I cleaned my bathroom grout without bleach – results

B&Q advises on the best way to clean grout

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Grout fills in the spaces between tiles and is essential for creating a seamless tile appearance, often used in the kitchen and bathrooms. However, most grout is porous, which means it absorbs dirt, grime, spills and unwanted substances. Many people don’t even notice that their grout is getting dirty until it discolours, turning red or brown. Not only does this look bad, it is also a hotspot for germs and bacteria, if not mould to thrive in.

I live in a hard water area and do not have a water softener, meaning my bathroom is prone to limescale, including the tiles and grout.

My bathroom is also internal and has no windows, so having hot showers with no ventilation is just one way the tile grout had become dirty.

To clean my bathroom grout, I decided to use a staple product I already had in my cleaning cupboard rather than go out and purchase another.

Viakal is a cheap bathroom spray which can help to remove dirt and bacteria trapped in limescale as well as prevent it from reappearing.

While it is specifically targeted towards limescale, it can also be used to clean grout which has become encrusted with limescale, which is what had happened in my situation.

To start with, I focused on a small section of my tiles and directed the Viakal towards the grout, spraying until it was covered. Some product did start to trail down the tiles, but the majority of it stayed within the grout lines.

I decided to leave the product for around five minutes or so to ensure it had the best chance of working. I wasn’t too sure if the Viakal would work but didn’t have any white vinegar or baking soda to hand at the time.

After five minutes, I took a spare toothbrush from my cleaning cupboard and began to scrub in between the grout lines, making sure I had scrubbed the entire area I was working on.

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It took around two minutes to cover the area and I couldn’t yet see whether the trick had worked because the product was still covering the grout, although the toothbrush had started to discolour.

I then rinsed the tiles with a shower head to unveil dirt-free grout which looked a lot brighter in colour. I was surprised the product had worked so well seeing as I barely had to use any effort to remove the dirt and limescale.

Viakal can be purchased from a variety of retailers, including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco for around £2, although it is often on offer for less than that.

Britons could also opt for using white vinegar to clean grout, according to experts at Checkatrade. They said: “Fill your spray bottle with equal parts warm water and vinegar.

“Spray it onto the grout and leave for several minutes. Then scrub with your stiff-bristled brush and rinse with warm water. 

“If your grout is still dirty, create a baking soda paste with warm water and apply it to the grout lines.

“Spray on your vinegar solution and allow it to foam. Scrub with your stiff-bristled brush and rinse with warm water.”

If none of these steps work and the grout is still looking really tired, it may be time to re-grout them. For a more temporary fix, grout pens can be purchased online.

Cleaning grout on floor tiles can be done in the same way as wall tiles. The pros added: “However, when cleaning floor tile grout there are additional safety aspects to take care of, such as creating a no-walk zone prior to cleaning to remove the risk of someone slipping over on the wet floor.

“As floor tiles are subjected to more dirt particles from shoes, pets and food/drink spillages, it may be that you need to try a commercial or industrial strength cleaning product.

“Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean particularly stubborn dirt off of floor tiles, as can chlorine bleach, however, these chemicals should never be used together and should always be used sparingly.

“If you choose to use these products, follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions and wear gloves, safety goggles and a respiratory mask as a minimum.”

When cleaning, it is always advised to use gloves and to keep them away from children and pets.

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