DIY: Clean Your Condemned Grout

I hope to God some of you are laughing at the title, because I know I always find it hilarious when my insecurities are shared by others. No? Well then why would you even bother reading this?! You can see yourself OUT.

Sorry, I’m clearly still very insecure about what my bathroom’s grout looks like…what it USED to look like, at least! It is squeaky clean now, and I can credit Pinterest for that one, just like I can for everything else. I can admit that Pinterest is holier than thou.

Alright! On to the good stuff: I finally stopped pretending that I didn’t notice how dirty my grout was today, and tested out a pin that I found a little while back–It proposed that you could mix a generous amount of baking soda with bleach to clean THIS sort of thing:

I know it’s terrible, but it only got to that point because my mother tried leaving me responsible for my bathroom’s cleaning in grammar school. I laughed at the prospect then, and I’ve been paying for it ever since. SO, heed my advice and nip it in the bud now!

**CAUTION–BE IN A VERY VENTILATED AREA AND/OR WEAR A RESPIRATOR WHEN YOU PERFORM THIS–bleach fumes are never good to breath in for extended periods of time**

And I don’t care if I sound ridiculous with that warning, because I don’t want to be blamed for the off chance that someone pays a visit to the emergency room after working with the bleach/baking soda mixture and breathing in too much.

Here’s what you’ll need:

~10 minutes or so on your part. Then, you’ll just be letting the mixture sit on its own either overnight or throughout the day


~Baking soda

~A container/bowl (that you have no plans of eating from again) to mix it in

~Plastic wrap

~Plastic gloves

~Old paint brush or cleaning brush (will get ruined if you leave the mixture on it)

Step One: Mix the baking soda and bleach

Put on those gloves before you do anything else.


Depending upon the area you are hoping to clean, pour a generous amount of baking soda into the bowl/container. I used about 1.5 cups only because I knew I would want to scrub my entire floor’s grout…because I just knew that would happen if the first spot showed good results.

If you’ve got only a corner to clean, you won’t need that much–probably 3/4 cups.

Now mix the bleach in.

Use wayyyyy less bleach than you did baking soda.  You’ll want it to feel like there’s more baking soda than bleach, because we are going for a PASTE-like consistency. If you need more of an exact measurement, I would say that I used maybe 1/2 cup of bleach. So if you are using 3/4 cups of baking soda, I would use maybe 1/3 cup or less. Now don’t ask me any more about fractions!

Step Two: Apply paste-like mixture

Now that you’ve got that dirty grout right where you want it, spread the mixture so that it completely covers the dirty grout.

Step Three: Apply plastic wrap

Put a layer of plastic wrap on top of the pasty area and let it sit either throughout the day or throughout the night. You’re ready for the next step when the mixture looks dried out. The plastic is there to prevent the mixture from drying out TOO fast.

Step Four: Clean up remaining residue

With your gloves on, peel the plastic back and rinse away what’s left of the mixture with a rag that you, again, no longer care about.

Step Five: Step back and admire your work

Nice and clean! You betcha–now that you realize you can do all this on your own, and very easily, you can go fire the maid. Her services might be useful somewhere else, but they’re no longer needed here. Hmph! 🙂

NOTE – there’s a pretty big crackling off of grout from years of neglect, so that’s not dirt, just a very sad dark gap.


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