A problem I have faced in almost every home I’ve owned is how to clean stained grout. And it’s those tile floors with really light-colored grout (almond) that cause me the most pain. Now grout is porous, so by its nature, it’s bound to get dirty and stained.
So grout should be sealed. However, grout on a tile floor is often never sealed, poorly sealed, or it’s had no maintenance after being sealed years prior.
Keep reading and then check out the video showing the best way I’ve found to clean stained grout. I’ll share with you a permanent grout sealer as well which will protect your newly cleaned tile floors.
Cleaning Options For Tough Grout Stains
With badly soiled grout, your options are to try cleaning it or grind and saw out the old grout and then re-grout. Now I’ve sawed, scraped, and ground out old grout with hand tools and power tools. It’s no fun, a lot of work, and you risk chipping the tile.
Also, you need to apply new grout after the mess is cleaned up. If you have dirty or stained grout, try several means available to you to clean the grout. Believe me, it saves time, mess, and . . . your back.
How To Clean Stained Grout
Before I break out the big guns for cleaning grout, I’ll try a cleaner with bleach such as Tilex. This works well cleaning lightly stained grout or dirty grout. Spray the Tilex on the grout until it pools on the grout and let it sit for several minutes. You can then scrub the grout with a grout brush. Then rinse the area repeatedly with clean water using a sponge or rag.
You can also try an oxygenated multipurpose cleaner like Easy Oxy. Easy Oxy is non-abrasive and biodegradable. It contains no bleach and it’s non-toxic. You may consider it an earth-friendly cleaner. Easy Oxy can remove all kinds of stains and it performs well cleaning stained grout.
According to the directions, you spray the product on grout lines and wipe it off. However, with any grout cleaner including Easy Oxy, I spray it on and let it sit for several minutes. Then I scrub with a grout brush to make sure I get all the dirt.
After cleaning, rinse the grout and tile with clean water repeatedly until all cleaner is removed. And once the grout dries, you’ll know if you need to repeat the cleaning steps.
The Best Way To Clean The Toughest Grout Stains
Cleaning stained grout in heavy traffic areas can be challenging. For the toughest grout stains I get very good results with a heavy duty alkaline cleaner made for grout, tile, and natural stone. MB-2 Alkaline HD Cleaner is a highly concentrated, biodegradable cleaner, formulated with cutting edge technology.
It’s effective and cleans deep into grout. The MB-2 Grout Cleaning Kit provides you with the concentrated alkaline HD cleaner, spray bottle, and a grout brush to scrub the deepest set stains.
Grout Cleaning Instructions
MB-2 is highly concentrated and should be diluted prior to use. Also, ALWAYS TEST in an inconspicuous spot to ensure the tile or stone surface is not adversely affected. Mix the cleaner with HOT water in the empty spray bottle as follows: Light soiling – 3 fluid ounces to 1 gallon of water, Medium soiling – 6 fluid ounces to 1 gallon of water, Heavy soiling – 8 fluid ounces to 1 gallon of water.
Then follow these steps:
- Clean up loose dirt
- Spray the solution liberally onto grout and let it dwell for several minutes (but don’t let it dry)
- Scrub the grout vigorously with the grout brush while the solution is dwelling
- Then wipe up the solution with sponge, cloth, or towel
- Be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water
MB2 Alkaline HD is not a rinse-free product, so make sure to follow the last step and rinse thoroughly with clean water. And once the floor is dry, you can buff it with a white nylon pad (Try a Scotch Brite recycled pad).
Clean Stained Grout For A Quicker Home Sale
If you’re selling an older home that has tile floors in the kitchen or bathrooms, pay attention to the condition of the grout. I recently sold a rental property that had badly stained grout in the kitchen and the bathrooms. In the powder room, I sawed out the old grout and started from scratch. I fully re-grouted the floor with light colored sanded grout and then I sealed it.
The kitchen and master bath were much larger, so I chose to clean the grout instead. I scrubbed the grout three different times using the MB-2 Alkaline HD Cleaner and then sealed it with MB-24 Barrier after it was thoroughly dry. The results – prospective home buyers commented that they thought the tile floor was new (12-year-old home). The sparkling clean grout in the kitchen and bathroom floors contributed to the crazy fast home sale – 1 day!
Clean Badly Stained Grout In Hotels & Restaurants
For stained grout in hotels, restaurants, bars and other public areas, follow the same procedures outlined earlier. The MB-2 Alkaline cleaner works well on commercial floors with stained grout. See How To Seal Granite Tops In Hotels, Restaurants, and Bars which also shows grout cleaning and sealing tips in commercial spaces.
Best Grout Sealer Video Instructions
VIDEO: Best Grout Sealer
Protect Grout From Stains With Permanent Grout Sealer
Now that your grout is clean and looks brand new, keep it that way with the best sealer for grout. Alphatic resin sealer made for stone countertops is also an excellent sealer for newly cleaned or newly installed grout. MB-24 Barrier is a good choice for sealing grout. And you can expect protection for 3 to 5 years with this sealer.
But if you want permanent stain protection for grout, seal your grout with MB-21 Enhance.
MB21 professional grade permanent sealer is a premium solvent-based, VOC compliant formulation. It protects against both oil and water-based stains. And acidic floor cleaners typically do not harm the MB21 sealer. For countertops, see how to seal granite countertops.
Permanent Grout Seal Instructions
To permanently seal grout lines, first clean the grout as directed earlier. Pour MB-21 into a container that allows you to dip a sponge brush into. Apply the sealer liberally with the sponge brush and let it absorb into the grout. Wait 10 minutes and apply more. After another 10 minutes wipe up excess sealer with a dry cloth or towel.
I’ve had best results waiting 24 hours and then applying another coat or two. But always wipe up extra sealer after you’re done. When finished, buff the tile with a white Scotch Brite pad to remove film left by the sealer.
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