There is little doubt that tiles are a great surfacing material. They are extremely durable, easy to clean, and with few exceptions even after having been laid for many years, look as they did on the day they went down.
Although tiles can look as good as new for many years, the same, however, cannot be said of the grout that goes in between the tiles. It often looks aged and grubby fairly soon after being laid. It catches the dirt that comes off the tiles, and in humid environments it seems to grow mould quicker than agar jelly in a Petri dish.
The biggest problem with the grout lines is they are generally set below the level of the tiles surrounding them. This means that the sponges that seem to do such a great job of keeping the tiles sparkling really don’t touch the grout lines well at all.
The most effective way of cleaning them is to focus on them. Wipe them down with a small sponge or scour them with a brush (an old toothbrush is good for this purpose), and if this is done on a regular basis it will probably be all they need.
Breaking the mould
The sight of black mould on the grout lines in bathrooms is familiar to all of us, and cleaning this is definitely a job that you will need to do regularly to avoid permanent stains on white grouting.
Commercial mould killing solutions can be bought, and they work fine. However, just wiping the grout lines down once a month with a mild bleach solution will do much the same job and works out much more cost effective. But if you have natural stone tiles then avoid using bleach – instead use a specialist cleaner that won’t damage the natural stone.