Make your shower grout look new again with a good cleaning
Once a year, you should clean and seal the grout between the ceramic or porcelain tiles in your bathroom shower. Probably 99 percent of America does not do this, right? Maybe you never even knew you were supposed to do this.
But you probably have seen that the grout in your shower — even in a fairly new house — starts to look grubby over time. So, if you learn how to clean it the right way, you can make that grout look great again. The problem is that cement-based grout gets dingy due to the oil, grease, and soapy water that pour over it every day.
Use mild cleaning products to start with like warm water mixed with a few drops of dish soap while scrubbing with a stiff toothbrush. Then rinse well with clean water and allow the area to dry thoroughly.
If dish soap doesn’t work, you might try a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water or a paste of baking soda and water. Rinse again and dry thoroughly.
(Bleach-based and commercial cleaners are not a good idea because they can mar the finish of tiles. Be especially careful never to use anything except mild soap and water on the grout lines between natural stone tiles.)
After the area dries, do the sealing necessary to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from infiltrating clean grout lines. You should only seal cement-based grout, of course.
It can be done fairly easily with a grout sealer that comes with a brush tipped applicator.
You’ll find many choices in sealers at the hardware store, so ask for some advice on which sealer to buy. For example, some sealers are used in bathrooms; some are used only in kitchens.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Then apply sealer in small areas at a time and have a dry clean rag or paper towels handy to wipe off excess sealer.
Allow to dry thoroughly; then apply a second coat. Test the surface with a few drops of water. Liquid should bead up into droplets. If not, apply a third coat.
Let the shower dry completely before using it again. This can take a day or two.
If you happen to get some sealer on tiles by mistake, you will see a haze on the tile once it dries. Wet it down with more sealer and you can wipe it off with paper towels.
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