Monday, May 21, 2007

Cleaning grout

Q: I have to ask... how do you keep that white grout so white? We recently bought a 30 year old house. It has two bathrooms with white grout. I have tried various cleaners and still have quite a bit of grout that is not white.

A: I struggled with this problem from house to house. No product except bleach will get rid of black mildew. But what about the yellowing stains that result? I have used Grout Whitener (like paint) to hide the yellow areas. I even contemplated removing the grout with a special tool and replacing it with fresh white grout.

Then I read that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser could clean the yellow stains from old grout. You know what? It works. It is worth $4 in Magic Erasers to get rid of the problem and then prevent its reoccurence with regular tile cleaning products.

My friend Lynnette from the Fun Times Guide has a page chock-full of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ideas. She also includes links which debunk the myth that formaldehyde is the "magic" in the eraser.


Alexandra said...

There is a commercial grout cleaner which works great on mildew, dirt, what have you, and gets the grout white again. I got mine at Home Depot. Unfortunately, I no longer have a bottle of the stuff, but it's like an acid(gloves and googles needed). I believe you could find it in either the tile or janitorial sections of Home Depost or Lowes. It got my 30 year old nasty grout new looking.

Mrs. S said...

That's a great tip. Just be careful that little hands don't get on the magic erasers. I have read that it can cause some serious skin irritation, especially in children.

Love your blog.

Mrs. S.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to try the Mr. Clean eraser tip as the hard water here makes it very hard to keep grout clean. I'll also share the $300 advice I got from the tile pro we hired to regrout the shower in our master bath (not cheap but cheaper than having to remodel due to water damage and my pregnant body no longer fits to reach down 2" from the ground in a 30" wide shower stall). According to "The Original Grout Dr" the best cleaner on tile & grout is sprayed-on bleach, full strength if ventilation is adequate, diluted if safer. He says many other cleansers damamge the grout, especially the "shower spray" types. He did say that the muriatic acid sold at Home Depot, etc. is good to use if there is a lot of mineral buildup, so I will be trying that in the hall bathroom, once I'm not longer pregnant.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to know if you used those sponge magic erasers or the pens. I have grout in my apt kitchen and its hidious!! BTW thanks for the tips. I love your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Are there Magic Eraser pens? I just use a sponge, cut down into smaller sponges to make it last longer.

I have used the Chlorox bleach pens for grout. For stubborn mildew, these work great because the bleach is in a thicker gel form that seems to cling to the grout better than liquid bleach.