How to Whiten Your Tile Grout

What You'll Need
Large bucket
Wooden stirrer
Plastic funnel
Measuring cup
Oxygen bleach
Empty spray bottle
Stiff-bristled toothbrush
Warm water

Whenever you install tiles in the bathroom, you cannot do so without using grout. This pearly white adhesive is spread over the tile after installation to protect the wall underneath from moisture. Grout is very easy to apply, and once it is dry will be waterproof. Over time, grout can crack and it will need to be reapplied but it can also discolor. Prolonged water abuse, and being splattered with soap and chemicals can turn the pearly white grout into a myriad of colors, most commonly a sickly brown. This does not mean that your bathroom is dirty, but it may look that way. You can return the grout back to its white color and the following article will show you how.

Step 1 – Make the Cleaning Solution

Bleach is a great cleaning material, and is perfect for returning whites back to their original brightness after being discolored. The same premise you use on clothing is also used on grout. You want to use oxygen bleach, as it is less chemically harsh than traditional bleach and is oxygenated to create a fizzing on a microscopic level. Fill a gallon bucket with warm water and add ½-cup of the oxygen bleach. Use a disposable stirring stick and mix it until you are satisfied that it is mixed well. If you purchased the oxygen bleach from a remodeling center or department store, add an additional ¼-cup to the water. These brands tend to be weaker than bleach used for commercial purposes which can be purchased from janitorial supply companies. You can use chlorine bleach if you cannot find oxygen bleach, but if you do, make sure the area is well-ventilated. You will also want to wear rubber gloves and a respirator to protect yourself.

Step 2 – Initial Spray Down

Remove the spray cap from the bottle and place the funnel inside. Pour the oxygen bleach and water solution into the spray bottle and secure the nozzle. Shake the bottle gently to further ensure the mixture is stirred up sufficiently. Spray the entire surface of the tile, even if the grout is not discolored, as it will make it all one even color. Spray the wall from a distance of no more than 2 inches to cover the wall with a fine coating of the solution. Never let the wall dry. To get maximum effectiveness out of the bleach, periodically reapply the solution.

Step 3 – Final Cleaning

After the hour is up, you can begin scrubbing the grout. Work in small sections. Spray the area you are working in to make sure the grout is very wet with the solution. Use the toothbrush to vigorously scrub the grout. Remember to keep the rest of the wall misted with the solution as you work in these sections. Once all of the grout lines have been scrubbed thoroughly, wash down the walls with soap and water.