At last: A cheap, easy way to clean tile grout

  • Wed May 12th, 2010 10:54pm
  • Life

By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann Scripps Howard News Service

One of the most difficult homeowner jobs is cleaning tile grout. Yet, try as we might, our grout lines don’t look much better than they did before. Is it time to call in the professionals? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve discovered a rather inexpensive and easy solution. Let me fill you in on the details.

First, let’s get educated. The reason tile-grout cleaning is such a challenge is because most of the cleaning chemicals we use leave a sticky residue, which attracts dirt. When washing the tile floor, we clean up the dirt, but in the process, we move that dirt onto the sticky residue in the grout.

It is very difficult and time-consuming to constantly rinse the floor with clean water several times during the floor-cleaning process so that the chemical residue and dirt won’t continue to build up.

Grout lines consist of fine, porous cement. It absorbs cleaning chemicals, the dirt from your shoes and your pets’ feet, and even fine dirt particles from the air. During the sweeping and mopping process, more dirt and gunk is pushed into the grout lines and absorbed deeper and deeper. Often, kitchen grout lines look the worst because of the cooking oils. So far, it sounds like a nightmare, right?

Well, there’s a new product in town, and it’s pretty cool. It restores the grout, making it look like new. The grout sealers found in most home-improvement stores and even some applied by professional companies last an average of only seven to 10 months — not even a year after spending all that time cleaning and all that money to seal it.

This new product sealer is said to last an average of seven years. You can return the grout either to its original color or get creative and color it something new. The sealer/color product comes with an easy-to-use applicator, which allows you to easily recolor and seal grout lines.

The solution comes from a product called Dirty Grout Be Gone. For more information, check out the company website, www.DirtyGroutBeGone.com.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.”