Friday, March 29, 2013

The Tale of the Grimy Grout

This is not a sponsored post, just a post sharing an amazing homemade cleaner that I found. My friend Kriste posted something on her facebook wall that led me to her Pinterest account and the "Why Didn't I Think Of That" board.  There I found a link to a grout cleaner that was supposed to work very well.  I had all the ingredients on hand, so I wrote down the mixture to make up later.  Well, I have finally made it.

Now my house is over a decade old.  I, having never had tile before, unwisely chose a lovely eggshell color for the grout through the house.  Never do that.  Never. We sealed it. It was labor-intensive and it really didn't protect it for very long.  I gave up on trying to keep the grout white.  I have children to enjoy!  They won't remember the color of the grout when I am laying on my deathbed.  They'll remember the fun we have together.

However, it always bothered me. I'd wipe it down with a Magic Clean eraser every week or so, but it never STAYED clean.  I think this new cleaner may be the answer to my grout problems.

I tried it first on my kitchen grout.  I was happy.  I decided to tackle my entryway. I photodocumented the following experience.

Here's the before picture of the evenly dirty grout in front of our door. I could pretend it was SUPPOSED to be that color....but it wasn't.

Here's after a spray of the solution and a wipe of a wet cotton rag.

Here's the perpendicular line done.

 This is a wide shot.  The cross shape that I cleaned above is near the rag.  Big difference, huh?

Finally, here's the finished floor.

The original link recommended spraying on the cleaner, letting it sit for a while, then scrubbing it with a grout brush and wiping with a clean cloth.  I don't have time for that.  I sprayed all the grout lines and let it sit just while I was doing that. I don't have a grout brush, so I just scrubbed with the cotton rag and elbow grease. Only a little elbow grease, though. I haven't a lot to spare anymore!  This entire floor took about a half hour. If I had followed directions as written, maybe it would have come a little cleaner, but this is wonderfully acceptable to me!  It is, after all, the floor, not the table. It will have many, many feet tromping over it tomorrow and every day that follows.

I can't say how long the grout will stay light colored, but I do know that I can spare a half hour once in a while to bring it back to this shade.

After doing the floor, I was inspired to try cleaning a section of a grimy corner of our painted wall.  Mr. Clean Eraser works wonderfully, but did so by removing the paint.  A plain washrag didn't cut it, and neither did the other cleaners I had on hand.

A small amount of this solution on the cloth and the paint came clean, even in the deeper parts of the texture. I tried it first on a small section that was hidden, of course, in case it took the paint with it as I rubbed.  It did not.  I cleaned my entire Four Corners area in just a few minutes, again, using just the cloth and a little elbow grease.

I am so thankful that Kriste posted the link that day. The "maid" portion of my life just got MUCH easier!

Grout Cleaner

*never add bleach to this. Bleach and ammonia create toxic fumes that WILL sicken or kill you!*

3 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp ammonia (I used lemon-scented)
2 Tbsp white vinegar

Mix together in a large bowl. There will be a reaction when you pour in the vinegar.  Using a funnel, fill a spray bottle.  Give a shake before use.

The original recipe has you making this IN the spray bottle. If I had, I think it would have fizzed out when I poured in the vinegar.  I'm glad I did it in a bowl instead.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, I am so going to try that! Thanks for sharing :)


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