How to Clean Grout and Remove Mold
October 15, 2012
In this blog we will look at grout, which is a material that seals things like tiles together. Grout is not something you want to remove – it is an essential tool! However it is often used in bathrooms which means it can go black and moldy – which is not pleasant and rather unsightly. So I am going to show you how to prevent that moldy mildew that can grow on grout, and I will also give you some tips on cleaning it if it gets into a bad state.
The best way to get rid of Mildew is to stop it growing in the first place! To do that I recommend you invest in a squeegee – a cheap way to remove water from the tiles after you shower. It is similar to a window cleaner’s tool, and all you do is scrape the water away and into the bath. This means that the tiles will dry much quicker giving the mold less time to grow.
On top of this, you should also regularly clean the grout. Simply spraying a homemade vinegar concoction (see below) onto the tiles and rubbing it in once a week before rinsing it off will stop the build up and avoid you a lengthy mildew removal session further down the line.
Other things you can do is always keep the extractor fan on or a window open while in the shower to stop steam building up.
If you don’t take steps to prevent mildew it will grow, especially in bathrooms. Depending on how long you leave the mold before tackling it, you may have a challenge on your hands. Elbow grease is key to removal, and here is how you would do it.
Spray some mildew remover (more on that below) onto your tiles and using a cleaning pad scrub it in. At this point it can be helpful to let it absorb for about 10 minutes. After that time has passed, scrub the grout lines between the tiles with a toothbrush. Its going to take time and effort but it is the most effective way of removing the mold. Some people use an electric toothbrush to make things a little easier – if you do decide to give that a go, please tell me if it is easier for you!
Once all the mildew has been removed (keep at it, it will be worth it) wash the tiles down with water.
Use a squeegee to remove all excess water, and pat down dry with a towel if you are going to be extra cautious going forward!
As we learnt last week with limescale removers, there are lots of products on the market. Homemade cleaners are also increasingly popular. For me though, the best shop bought mold spray is simply called ‘Mold Spray’. We recommend tenants use it as it works everytime.
If you would rather make your own, diluting vinegar with water and then spraying onto tiles is meant to be effective. Whatever you decide, make sure you clean the grout instead of buying a grout stain that just covers up the problem instead of removing it.