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joeyboy 11-17-2007 01:31 PM

cleaning difficult grout stains?
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any tips someone could offer me? My bathroom has very bad stains on the grout lines near the center and the sink, I attached a pic of the first spot I've attempted, you can see how different it is compared to a clean spot (second picture) that is in the corner away from water sources/traffic.

I'm using the brushes/cleaner in that picture, is there a more heavy duty approach I can take? I'm letting that cleaner soak in for 15 minutes and scrubbing like crazy, I mean I'm pretty strong and I'm burning my arms out lol :laughing: , and I'm not able to get an inch of that grout even *remotely* like the clean spots.

Any suggestions would be huge, I really want to get it all back to 'clean' before sealing the lines :thumbsup:

joeyboy 11-17-2007 01:32 PM

I'm almost thinking, despite how much it pains me to mention this, that I may need to kind of chisel/remove a thin layer of the grout - if that is the case is that something relatively simple? What would I use for that? I have a brick rub block from doing stucco / mortar stuff that'd grind that real nice but I'm sure it'd mash my tile edges up in the process lol!!

UBoiler 11-18-2007 01:00 AM

We have white grout and we found that sprayiing 409 or Windex onto the grout, let it dilute the stains and dirt (pre-treat) for 15-20, then brushing, scrubbing it works about the best. We've also had good luck using those Oxy-type granular products as a paste and letting them work for 15-20 or whatever it says on the label, then scrubbing it off. I have some favorite old white towels that lift the dirt best. I also have a too-firm-to-sleep-on pillow that protects my knees better then knee pads . Our bathrooms have 1 inch square tiles and for those I clean with 409 or Windex . Then I mix up a couple cups of grout and I put a thin layer on, basically paint the grout. 20 mins later I use well rung out white rag towell to wipe the tiles. It looks like new grout, all even colored, no stains, it's by far the easiest way to clean(?), and a little container of grout is about as expensive as those grout cleaners and far less disappointing- I have 2 or 3 of those specialty grout cleaners and I'm tempted to wrap a dollar bill around each of them and toss 'em away so at least I can say I threw something of value away. I also have a labelled spray bottle of chlorine bleach that I spray on my basement grout before I damp mop. Of course don't mix ammonia products like some glass cleaners and 409 types with chlorine bleach- read the labels. Good luck. Cliff

joeyboy 11-18-2007 09:10 AM

thanks a lot for the tips!

I had thought about another thin layer of grout, but presumed it would've cracked/chipped like crazy given how close to the surface (and thin) that layer would've been. That'd give a great finish though!

tyler101 11-18-2007 11:54 PM

Do not spray bleach on grout! Grout is sealed with sealer. All of the product that you are using is wearing away at the sealer. Also, putting a "thin" coat of grout down will not work either as this will chip off. Go to and get a cleaner. After you are done cleaning the grout, seal it again. This will prevent stains from coming back.

joeyboy 11-19-2007 09:33 AM

trying to keep a sealer intact while working at a stain under it is impossible. If there's still sealer on there, it needs to be gone by the time my stains are cleaned anyways, right :huh:

KUIPORNG 11-19-2007 09:44 AM

I cleaned mine all with a brush and some sort of cleaner... it works will... especially the steel brush.... I think it really the force and water did the trick...

I think the sealer is a marketing lie, I bought mine and use it... on some grouts but not others... I don't think feel any difference... I wish I could refund the almost full expensive bottle.

joeyboy 11-19-2007 10:51 AM

I've gotta say that my one experience with sealers has been the exact same. I did the tile jobs in my houe when I first bought it maybe 6 months ago, and I sealed it very strictly according to the label, even did the double coat instead of single. The lines are already stained and dirty in a ton of places and have been for a couple months, so what is that sealer really doing?!

Do you remember what kind of cleaner you used? I really want to find something, I poked around home depot yesterday and am starting to worry this won't be cleanable w/o a wet/dry or something!

joeyboy 11-21-2007 11:29 AM


Originally Posted by KUI****G (Post 74892)
I cleaned mine all with a brush and some sort of cleaner... it works will... especially the steel brush.... I think it really the force and water did the trick...

I think the sealer is a marketing lie, I bought mine and use it... on some grouts but not others... I don't think feel any difference... I wish I could refund the almost full expensive bottle.

I'd be concerned about a steel brush ruining the glaze on the tiles themselves, unless you've got a steel toothbrush (:laughing: ) and are doing it extremely precisely!

Well, I figured it out! By accident though :yes:

Bleach did the trick. Here's the thing though, at least for my grout, it wasn't the way you'd expect. I was cleaning the old latex caulk stuff out of my shower rail with a combo of a razor blade and a stiff brush that I was dipping in a 1/4 bleach solution.

Being lazy, or efficient, however you wanna view it, I figured I'd just pour some bleach on the floor instead of getting a pan (knew it wouldn't cause problems, and only needed like an ounce of liquid for that little brush anyways). So yeah, that project took far longer than expected (don't they all), and that bleach puddle had been sitting there for about 45 minutes. I walked into the bathroom and noticed a night/day difference where the bleach puddle ended!

I took it a step further and used straight bleach, let it sit for about half an hour, then brushed (brushing was barely even needed) it a little bit, then just rinsed the bleach out and it's 99.9% perfect :thumbup:

KUIPORNG 11-21-2007 11:54 AM

the brushes I have is in fact in the same size and shape of a tooth brush and it is steel in fact.....

where I got those? got it from a ware house sale from Ebay, when I bought it, I thought it is bigger by the pictures which got 40 of those guys originally intend to use for the barbecue.... but it is kind of too small for that purpose... Good thing that I didn't tell the transaction to my wife... otherwise, she would have laugh to death when she saw what I bought supposely for barbucue cleaning....

joeyboy 11-21-2007 12:32 PM

lol! Ebay will trick ya like that, wasn't there someone who used to sell a solar powered dryer on there, that was a string with some clothes clips :)?

KUIPORNG 11-21-2007 01:52 PM

for this particular case, it is not really Ebay trick me... but I didn't read the description carefully which has the size spec out.... my experience with Ebay are mostly positive though... did got unsatisfy results for a few times... but like everything... you can't always win...

joeyboy 11-21-2007 02:46 PM

oh I was just joking, I use ebay a ton, I actually used to sell students' stuff for profit on ebay when I was in college lol :laughing: (at a 1/3 commission!!!)

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