Bob Vila Radio: Cleaning Grout

By Roseann Foley Henry | Updated Apr 25, 2013 3:28 PM

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There’s nothing like a freshly tiled floor or backsplash—but there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing those beautiful clean grout lines become stained or mildewed. The good news is that you don’t need an expensive regrouting job to restore your tile’s look. It’s going to take some elbow grease, but you can clean up those grout lines. Here’s what you need to know.




Listen to BOB VILA ON CLEANING GROUT or read the text below:

First of all, the best cure is prevention—a spritz of a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water once a week will keep those grout lines from getting mildewed in the first place. But if the damage is done, arm yourself with a stiff-bristled brush and get to work.

Start with a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Let it stand for five minutes before scrubbing. For tough stains, cover the grout with a paste of baking soda and water, then spray on the vinegar solution and watch it foam. Scrub with your brush and rinse it off with plain water. If the mildew seems hopeless, try a product that includes oxygen bleach, and be sure to follow label instructions carefully. Use chlorine bleach only sparingly, as a last resort, as it can break down the grout over time.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on cleaning, consider:

Top Tips for Cleaning Grout Lines
Bob Vila Radio: Cleaning Your Dryer Vents
7 Surprising Pantry Items Naturally Clean and Freshen Your Home