Bright once again

By Tresa Erickson

Got some old tile in your home? Chances are some of the grout has become stained and dirty over time, especially if it is white. White grout tends to yellow with age and become stained. Many homeowners choose to replace their old discolored grout, but before you go that route, you might want to try the following to see if you can make that grout gleam again.

Surface stains on grout can often be removed with a simple piece of sandpaper. Fold it in half and rub along the stain. If that doesn’t do the trick, try using a pencil eraser.

If sandpaper and a pencil eraser don’t work, you may want to use good old bleach and water. Mix one part bleach to two parts water in a spray bottle and apply to the stained grout. Let it set for a minute or two and then don a pair of rubber gloves and scrub the stain with an old toothbrush.

If the bleach solution doesn’t work, you may have to go shopping for grout cleaner. Make sure you open all of the doors and windows for good ventilation and read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

If, after trying all of these methods, the grout still looks discolored, you may have to resort to covering up the stains with grout paint. Keep in mind, however, that this will not fix the problem permanently. Over time, the paint will wear off and you will have to reapply it.

For a permanent fix, remove the grout and install new. Make sure you seal the new grout every couple of years to prevent stains from setting into it.

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