

After about three minutes, scrub the grout using a toothbrush or grout brush. When you feel like you’ve gotten the best clean, wipe up the dirty paste with a paper towel or fresh, cleaned cloth. The vinegar smell should dissipate in minutes, leaving behind nothing but fresh, super clean grout.

From the storage closet

Odds are, you already have these ingredients at home stored away somewhere. A combination of dish soap and peroxide is a powerful cleaning tool that can whiten and brighten almost any grimy object in your house.

To use it on grout, mix a combination of one part dish soap to two parts peroxide. Pour it into a spray bottle or easy-to-pour container and apply directly to dirty grout. Then, use a grout or tile brush to scrub, scrub, scrub the dirt away.

Next, wipe up the soapy mixture with a damp cloth or paper towel to make sure no sticky dish soap residue stays behind — and voila! Fresh grout.

When life hands you lemons

When life hands you lemons, clean your grout! A simple solution of baking soda and lemon juice can do the trick for light grout-cleaning jobs. If you simply spilled some cooking oil or other grout-staining liquid, this can be your easy, on-hand go-to.

First, dampen the grout with a line of lemon juice, and then pour baking soda over the top. Let the concoction work for a few minutes, and then scrub with a toothbrush or grout brush. Wipe up the mixture with a wet cloth and you’ll have fresh smelling, dirt-free grout in minutes.

More deep-cleaning tips

3-Step daily routine to keep your shower clean
Deep cleaning for your bathroom
20 Tried-and-true cleaning methods

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