This weekend, we’re focusing on one of those seemingly minor details that actually makes a huge impact in your home. You might not be able to put a finger on it, but it means the difference between a space that feels distinctly dingy versus one that totally sparkles.
All during October, we’re tackling your home’s “scariest” tasks — the dirtiest, foulest, most dreaded jobs on your to-do list. For the next four weekends, get out your rubber gloves and get ready: we’ll all knock them out together.
This Weekend’s Scary Assignment: Tackle the grout in your bathrooms so that when you’re done, the room where you get clean will look clean, too.
Here are some of our favorite ways to clean bathroom grout, listed in order of most elbow grease required, to least. Use the one that feels like the best fit for your situation.
The Green Way
- baking soda
- hydrogen peroxide
- grout brush (an old toothbrush is fine)
Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub it into your grout lines. Let it sit for a while. Then scrub with your brush and rinse with warm water. For stubborn stains, spray with hydrogen peroxide, let sit, and repeat the baking soda paste scrub.
When to Use
Try this approach when you’re concerned about exposure to chemicals. This could be especially pertinent in a small, enclosed bathroom with little ventilation. This method requires a bit more effort, so don’t expect quick and easy results. Along these lines (hahaha), this technique might be best if you only need to clean the grout in a small area, such as the floor of your shower. These tricks may help make the process feel a bit less tedious.
The Magic Way
This grout-cleaning strategy is simple: Wet your Magic Eraser or melamine sponge and squeeze most of the water out. Then rub the grout with your sponge. The abrasive quality of the foam lifts dirt from the grout without too much scrubbing effort on your part.
When to Use
Magic Erasers are fantastic at cleaning grout lines. The dirt and grime transfers easily from the grout to the Magic Eraser pretty easily — and no rinsing required! In addition, the results are more instant than other methods because you don’t have to wait as long for the grout to dry and look clean. The downside is that this technique will chew through your Magic Erasers, so it’s not the cheapest way to clean your grout. Using generic brands helps. This method is also green; you can even have the kids help.
The Hack Way
- toilet bowl cleaner with bleach
- water bucket
This technique is delightful. The nozzle of the toilet bowl cleaner is perfectly suited for channeling the cleaner into grout lines. It can even be used on the walls of the shower, if you have grout there. Let it sit, but you don’t even have to wait that long. Scrubbing is rarely required; the bleach does all the work. Definitely wipe everything down, but the immediate and easy results are super rewarding.
When to Use
This is by far the quickest, easiest, and possibly most effective technique. You may be bleaching some of the dirt rather than removing it, but I’m willing to trade that for the efficiency of this method. There’s definitely a strong chemical smell associated with this grout-cleaning approach, so try to make sure the room is well-ventilated, either through open windows and/or the exhaust fan running.
Important note: Using bleach on natural stone tile can etch away at the surface or eat away at its polish, prematurely degrading the stone, so use caution when using this method.