The key to maintaining a spotless, appealing bathroom in any office building or business space is clean grout. No matter the look of the tile, dark and dirty grout ruins the fresh aesthetic of the bathroom.
While tile floors can be easy to keep free of dirt and stains, it’s that stuff in between that can be hard to get at. This creates a dirty, unpolished, and unprofessional look, no matter how often your team cleans the bathroom.
What is grout?
Grout is used to fill in gaps and bind tiles together. It’s often made from a mixture of water, cement, and sand, creating a liquid form of concrete that settles in between tiles to seal and paste. It is porous and lightly colored, so it is prone to stains and bacteria. It can also easily fill with grime, mildew, and mold because soap and moisture residue get trapped between the hard tiles. Together, this can cause a stinky mildew smell and an unclean and unsanitary appearance.
It’s simple to clean bathroom tiles with the right equipment and cleansers. However, it’s those grout-filled crevices that can easily be forgotten. It can also be troublesome to clean grout in large, commercial spaces because this calls for extra attention and elbow grease from a janitorial team on a tight schedule.
So how can you be sure that you can quickly and efficiently clean grout for a spotless, attractive bathroom appearance?
How do you clean grout?
Regularly clean the bathrooms.
The best way to prevent the buildup of grime and dirt is to regularly clean bathroom tiles. The more often you clean the surface tiles, the less likely bacteria and grime will be able to find its way into the grout adhesive. In commercial spaces, bathrooms should be cleaned daily. A heavy-duty grout scrubbing should be done weekly; this ensures there is no buildup of stains and mildew that become harder to remove over time.
Use the right solution.
There are three types of solutions we generally recommend for cleaning grout that won’t harm the tile or adhesive.
Tile cleaner: Rather than purchasing a separate cleanser for your grout, find a solution that will work for the tile and the adhesive between the tile. Thus, you want a cleanser that is non-abrasive but also strong enough to get rid of scum, oil, deposits, and mildew. Our Focus TC 66 Ready Tub and Tile Cleaner is environmentally friendly and works wonders on all surfaces of the bathroom—including grout!
Hydrogen peroxide: Peroxide is great for lightening stains, especially black mold and mildew that seeps deep into the grout. We recommend using a peroxide cleaner over a bleach cleaner for grout, because you don’t want to damage dark or colored tiles. Peroxide is less likely to influence the color of the surrounding tiles and it will instead focus on lightening the porous grout itself. Try the Focus SAF2 Multisurface Peroxide Cleaner for a versatile, biodegradable spray-and-wipe cleaner (with a fresh orange scent).
Natural solutions: If you are cleaning weekly, you don’t necessarily need to use chemical cleaners to get the job done. Mix 7 cups of warm water, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. When everything has dissolved together, pour it into a spray bottle. Use that spray bottle to dampen the grout, and let the solution sit for 3-5 minutes. This will help lift recent stains quickly and gently.
Use a stiff-bristled brush.
To get deep down in between tiles, you need to use a brush with stiff bristles. This will exfoliate away bacteria and dirt, while also getting down into hard-to-reach crevices. Scrub in a circular motion to get the most efficient clean with the least amount of effort. We recommend using the Malish Blue Poly Iron Handle Hand Scrub for a strong clean and comfortable grip.
Mop and dry dirt.
After you’ve scrubbed away the mixture of grime and cleaning solution, you’ll likely be left with dirty “pools.” You should mop this up to ensure that the bacteria don’t resettle in the grout. We recommend using a microfiber pad mop, which will soak up the dirty solution for a clean, dry floor.
If you choose to instead use a traditional mop, be sure to dry the floor thoroughly afterward. You can do so by towel drying or with a fan, dryer, or air mover placed on the floor.
Try a steam cleaner.
If you still have tough grout stains, a steam cleaner could be the most effective and environmentally-friendly way to regain your bathroom’s shine. Steamers are also powerful and fast, and they tend to require less scrubbing (which will make your janitorial team happy). Our Hercules Vapor Scrub Steam Cleaner has 45 minutes of cleaning time per fill, on-demand steam, and even multi-purpose attachments so it could be used on floor grout, shower scum, or even ceiling stains!
Grout Cleaning Bottom Line
Don’t neglect the crevices and corners of your bathroom. Unclean grout creates an unclean overall appearance. Keeping up with a grout-cleaning routine that works for your space will ensure that your bathroom looks just as professional and spotless as the rest of your building.