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We are finally getting unpacked and into the new place.  I think the last people who lived here smoked - not in the house, but I think it was just "on them" so there is a slight odor.  So I have been cleaning and disinfecting this place like it is nobody's business! 

I originally thought when we moved in that we had off white tile with dark grout.  That was until I looked at the areas that were under the washer and dryer.  They were much lighter.  Here is what the grout looked like in the kitchen.  Can I get an "Ewwwww" up in here?

And another close up - this is uber-grody!

But I have a solution - one that does not involve bleach.  It isn't easy, it involves scrubbing, but in the end, your grout will be restored to its normal color!

What you need is the following:
-  A tile grout brush
-  A small plastic cup- fill with water
-  Barkeeper's Friend (My favorite cleaner - no sponsorship here - I just love the stuff)
-  A bucket of water
-  A rag for wiping down and rinsing

So here is what you do, sprinkle some of the Barkeeper's Friend on the grout.  I like to work a small area at a time, normally no more than six tiles at a time. Use the brush to sweep any of the powder that gets out on the tile into the grout.  I like to get a little pile going and sweep it up and down the grout lines.  Once you have it spread out - dip the brush into your plastic cup of water and then scrub the grout turning the powder into a paste.  I am not going to lie to you - it is going to be disgusting how dirty it becomes.  Be sure to angle the brush around to get up the sides of the grout if you have deep grout lines.  Once you get it all scrubbed in, use your rag dipped in the bucket of water to wipe up and "rinse" the grout.  It will still look dark until it dries.  But when it does - check out the difference side by side!

You can find Bar Keepers Friend in the cleaning section of your local grocery or super-center.  It is normally next to the Comet cleaner.  It isn't a harsh cleaner and you can use it for a lot of the things you would use bleach for without the harsh smell. It is also great for getting stainless steel cookware and sinks sparkling, cleaning the insides of ovens (it totally got rid of some burned on cheese from the bottom of my oven), and is safe for glass cook tops!  It will also remove rust stains left in showers from shaving gel cans. 

So there you go!  A little cleaning tip from me to you to get your grout back to its beautiful self!  Do you have any tips for cleaning grout? 

24 frugal friends said ...

craptastic_mail said... @ April 4, 2010 at 9:19 PM

yes! Magic Erasers work so great on nasty grout! And all you need is a slightly wet Magic Eraser and some elbow grease! I use the knock off Target brand Magic Erasers and cut them in half -- sometimes I even cut them in to thirds, depending on how much I feel like cleaning! :)

karen@fitnessjourney said... @ April 5, 2010 at 7:00 AM

My kitchen floors are ceramic tile and cleaning the grout is the bane of my existence. I'm wondering if the Barkeepers Friend would be okay here since the grout is supposed to be sealed. Do you think it would affect that seal?

panamamama said... @ April 5, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Ew! That really made a difference. I am going to try it on my bathroom. I like it on my stainless steel island when it gets grody.
I use baking soda with lemon powder or just baking soda and vinegar with an old toothbrush.

Queenie Jeannie said... @ April 5, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Wow! What a difference!!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said... @ April 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

My tip for cleaning grout...

have someone else do it.


Kelsey said... @ April 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Wow is right! Great tip...thanks! :) The stripper that I used on my dresser is called Lift Off...its sold at home depot and is a white bottle with a green stripe on the label. It works great and isn't as smelly and toxic as all the others. I asked the home depot people if they were familiar with how it works and they were like...it doesn't work as well as the Klean Strip...well Duh...but it works ALMOST as well and is safe for a preggo so that is saying something! lol

"Yeah, that works..!" said... @ April 11, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Great work!! Looks like new! I love Barkeeper's Friend - use it all the time, too, but never thought about bringing it into the bathroom. Thanks!

Lisa said... @ May 7, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Barkeeper's Friend is the best! Enjoying your blog.

colorado tile installation said... @ October 17, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Best thing i found for the day.

Mackenzie Person said... @ December 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

“Eeew!” There goes your request. But no worries, after seeing your hard work *cough* scrubbing *cough*, you definitely deserve a whooping wow! If you are interested for more work, you can use cheaper products like lemon and baking soda on a regular basis to keep the state of your floor the way you scrubbed it.

Mackenzie Person

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Richard Black said... @ June 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

My wife wanted our kitchen counters and floor to be regrouted, so I was going to do just that. I learnt about NuGrout from a buddy of mine who agreed to help me with the re-grouting. Boy am I glad I asked him to help me out. The NuGrout cleaner and Pre-treat products worked wonders! It appears as if we have a brand new kitchen. We even used the products to clean our bathrooms. Don't hesitate to check them out at http://www.nugrout.com/

Sheila Bennett said... @ September 1, 2013 at 7:27 AM

It's funny really - you spend your whole life buying chemical cleaners because that's just "what you do" and then you read posts like this and everything changes... the simple things can be so good sometimes!

Just wanted to say thanks - I've been doing my best to be far more frugal recently. The birth of my 2nd wasn't half as scary as the first... I feel like I can be a good housewife as well as mamma - fingers crossed! One of the things I used to do was use professional oven cleaners. I can't say a bad word about them to be honest, at my various houses over the years I've had them in every few months. I'd been using oven cleaner solihull and I don't mind recommending them, however I am ashamed to say that it's only been recently that I even knew what the word frugal meant! So thanks again for posts like this to help me on my way to being a better stay at home mamma :) x

Kaz said... @ March 15, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Barkeepers friend works GREAT on the oven. I must confess I do have my oven professionally cleaned once a year, but between that time Barkeepers friend works a treat! Now my oven cleaning is done, time to sort out my grout. Thank you for the tips, much appreciated.

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