For the first time ever, we have swanky finishes in our bathrooms. Over the years, I’ve had vast experience with surfaces like barker board, linoleum, cedar planked ceilings, and plywood walls. But, never ever have I had the chance to try out any of the “in thing” finishes…
Like tiles with grout and glass shower doors.
I was beyond thrilled.
However, I didn’t have a hot clue as to how to clean these swanky new finishes. So, in the quietness of my own living room, I started researching via Google. There was a plethora of information. Article after article gave details of the “simplest” ways to clean grout. The more I read, the more confident I got. It didn’t sound hard at all…
Off to the store I went to pick up the recommended supplies:
- baking soda
- hydrogen peroxide
- spray bottle
- sponge (don’t bother to buy this!)
- grout brush
- rubber gloves (which I already had)
- window washing squeegee (also something we already had)
I was quite excited to start this process and was beyond elated to think of how sparkly clean the bathroom would be when all was said and done.
One thing that none of my articles addressed was the “how” of actually getting to the tiles in the shower. It was very clear from the start that I needed to get into tub to reach the tile. I wasn’t looking forward to having slimy feet, so I folded a towel to stand on and began the “oh-so-simple” process:
1. Spray the grout with a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water. (So far so good!)
2.Using a sponge, wipe a paste made out of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on the grout.
This sounds much easier in a sentence than in real life. Spreading a paste with a sponge is nearly impossible. I eventually scrapped the whole sponge thing and instead dipped my new grout brush into the paste and started scrubbing. This allowed not only the grout to be covered well, but also my pants, hair and the bottom of the tub.(!)
At that point, I realized that cleaning grout is a great alternative to going to the gym. It’s a good mix of yoga stretching and aerobic workout. Perhaps grout cleaning could be be the new exercise craze?
3. By then, I was huffing and puffing and more than happy to reach step 3. It’s the “let the paste sit on the grout and work out the dirt” stage. I couldn’t quite remember the time the articles said, so I waited about 30 minutes.
4. After a lovely cup of coffee and a delicious lemon square snack, it was time to clean off the paste. One article I read said the easiest way to do this was with a window washing squeegee. I pondered this a long time. How in the world was I going to use that without getting my feet wet??
Of course, none of the articles addressed such mundane details…
So, I found myself a dishpan, put a dry washcloth in the bottom, and stood in it. (Can you picture it? Good, because I was too tired to take any more actual pictures.) It worked like a charm. I situated myself at the far end of the tub in my feet-saving dishpan, rinsed my window washing squeegee out with the tub tap, and then just scootched around as I needed to. After a wash & wipe down with the squeegee, it was time to start on the floor.
By this time, I was already tuckered out. I resorted to pouring a stream of hydrogen peroxide on the grout and sprinkling the baking soda directly on it, scrubbing with the grout brush, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and wiping with a cloth.
Thankfully, the effort payed off in the end. The grout is much cleaner.
OK…Now, that I’ve shared my gong show of grout cleaning, can any of you fill me in on your secrets of cleaning and keeping clean this lovely swanky finish?
There must be something I’m missing!!
In contrast to the oh-so-simple articles I read, I would say that grout cleaning is oh, so NOT simple.
But, those swanky tiles sure are pretty!;)