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Old 08-01-2008, 12:47 PM   #1
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Dirty White Grout


Hi,

I'm in need of some good advice. My family and I really want to move into the home we just bought, but we have to finish up the bathroom first. The tile is in good shape except the white grout is dirty. We've tried scrubbing it with grout&tile cleaner and bleach, etc. with little luck. Is there any other methods that are a definite way to clean white grout? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

-Dank

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Old 08-01-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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Dirty White Grout


Ahh white grout, quite possibly the worst color for any area of the home that gets regular foot traffic. I had to clean a basement once that had white grout, which before cleaning was yellow and brown.

I had good luck with a foam cleaner that I bought at the hardware store. It sprayed on foamed up a little bit and pretty much wiped away, but it was pretty expensive.

An acidic toilet bowl cleaner usually works pretty well too. You can also buy a grout scraping tool at home depot, but just be careful that you don't scrape away too much of the grout.

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Old 08-01-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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Dirty White Grout


An old Italian tiler had my sister use SnoBowl on her grout to bleach it because it is a gel bleach. I had a bottle accidentally tip over one time--not sure how long it was spilled but it was to long as some of the grout crumbled out but not all the way down. Sure was white though.
Don't go crazy with it -- try a spot for 15 to 30 mins and see how it works.
Rinse it really well, then check and find the best sealer you can find no matter what it costs!
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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The use of acids, especially bowl cleaners, will damage your grout; it is almost impossible to remove the dirt that has found its way into the grout, using domestic products.

We clean grout. It has now become a service that requires the right set of chemicals and equipment, similar to what some carpet cleaners have in their truckmounts.

OK it costs a bit, but with the use of a sealer, the grout could get you a warranty of 5-7 years against staining. Worth lookimg into. Otherwise put in new grout...a bag is worth $20 maybe + a few hours of your time and there you go...
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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I won't ry to sell you my method.

Try OxyClean. It's that simple.

Just depends on what has gotten the grout dirty and are you even sure it is white grout to begin with.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
I won't ry to sell you my method.

Try OxyClean. It's that simple.

Just depends on what has gotten the grout dirty and are you even sure it is white grout to begin with.

It is definitely white. The area under the vanity, is super white, and we were able to get some of the dirt out with the grout&tile cleaner, but there is a big area that just won't whiten...
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:01 AM   #7
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Cleaning grout with acid

Cleaning grout with Oxy
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:02 AM   #8
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If most soils are acidic in nature - and that is true of bathroom soils as well as kitchen soils - why does one think that an acid will emulsify them?
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
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Oh hell! That's a lot of crap! Copy and paste is a wonderful thing but if you don't have a basic knowledge of anything other than a computer keyboard and a mouse then you won't understand anything you copy and past. Talk about a friggin KNOW IT ALL!

Listen...acids of the type being recommended won't attack the dirt. They won't touch the dirt. There is nothing acidic about dirt commonly found in bathrooms but that's a different issue.

Acids go after the makeup of the Portland cement grout. They destroy it (the grout) microscopically thereby dislodging some dirt but they won't clean dirt. Using acids on grout is a mistake if it is done repeatedly short term or long term. You guys that automatically think acids are miracle drugs need to get a better understanding of what's up.

Advising someone to play around with toilet cleaners outside the envelope of a toilet bowl is not very good advice either. Those chemicals are caustic and will eat you. If the powers that clean grout wanted you to use toilet bowl cleaner they would just say "Use toilet bowl cleaner".

Phosphoric Acid (gelled or not) WILL NOT dissolve ordinary dirt.

Once you "rinse it clean" (how do you do THAT by the way?) there is still chemical that has penetrated the grout that could lay dormant until the next time you walk over it with wet bare feet after just getting out of the tub or shower. Ever had acidic chemical burns on your skin? NOT PLEASANT!

Stay the hell away from all those acids. They won't do anything if you don't understand them and where to use them.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
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Dear members, please read the warning disclaimer on the top on this post.

I don't know a lot about cleaning products, so I really don't know what to say about this, hope one of the other mods will have some insight.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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"There is nothing acidic about dirt commonly found in bathrooms but that's a different issue."

Well, I don't quite agree with you, Bud, and let me explain my thinking: I see bathroom dirt as dead skin cells, oils, fats, greases and some inorganic dirt thrown in there too. But basically, these are acidic soil compounds. And the way to remove them is through emulsification of those acids by means of a base. Now many bathroom cleansers meant to remove soil (as opposed to removing soap scum and mineral deposits) are basic, and that is what we use to clean grout in business: a base with a pH of 11 and high available alkalinity. We may follow that with an acid, but the base does the main job.

My comment was meant to question those who advocate using acids to clean acidic soils...not easily done. Those who do use acids are weakening the grout as you pointed out. After all, the grout is basic...

Hope I was clearer this time...
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Old 08-02-2008, 01:05 PM   #12
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All of our theories are agueable depending on what cleaning discipline one subscribes to. I can assure you that recommending someone use "caustic soda" to clean such things is a very dangerous recommendation for a DIY website. You have no idea who you are advising or how often. Some people take this stuff as gospel and run with it.

All advice forums offer disclaimers to protect the website but how often are they read and at what point does someone unfamiliar with any of the tasks they have undertaken or the advice they have been given understand the risks.
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:06 PM   #13
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Is it me or has this thread has gone haywire...

And did someone recommend caustic soda for tiles? for anything residential? did I miss a post or something...? did someone paste that?

Furthermore, I'm really not following you, Bud...just what "cleaning discipline" do you subscribe to? tell me I'm wrong or give me a better theory....

By all means, I'd like to argue - with you ar anyone - about soil contents, emulsification, pH and acids+bases - but sometimes there's no arguing with a thoery that has become so worked that it has become essentially a fact. It's not my opinion that soils are acidic and it's not my theory that oils and fats are too; they are, take it from me. Then check it out. Those are not debatable, IMO.

I must have missed something because this thread makes no sense and I apologise if I have had something to do with that...

EDIT:

OK! I see the connection with caustic soda here: Toilet bowl cleaners! And I always thought these products were acids...LOL
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:37 PM   #14
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there is a product out there called Mighty Indigo

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