Dirty and grimy grout is not only unsightly, it can also be harmful to your health. Mould has the potential to exacerbate allergies and certain respiratory conditions that can be life-threatening.
Cleaning grout regularly can kill mould and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the home. Grout cleaning is not as difficult as you think if you know the best techniques to do it.
Here is everything you need to know about grout cleaning:
Mildew and mould in bathrooms
The humid conditions in bathrooms are ideal breeding grounds for harmful mould. Water runs frequently inside bathrooms. If the bathroom is not cleaned or dried properly mildew will form. Over time the mildew will turn into mould.
When mould grows, it develops roots or hyphae which can penetrate the grout or silicone. You can easily clean the surface to kill the mould and prevent it from spreading but you may not be able to clean deep inside it. If the grout is badly affected, you may want to replace the silicone or re-grout the bathroom.
Types of mould commonly found in bathrooms
The varieties of mould that grow in the bathroom come in many colours.
Here are some of the most common bathroom mould:
- Aspergillus – pale yellow to brown
- Cladosporium – brown to blackish tint
- Penicillium – blue, yellow or green tint
- Stachybotrys – is the most dangerous form of mould in grout. They are also known as black mould
Is mould in the bathroom harmful?
Mould in a bathroom is ugly to look at. But it can also be harmful to health especially if you have family members who suffer from respiratory illnesses or allergies.
People who are affected by mould will experience runny noses, coughing and sneezing. If they have a pre-existing respiratory condition, breathing in mould can exacerbate these conditions and they can be ill from it.
Simple grout cleaning in your home can remove mildew and minimise the growth of mould in your home.
How to clean grout
These easy-to-follow grout cleaning tips from the experts at Calibre Cleaning will make cleaning grout super quick.
How to clean grout with vinegar
Vinegar causes mould to overeat and die. Experts say it is the most effective way to kill mould in grout.
Step 1: Mix 80% of vinegar to 20% of water in a bucket. Fill another bucket with clean water.
Step 2: Dip a microfibre cloth into the vinegar solution and use this to scrub the mould.
Step 3: Rinse the cloth in the second bucket making sure to change the water when it becomes too dirty.
Step 4: Microfibres are excellent for this purpose because their fibres can reach inside the grout to create a slight electric-like charge to clean mould in the grout.
Step 5: If after cleaning, you find a slight discolouration in the grout, you can remove this by using a little amount of bleach.
How to clean grout with vinegar and baking soda
Step 1: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply onto the grout with an old toothbrush. An unwanted electric toothbrush with its circular head is excellent to get inside hard to reach corners around the sink and corners of the shower.
Step 2: Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray onto the areas with the baking soda. The vinegar will react with the baking soda to create a thick, sizzling mixture that is perfect for killing harmful mould.
Step 3: Leave for 10 minutes or more depending on how grimy the grout is.
Step 4: Use the toothbrush to scrub the grout.
Step 5: Rinse with water and a clean microfibre cloth. If you have stubborn stains, you may want to repeat this process. After several cleans, the mould will be killed. Keeping this cleaning procedure going will prevent further mould growth.
How to clean grout with mould remover
Step 1: Always follow the instructions in the bottle if you are using a commercially bought mould remover
Step 2: Commercial mould removers usually contain bleach. Make sure you have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when using bleach. A mask and rubber gloves can prevent bleach from contaminating skin.
Also, bleach can discolour clothing so be careful not to get any of the solution on your clothing.
After cleaning rinse thoroughly and air the bathroom by opening the window or turning on the exhaust fan.
How to restore the colour of your grout
If your grout has turned dull because of age, you can easily restore it with a good quality whitening toothpaste and an old toothbrush. You don’t have to spend a fortune on the toothpaste. Use the leftovers from the brand you are using at home.
Brush the grout like you would brushing your teeth. Rinse with warm water and don’t forget to dry it so mildew cannot collect around it.
How to prevent mildew and mould in grout
There are some preventive measures you can take to prevent mildew and mould from growing in grout. Here are a few of them:
Use the exhaust fan
Always turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom when you are showering.
Open the window
If you have a window, opening the window to allow fresh air in can dry the room and remove humidity. If you do not have a window, try leaving the door open when you are not using the bathroom.
Change air filters
The air filters in your exhaust fan will need cleaning and changing so they can operate on maximum capacity. The easiest way to clean the filter is to dust it with a soft microfibre cloth.
Use a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier in the bathroom to keep the humidity at a maximum of 50% can significantly minimise the risk of mildew and mould in the bathroom.
Cleaning the sink and shower stall regularly and drying it properly can minimise mildew and mould.
Conduct spot check
Check for evidence of mould in the grout, corners of sinks, pipes and other parts of the bathroom regularly. If you see any signs of mould growth, follow our simple grout cleaning tips to get rid of the infestation before it becomes a problem.
When to call the professionals
If there is significant mould growth – particularly black mould, it is time to call for professional tile and grout cleaning services. Don’t want the hassles of cleaning grout yourself? A professional domestic cleaning company like Calibre Cleaning can help!
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