Monday, May 6, 2013

The Grout Solution

You know that icky black stuff in between your tiles? The grim that takes so much effort to get rid off? Well, apparently there's an easier and greener way to do it. I'm all for green methods, especially if it means I have to break into much less sweat. Heh.

Why is it important to maintain the grout?
Cleaning the grout isn't just about keeping up appearances. The grout should be maintained for hygienic purposes as well. Mould and mildew can accumulate in the spaces between the tiles. When this happens, it can lead to contamination and disease.

It is only natural for grout to become dirty, because after all, it does get exposed to traffic, air, and water. It is not about preventing the inevitable. It is about finding easy solutions to cleaning up the scum.

Use oxygen bleach to clean the grout.
Powdered oxygen bleach is an ideal cleaning method because it is safe and non-toxic. These two descriptions are golden, considering that tiles are used frequently in kitchens. Also, oxygen bleach does not release harsh fumes when they are used.

The oxygen bleach cleans the grout by breaking down the molecules that make up the stains on the grout. To use the oxygen bleach, mix it with warm water. Soak the tiles, especially the grout lines, for about 15 minutes. Simply scrub away the stains after.

Commercially available chemicals are definitely effective in cleaning up grout. However, they are not the only answers. Explore other greener solutions, such as oxygen bleach and even baking soda and vinegar. Not only are they inexpensive, they are also better for the environment.

Maintain the grout every day.
Keeping the grout looking clean is not just a once-a-week thing. Many homeowners – this one included – would agree that the easiest way to keep the space looking clean is to take small, constant steps. The same principle holds true with grout. When mopping the tiled floors, add a little bit of oxygen bleach powder to the water.

Another way to ensure that the tiles look new is to install a means of ventilation in the room. Grout becomes mouldy when there is excess moisture. Place an exhaust fan in the kitchen or bathroom so that the humidity is regulated. Keeping the moisture at bay will lessen the need for vigorous cleaning.

Finally, clean up spills as quickly as possible. Grout is porous so when staining agents come in contact with it, (Orange juice! Tomato sauce! Wine!) it can be discoloured. Prevent this from happening by mopping up the mess with soap and water.