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Cleaning Shower Tile & Grout:What Works and What Doesn't

How on earth do you get your shower grout and ceramic tile looking new again?
Last weekend I compared three different products: OxiClean, Eco Orange Cleaner, and Chlorox. OxiClean is oxygenated bleach and is a great alternative to chlorinated bleach because it doesn't give off odors and discolor clothing or carpets. Eco Orange is expensive ($80 per gallon), and it would help to know if it works on tough tile & grout stains before you purchase it. Chlorox is highly recommended for cleaning showers but does it always work?

OxiClean is found in most grocery stores in the laundry detergent aisle. The directions are somewhat vague for tile cleaning. This is why I decided to use different amounts and tinkered around with how much to add to one gallon of water. You can view the blog post I put together at http://www.homerepairtutor.com/clean-ceramic-tile-and-grout.

Overall I thought OxiClean did a fantastic job removing dirt & grime from the tiles and some of the grout. I tried both Eco Orange and Chlorox after OxiClean to see if they could improve the appearance of the grout. But had no luck.
This cleaning project took several days and I wanted to share the outcomes with the Hometalk community so you could save money, time, and the possibility of putting your back out (like I did, ouch!). If you don't have time to do anything else you should scan the pictures. They walk you through my findings and one shows you my cheesy moustache I'm growing in support of prostate and testicular cancer awareness. Funny stuff :)
Do you have a grout & tile cleaning solution you'd like to share?
Difficulty: Easy

To see more: http://www.homerepairtutor.com/clean-ceramic-tile-and-grout

Ask the creator about this project

  • Lorrie B
    Lorrie B Beaver Falls, PA
    on Nov 7, 2012

    I used a combination of Baking Soda, Peroxide, and a dash a Dawn dish soap, and it worked great! Peroxide works like a non-chemical Bleach!

  • Bernice H
    Bernice H Woodburn, OR
    on Nov 7, 2012

    hi, I went to your blog, and tada there is Sheila sharing her oops moment with paint and her guest bath! Too funny! Just signed on to your newsletter video thingy. Looking forward to it. Keep looking for answers to cleaning grout. I dont have any, but have a friend who cleans homes and she couild use a surefire answer.

  • Hometipster.com
    Hometipster.com Columbus, MS
    on Nov 8, 2012

    Sometimes if it's left for too long the only solution is to re-grout the tiles, which is not a difficult job. Anyone who is interested here's the guide - http://hometipster.com/how-to-re-grout-tiles/

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Nov 8, 2012

    Couple of last resort cleaning tips. Your shower grout is probably un-sanded grout. They use this on 1/8" grout lines. It is made with a poxy. It needs sealed and re-sealed. They make a grout acid made specially for this. But after you get it clean you have to re-seal your tile. Or you can try spray bleach. Each time it dries re-spray. I have used both. Especially on rentals that really dirty. Sometimes it's easier to re-grout. I have used a dermal, a grinder, and a tile rake. There is a new tool that vibrates. You use a sawzall. Dermal is easier. And quicker. Use unsanded grout if the grout line is smaller then a 1/8" inch. And be sure to seal it. Honestly after all the money you have spent on cleaning supplies you could have already have re-grouted your bathroom. Anyone can purchase a tile rake they are cheap and require no skill no special tools just elbow Grease. And sometimes it just needs to be done. When I use a sealer on anything I read to see how long it lasts. Cheaper versions last 6 months. I buy the one that last a year. I clean my floors and all my tile and re-seal each year. That way I never worry its regular maintance for me. Great luck!

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Nov 8, 2012

    One more thing. Anytime you have colored grout and use any cleaner especially one with bleach, ammonia or peroxide or acid.... Test spot! Read the directions! A lot of cleaners can damage and discolor the grout. If your grout is colored hasn't been sealed or sometimes it doesn't matter it will discolor it. Acid, bleach and ammonia, peroxide can damage certain tiles. Travertine tile can be damaged easily. And it can take the finish off certain tile and leave little shiny spots. The little shiny spots are is what is left of the finish. I always caution everyone to Becareful. Sometimes we do things as a last resort. I do this these cleaning methods when I have absolutely nothing to lose.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!