Let's talk about grout baby
January 9, 2018 7:15 PM   Subscribe

This January my goal is to deal with some small nagging house jobs to make my home more welcoming and cozy. First up is cleaning the grout in the tub. What is the best way you've found to clean grout around the bathtub? Think vertical surfaces.

The internet is full of suggestions, but they all contradict each other. What have you found useful? Are those brushes that attach to your drill good? Or a waste of time? Oxiclean, bleach, blood of virgins - give me your homemade recipe to make the bath area sparkle!

No mood or mildew issues, just general dinginess and laziness.
posted by five_cents to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Is this definitely grout (hard) or caulk (soft)?
posted by bq at 7:44 PM on January 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

If you decide to use bleach/bleach products, please use a squeeze bottle. Aerosolizing and inhaling bleach is not good for your lungs. It amazes me that so many bleach products are sold in spray bottles. A squeeze bottle from a restaurant supply store will apply your cleaning product precisely on the grout lines. Just empty/rinse the bottle after as the chemical may break down the plastic in time.

Once you’re done cleaning, seal your grout. If you do it yearly-ish (in your tub/shower), your grout will stay clean with minimal effort.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:45 PM on January 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like Clorox's Bleach Pen. The gel is sticky enough to stay in place on vertical surfaces until you rinse it off. I feel like you need to leave it a while to get really white lines.
posted by pinochiette at 7:47 PM on January 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

- a utility knife w extra blades
- small brushes

I just replaced the caulking in my wife's bath and these tools were perfect. Unless you have the mildest dirt in the caulking (I presume you mean caulking) you'll waste time bleaching and scrubbing, it's better to just replace it. It goes quickly once you get the hang of it. And it looks so great. Tons of YT tutorials but use these tools.
posted by artdrectr at 7:53 PM on January 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

I probably should have looked stuff up and followed video tutorials or something when I replaced the caulk around my bathtub, but I just scraped it off with random chisels and followed the instructions on the tube of sealant, and it all went fine. Better tools for the job are a good idea, but it's a pretty easy task. Not least because if you screw it up, you can just remove it and try again. You won't likely need the whole tube for one tub.

I would recommend doing this first thing on a weekend if you don't have another shower available, as you'll need to leave time for caulk to cure before you expose it to water.
posted by asperity at 10:46 PM on January 9, 2018

I’ve had luck mixing baking soda and bleach into a paste, smearing it into the grout, let it sit for a few minutes and then wash it off.
posted by HMSSM at 12:05 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

After two years of living in poorly ventilated, chronically damp London apartments, I feel I can speak to this question with authority.

Assuming you're talking about tile grout, not the silicone sealant around the tub, you 1,000% need to buy this fiendishly effective mould spray. I spray it on and leave it overnight. Grout stains will literally vanish.

If you can't get your mitts on HG Mould Spray, then HMSSM's bicarb and bleach paste method works, but I go about it a bit differently. I let it sit for a few hours, rather than a few minutes, then scrub it off with one of these grout brushes. If you're serious about your grout, then you really need this brush set. They're much sturdier than a toothbrush, and you won't destroy your wrists going to town on your grout. After I've given it a really solid scrub I rinse and give one last wipe down with some tub and tile spray.

For regular maintenance, I scrub the whole area down with cream bleach and a stiff brush once a week, give it a rinse, then wipe down with tub and tile, because I can't abide mouldy grout.

Tub sealant is another matter. If it's the sealant that's mouldy, then you need to scrape the stuff out and re-seal.
posted by nerdfish at 3:13 AM on January 10, 2018

Thanks everyone, I did mean hard grout. The tub also needs to be recalled but i've done that task before and there are fewer opinions on the best way to get it done.

I'm going to check for the bleach pen and the HG spray.
posted by five_cents at 7:40 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're dealing with soap scum, I recommend a mixture of dish soap, white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then scrub with a nylon brush. It does wonders. See the recipe under "vinegar and dish detergent" here.
posted by purple_bird at 9:42 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Came in to say baking soda + bleach mixed into a paste. Works a charm!
posted by jbenben at 9:43 AM on January 10, 2018

« Older How do I help my spouse as we bid farewell to a...   |   Hiking with a kid...AT edition Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.