In between tiles is grout, which can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. It is also a prime breeding ground for mildew, especially in bathrooms. While there are a many tile and grout cleaners available for purchase, you can make your own cleaner that will work just as well and save a bit of money in the process.
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Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup of ammonia, 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 7 cups of water. Shake or stir well and put the cleaning solution in spray bottles. Spray the cleaner on the grout and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then use a soft toothbrush or nylon scrub brush to gently scrub your grout clean. Rinse with a clean rag when done. Never use this cleaning solution on or near bleach. Ammonia and bleach let off a toxic fume when mixed together.
For harder to remove stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Scrub it into the grout with a soft toothbrush and allow it to sit for an hour. Scrub again and rinse.
Another type of grout cleaner uses oxygen-based bleach, such as Clorox 2, mixed with equal parts water. Let it sit for about an hour and then return to apply some more. Wait another half hour and gently scrub your tile with a soft toothbrush or nylon scrubbing pad. When clean, rinse with a clean wet rag. This will help rid your tile of mildew and most dirt and grime. It will not discolour coloured tiles or grout, nor does it have toxic fumes like regular chlorine bleach. If you have white grout and white tiles, you can choose to do the same method with chlorine bleach, but be careful. Open the windows and turn on the exhaust fan. Wear protective cloths, eyewear and gloves. Take breaks from the fumes and go outside often.
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