You know those gloomy weekend days when you just can’t stand the thought of heading outdoors and Netflix has nothing new to offer? Have we got a job for you!

Take a look at the grout on your tiles. Rather gross, right? Those spaces have seen better days.

So, take advantage of the downtime and get a head start on cleaning that dirty grout with these handy tips.

  1. Clean it

Not the most fun of options we know, but is by far the most cost effective and many of the items used you will find in your home already, you won’t even need to leave the house.

Enter “how to clean dirty grout” into google and you’ll find enough different ways to keep you busy for the rest of the winter. So, we tried some of them on the bathroom tiles:

  • Toothpaste
  • Bleach
  • Vinegar
  • Magic Eraser
  • Vinegar and baking soda
  • A mix of baking soda and water

The baking soda and water, allowed to sit for about five minutes and then scrubbed with a toothbrush was by far the most effective method. Try an old electric toothbrush if you want to use less muscle-power and speed the process up.

It’s a good idea to do a patch test on the grout first. Find a spot you don’t see all the time. A corner, under a pot plant or under the bathroom scales as was our case. Add a small amount of the chosen cleaner and be gentle at first to see what it can handle. Depending on the age and condition of your grout it may lift or flake a little bit.

There are many store bought products on offer too. A trip to your local hardware store can point you in the right direction. Take a photo on your cell phone of where you are going to clean and they can advise you of the right products and what you might need to get the job done. Mitre10 and Bunnings have an excellent selection.


  1. Hide it

If the sealant is old or wearing off you may lose some of the grout’s colour when using abrasive cleaners – we even lost a bit with the baking soda and water option. In some cases it can even leave small stains in small areas.

If so, it’s time to “cheat.” Skip the scrubbing all together and head straight for the colouring solution.

There are many grout colouring options on offer, Dunlop Grout Paint has an excellent range of colours and is super easy to use. You can buy these from your local hardware store or order online and have then delivered right to your door.

We have seen similar products, in different forms. One comes in a marker pen form and you draw with it, the bottles have an application tip.

You’ll need to seal the grout after colouring and there are a number of products available for this also. Some have a brush to paint it on with making it as simple as possible.

Remember you will need to have drying time for the grout paint products, so its best to do this on a day the kids aren’t having their mates over.

  1. Start Fresh

Although it sounds a bit challenging for the novice DIYer, you can find instructions on how to remove and replace grout, online.

Just the list of equipment required to do the job, however, has us scanning the internet to find a pro to do the job.

  • A rotary tool with diamond blades
  • A large grout sponge
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Rubber float
  • Dust mask
  • Shop vac
  • Safety glasses
  • Ear protection
  • Carbide hand tool and blades
  • Gloves
  • Bleach
  • Pre-Mixed grout
  • Sealer

If that was enough to put you off too you might like to consider getting in the professionals. A simple flick through your yellow pages can help you find a tiler. Ask your friends and neighbours if anyone has used someone they can recommend. Ring a couple, and get an idea for what the price and time frame is before choosing who will complete your job.

You don’t have to replace all your tiled areas at the same time. The area that is the most visible and used it a good place to start.

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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Tips for dealing with dirty grout was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

Know someone who needs help with real estate? Be rewarded and REFER them here