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How to Clean Stained Grout on Concrete

Proper maintenance of your grout is key to keeping it looking great over time. Frequent vacuuming and regular cleaning, either with natural or commercial grout cleaner, go a long way toward protecting the surface. Yearly resealing can be very helpful when it comes to protecting grout, too.

How to Clean Stained Grout on Concrete

The grout between pieces of concrete takes quite a lot of abuse. Dirt, dust and debris accumulate over time and is ground into the grout, breaking it down or leading to staining. To maintain the look and longevity of your grout, regular cleaning is essential. Fortunately, there are a number of ways, both naturally and through the use of commercially produced chemicals, to clean stubborn grout stains.

Natural Grout Cleaner

It’s very possible to maintain your grout using a variety of organic, all-natural or household products. For instance, a combination of 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide makes a very effective cleaner and won’t pose a risk to children or pets. You can combine these materials in a spray bottle and then lightly spritz the grout you wish to clean. It is a good idea to protect your hands while using the peroxide, as it can sting if it gets into any cuts. The oxidation and abrasive properties of the baking soda and peroxide can go a long way toward refreshing your grout. If you are concerned about germs, as well, try adding 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to the above mixture. You can even let it sit on the grout for five minutes before scrubbing it off.

White vinegar, an ever-popular household cleaning product, can also be used as a grout cleaner. Use a toothbrush to work the vinegar into the grooves for a brightening effect.

Commercially Available Grout Cleaner

A number of products are available commercially to clean grout. For instance, Zep Grout Cleaner is bleach-free but will whiten your grout. This makes it an excellent choice for stained grout on concrete. It is specifically formulated for grout, and it should not be used to clean other household surfaces. However, the manufacturer specifically notes that it is effective on all types of floors with grout lines of any color, including dark grout.

If you want to do double duty and clean your floors while you freshen up your grout, consider a different type of product. For instance, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is non-toxic and biodegradable and is effective on a variety of surfaces, including fabric, carpet, upholstery, sealed or painted wood, stone, tile, fiberglass, metal, plastic, rubber, brick and concrete. It’s a good way to do double duty rather than purchase two separate products to clean your grout and floors.

Grout Maintenance

It’s important to properly maintain your grout to avoid staining or breakdown of the material. In addition to cleaning it regularly, vacuum the floors frequently to remove dust, dirt and hair before it gets ground into the floor or leads to staining. Clean up spills right away, as well.

After checking the manufacturer's instructions for your grout to ensure compliance, consider the use of a grout sealant about once a year. This can help provide a barrier against buildup and ensure the longevity of the product.