If you're looking for the best way to clean grout, you're exactly where you need to be. First things first: I need you to step away from the vinegar and baking soda mixture you might have just prepped. There are some rumors floating around about combining the two as a DIY cleaning solution for tile grout and I am here to tell you that it's a bad idea.
When you put vinegar, or any acid-based cleaner on grout, there's a chance you're damaging the concrete. The Tile Council of North America explains on their website, saying, "grout is based primarily of cement and sand. Sand, like glass, is unaffected chemically by most cleaners. Cement is not. Rather, it is alkaline based and is dissolved by acids. As baking soda and vinegar react, so do grout and vinegar." Because of this, they recommend cleaning with an alkaline cleaner and not an acid-based one.
The site recommends Spic and Span or Mr. Clean, and compares removing stains from cement grout to removing them from clothing. Like products that clean laundry, you want a grout cleaner that has enzymes that will attack stains similar to that of your dirty clothes.
In addition to vinegar, you also want to avoid any oil or wax-based cleaners. Since grout can absorb soap as much as a stain, the TCNA says not to use Murphy's Oil soap, Pine Sol, or any product that will leave a waxy or oily film.
There you have it! You're on your way to very clean grout that will live a long, lovely life.
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