I really don’t like counter tops with tile. Unfortunately, my last few houses have had tile counter tops in both the kitchen and the bathroom. The grout seems to stain and get dirty so easily.
I have always cleaned the grout between the tiles using those little bleach pens and an old toothbrush. Today when I started to clean the grout in the new house, I hated the thought of breathing in those awful bleach fumes. I’m really trying to remove a lot of chemicals in my house and clean things with vinegar,baking soda, and other natural things. That got me thinking – if I cleaned the grout with baking soda, would it work as well as bleach? There was only one way to find out. I cleaned a section of my counter top the way I always did with a bleach pen and a tooth brush. Then I did a section right next to it by pouring a little bit of baking soda on the counter and using a wet toothbrush (not the same one I used with the bleach) to scrub the grout lines.
First off, the bleached section smelled so bad it made me feel sick. But after scrubbing with a toothbrush for a few seconds or so, the grout looked almost as good as new. I did notice a few cracks in the grout which made me a little nervous. I didn’t remember seeing those before. The baking powder section took a little more elbow grease but not much. Not only was there no smell, but when I compared the sections right next to each other, I thought the baking soda side actually looked better.
Not only did I like the baking soda better, it’s also cheaper. Just in the small section I did with the bleach pen (probably a 2×2 foot area) I used half of the bleach pen. I only used a very small portion of my small box of baking soda.
Now before you try this at home, let me tell you that I have a white tiled counter top with white grout. If you have colored grout you probably don’t want to try the bleach at all. The best way to keep your grout clean is to try to keep it from getting grimy in the first place. A quick scrub with a tooth brush weekly, and wiping up spills as soon as they happen, will help keep your grout stain free.