Cleaning Challenge: Grout

Dear Reader,
How would you clean this absolutely atrocious looking grout?

I have tried baking soda, dish soap, vinegar, borax, barkeeper's friend, magic erasers, tea tree oil (TTO is supposed to be a natural mold inhibitor). . .and various combinations thereof. . .
 
Last, I tried scrubbing it with a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide because I had read somewhere that it worked wonders. . .Still no effect.

I'm at the end of my rope. Nothing works.

Well, bleach works. But I got rid of all my bleach because it's nasty and corrosive and I want to find less caustic ways to clean things.

Someday, if I have a ton of free time on my hand, I might ask my landlord if I can re-grout it myself. (That's probably the only way it's going to get done this decade....)


Do you have any miracle cleaners for moldy and/or stained grout?


Comment with your solution!


Comments

  1. I did a post about this a while back about the same issue. Drives.me.nuts. We are actually going to put one of those not-so-pretty plastic insert tubs in. As much as I love tile, I'm done, I want something easy to clean.

    The black stuff that never goes away, I've tried every remedy on pinterest, I gave up

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    1. Thanks for the comment! :) Yea, here's where apartment living becomes a bummer. I was afraid there wasn't any decent fix for tile.

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  2. Bleach and a toothbrush have done the trick for me in the past. The only other thing I can think of right now is toothpaste, but I doubt it would work if none of those other things have worked. Good luck!

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  3. I found a grout cleaner on pinterest that had dawn dish soap and hot white vinegar (microwaves for 1 minute) put in a spray bottle and shaken together. It creates a gel. LOVE IT!

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    1. Hmm, thanks for the comment, I'll have to give it a try! :)

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  4. Marissa, So sorry that I am not coming by with a solution to your problem! I would use the bleach... wear rubber gloves and a mask and have a fan blowing! I know that you can buy mildew retarders but they will probably have ingredients that you would not want to use!
    Thanks for stopping by StoneGable! So sweet of you to pin the Silver Tray Chalkboard!

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  5. have you tried the cleaner Goof Off?? It's in a yellow bottle. It work wonders on our tile. We have well water with high iron so the water turns our showers orange after a while & that's the only thing that will get it off for us!! We get ours at Ace Hardware but I think they sell it at Home Depot too.

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    1. I've never heard to use this for anything other than getting stickers off things! I have well water as well and have given up on my tile, but I'm going to definitely try some Good Off tomorrow!!

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  6. I normally use bleach in the little tubes (bleach pens) works wonders but if you don't care for the bleach side I like to use Grout refresh. you can get it a Low's for about $10. I had an apartment that was even worse than your picture. College living and had cleaning checks. It helped immensely to get it all clean. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Makenzie! Good idea with the bleach pens--that would really take a lot of the headache out of the job!

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  7. The thing that works best in our funky tiled shower is SOS steel wool pads (definitely use gloves because they're scratchy). They're nice and abrasive and the cleansers dig into the mold pretty well. Once everything is scrubbed going over the bad spots with a bleach pen helps stave off regrowth for a little while longer. But its true--it never really goes away forever.

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    1. That's smart! It doesn't scratch the tile, though?

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  8. A steamer has worked for me.

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  9. Vodka. Natural mold killer and inhibits regrowth. Now killing the mold and bleaching the color out are two
    different things. I'd follow up with a one time bleaching and then clean with vinegar to remove residues. Then spray weekly with a 1:1 solution of vodka and water to
    prevent regrowth.

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  10. If that doesn't work, drink the vodka and you won't care anymore! He he!

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  11. I have heard that people use Coca cola with great results, but that was on floor grout.

