Restoring Tile Grout

Restoring Tile Grout

Restore Tile Grout Like a Boss

– Hacked by Monique C. –

Here's what you need:

  • Grout Refresh
  • Toothbrush
  • Spray Bottle with Water
  • Paper Towels

I have a love/hate relationship with the tile gracing the floors in our downstairs bathroom and kitchen. I love that they’re “fun” – not one solid color, the off white and brownish speckled tile gives the floor some personality.

But it also looks like someone tracked in a mess of red dirt and never cleaned up after themselves. I can’t count how many times I’ve mopped the same spot only to realize I wasn’t making a dent in the stain because it wasn’t a stain, it was the tile.

When my fiancé and I decided to redo the bathroom, my second plea after “CAN WE PLEASE GET RID OF THIS GODAWFUL WALLPAPER?” was “CAN WE PLEASE HAVE NEW TILES INSTALLED?” unlike the first request, the second was not acquiesced, so instead we made a deal; he could keep his beloved tile if I could somehow make it look better.

The look is not helped by the grout that is, actually, gross, so I started with a deep cleaning, but no matter what cleaning solution I tried, the grout seemed permanently stained “Miserable Grey”. This became a perfect excuse to try out more Pinterest hacks, so I moved on to “restoring” the grout and found this, supposedly, simple hack.

You’ll need a toothbrush, spray bottle with water, paper towels and grout refresh. About the grout refresh…there are several colors available, I chose “White.” I ordered through Amazon, where it was the cheapest and thanks to Prime, included almost instant gratification with free two-day shipping. Ours is a half bathroom, so I barely made a dent in the bottle.

Step 1: Starting with clean, dry floors, one tile at a time, pour a line of Grout Refresh onto the grout. Spread carefully with a toothbrush to cover the grout, but don’t worry too much about getting the Refresh on the tile. Do this for the entire floor, wherever there is grout you’re wanting to cover.

Step 2: The instructions I’d read suggested cleaning excess with a paper towel as it’s drying. That was an exercise in futility as I just kept spreading paint all over the tile. Wait for the floor to dry, an hour or two, mist the tile with your spray bottle and then wipe the excess with a paper towel. You won’t have to use much elbow grease, it will pull up easily – but note that it could bring up paint in the grout as well. If that happens, just go over the spots again with the Grout Refresh.

Step 3: Protect from any traffic and water for 24 hours by making a huge sign that says “NO!” in big red letters and placing that onto the closed bathroom door because no one in your house understands the words “Please don’t use the downstairs bathroom!” sigh

Special notes: Grout Refresh washes off your hands easily and doesn’t have a strong smell to it, but I’d still use it in a well ventilated area just to be safe.

Despite not following the 24 hour rule because I skipped step 3, our floor looks significantly brighter, and the tiles – to me – stand out in a positive way. I wanted you to get a good look at the directly finished product, so I didn’t go over any spots, but will definitely be giving this a second coat and doing the same for the kitchen floor once I have the time.

If repetitive, tedious activities like stuffing pocket diapers and addressing envelopes excites you, this is another great one to add to your list. The process didn’t take very long (remember though: half bath) about an hour. I was able to put on some music, and it felt like I flew through it. I give this one a thumbs up; the tile gets to stay and the look of the floor is a tremendous improvement.

Monique is a crunchy matriarch of a wildly blended family, photography hobbyist and mediocre blogger. Enjoy her hilarious tweets by following @starsalignedus