Tips to clean, seal and touch up tired tile and dirty grout
No need to go to the expense and trouble of ripping out dirty grout or worn tile. Instead, bathroom or kitchen tile and grout can be given new life using simple tools and clever touch-ups.
A thorough cleaning
can actually do wonders if tile grout is stained or discolored. First, know what kind of tile you’re dealing with: unglazed calls for natural cleansers
, while glazed can handle stronger stuff. A paste of baking soda and water works really well when applied with a medium-bristle toothbrush. Work a small area of tile and grout at a time and rinse well with water after scrubbing. For more stubborn stains, use diluted bleach before shifting to chemical strippers.
Seal it: Once that grout sparkles, prevent a repeat of your restoration efforts by applying an epoxy or acrylic sealer. This will repel future grime and stains and keep you from cleaning the grout again.
Go the regrout route:
Sometimes grout replacement is your best option, especially if existing grout is severely cracked, stained or missing in some spots. A refilling once-over will do the trick with lighter damage, but for bigger jobs, you will need a grout saw or even a power tool attachment to remove old grout from tile work. Also consider using a different grout color from the original. This’ll highlight the actual tile in a fresh, new way as well as cut down on tile and grout cleaning demands.
Embellish: Decorative decals allow you to add a designer touch to an otherwise ho-hum tilescape. They’re easy to apply, waterproof once installed and leave no sticky residue when removed.
Cleaning tile and grout can be a chore, especially if they’ve had many years to build up grime. For best results, clean tile and grout about every six months.