Friday, January 25, 2013

Before and After

I have been busy and sidetracked lately with a few projects/happenings.  The most notable being cleaning/scrubbing/scouring/mopping the nasty grout on my tile floors.  There were layers upon layers of dirt and grime crammed into those lovely grout lines.  And for years I have been scared and unaware of how to clean them.  They were nightmarish when we moved in and we've only added our own nightmares.  I'm actually kind of embarrassed, but let it be known that I did mop and I did try to clean the grout ( albeit unsuccessfully).  However, I finally put my foot down and set out on a quest.  I looked up cleaning solutions online and I shall tell you all about my findings.  The miracle came down to oxygen bleach.  I used the Oxiclean knockoff.

I simply dissolved a cup of the granulated cleaner in about 2-3 cups of warm water.  Then the mixture was poured over grout lines and left to sit 15-30 minutes whilst I stirred up another batch and applied to another section of floor.

After soaking, I took out a scrub brush and scrubbed the dirt out.  It came right off.  And it was pretty disgusting, long, tiring work but so satisfying with stellar results.

I then had to mop and mop and mop all of the black, dirty water along with the grainy/chalky residue left from the Oxiclean. You do not want to know how many giant buckets of black water I dumped out during the cleaning process...from grout alone.  Nasty.

It took me many, many hours to scrub the worst parts, including the kitchen and high traffic areas.  I have a lot of tile in my house so I broke it into sections.  I now have about half of it cleaned and need to tackle one more (giant) area. *sigh*  You can see the difference in the grout lines where I stopped.  The next problem is removing my rug and huge dining room table.  Ugh.

It is so very worth it though.  I was sore and tired and practically crippled my wrist after the first go-round, but the floor gleams and looks brand new.  I cannot believe it.  I now get a little crazy when the kids drip water or try to actually walk on my masterpiece.  They may have to live outside now.

My next worry is upkeep.  After scrubbing on my hands and knees, I DO NOT want it back to the same state in the very near future.  In my research, I discovered that to keep it clean, you put some Oxiclean in the mop water, mop as you regularly would and then leave some of the water to soak for 20-30 minutes.  After soaking, rinse with clean water.  The oxygen ions are said to cling to the dirt molecules, thereby doing the cleaning (or a good chunk of it) for you.  I have yet to see if this really works in the long term (I've tried it once so far) but I will definitely give it a shot.  It seems reasonable enough.

So.  If you are like me and at a loss as to how to tackle the grimy grout haunting your, my friend is the answer.  'Tis magic plus you get a good workout.


  1. You know... I've actually been considering getting tile to replace the linoleum in our kitchen. Not anymore! HAH! Oh, Lou. You are more woman than I. It looks glorious, however... :)

  2. You can pay someone to bring in their steamer and do it in an hour. ...or, you can buy a steamer and do it yourself- plus you have the steamer for everything else like your shower or stove top. I bought one and it is a miracle worker!

    Impressive work my friend. Can we have a photo tour of the rest of your house? It looks gorgeous.

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