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  12. Here in Australia we have a gem named Shannon Lush who is a guru for old fashioned cleaning products. She would tell you that bleach only changes the colour of the mold, but does not get rid of it. Shannon recommends oil of cloves (we buy a small bottle at the pharmacy). From memory, you mix about 1/4 teaspoon of oil of cloves in a 500ml squirt bottle of water - spray and leave up to 24 hours. This will actually kill the mold. Hope it works for you.
    Anne R, Brisbane Australia

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  13. Simple Green is supposed to kill mold and mildew if sprayed on and left for at least 30 minutes. Then I would go ahead and spray bleach and let sit to remove stains, at least this one time. You can buy a Grout Sealer at Home Depot, Lowe's or just about any hardware store or builder's supply. This is a spray so it doesn't take long to reseal your grout. If living in an apartment, your grout probably hasn't been sealed/resealed since the place was built. I would use the grout sealer, which should stop the mold and mildew growth. I have tile as well and use the grout sealer about once every 6 months or so and it has worked for me. No problems with mold or mildew at all. Hope this helps! Good Luck!

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    1. I use Simple Green for just about everything and it cuts body oils left in the bathtub and makes cleaning a bathtub with tile really easy. it also can be mixed with bleach or any other cleaning solution its not caustic. are you simple green and soft scrub with bleach and one of the sponges it has a green back side with the yellow sponge.

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    2. I use Simple Green for just about everything and it cuts body oils left in the bathtub and makes cleaning a bathtub with tile really easy. it also can be mixed with bleach or any other cleaning solution its not caustic. are you simple green and soft scrub with bleach and one of the sponges it has a green back side with the yellow sponge.

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  14. try the magic eraser!

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  15. It might be really toxic, but ZEP mold and mildew remover and cleaner from Home Depot... (costs less than $2.00 :)) really really cleans my showers and tubs!!

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  16. Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Home Depots Zep Bathroom cleaner makes it even easier!! It works wonders!!

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  17. Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Home Depots Zep Bathroom cleaner makes it even easier!! It works wonders!!

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  18. I just love my X14. I spray and run. Leave the window open and fan running, then rinse.

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  19. I had a similar problem in my shower. I've tried everything from natural cleaners to the bleach pen with OK results. They will kill the mold and lighten the appearance of mold. I talked to a tile guy about it. He said if I've tried all those products and nothing worked than the grout has been stained. He recommended tile and grout renewer. Brush it on your grout to recolor it and seal it. Worked great and grout cleans easily now.

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  20. I spray bleach on mine. The smell is horrible and I have cats so I have to be sure to rinse it REALLY well but, it works for me.

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  21. I haven't seen grout so black but I did try cleaning our bathroom tiles with 8 parts white vinegar to 1 part detergent. I put it into a spray bottle, squirted it on all the muckiest places, waited 30 mins and then wiped it all off with a dry cloth...worth a try?

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  22. Use a tennis ball. Spray like crazy with white vinegar. Set a timer. Wait ten minutes. Spray again. Save yourself a zillion trips to the store: get at least a gallon. Continue; ten on, ten off. Pour on baking soda, scrub with tennis ball.

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  23. Try saturating cotton balls with bleach and letting it stick to the grout lines until it dries out and doesn't stick anymore. Great trick that worked for me!

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  24. Have you ever heard of Melaleuca? They are a manufacturing company that specializes in helping remove toxins from our homes. They make an amazing bathroom cleaner made from citric acid. It's called "Tub and Tile" the stuff works wonders!!! I love it. It has the same power as "Limeaway" but without all the nasty chemicals! Message me and I can give you some more information!

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  25. I use the cleaning paste from Norwex and scrub with a toothbrush. Works like a charm.

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  26. Clorox Mold & Mildew spray... seriously works

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  27. It's probably stained and now needs to be recolored. Don't ever touch mold like that, even with a wash cloth or cleaning rag. It pushes it into the grout and stains almost immediately. I used to clean houses for a living and that's how I know.

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  29. Fume Free Oven Cleaner

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  30. I used NuGrout Colorant to color the grout in my kitchen. My floor looks fantastic! The best part is I saved a bunch of money since I didn’t have to re-grout the tiles. My wife LOVES the outcome! You can find out more about these products at http://www.nugrout.com.

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  31. Grout Renew, home depot or amazon. Paint it on with a small brush and wipe away excess. Looks like new.

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  32. I have tried quite a few different products recently specifically for cleaning grout and have had no luck. I finally took to Pinterest for some ideas. This worked great! I was skeptical at first since I had had so many fails. But, this did the trick. Thanks so much for posting!
    I like this site :: All Inclusive Alaska Bear Viewing Tour Packages

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