Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Grout Obsession

My kitchen floor was driving me nuts.  Seriously.

The grout was a nice light beige colour when we built this kitchen 9 years ago.  We had painstakingly sealed it and cleaned it but somehow over the 9 years, it ended up dingy, dirty and just gross:

Ew.  Don't look too closely.


Believe me, I became obsessed and tried absolutely everything.  I googled "grout cleaning" and did everything people suggested: scrubbed it, used vinegar and baking soda, used Oxiclean, used vinegar and ammonia, used hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, used various cleaners claiming to be able to dissolve dirt on grout, grout pens, grout "erasers", you name it, I used it.

Except grout colorant.

The product I purchased was from Home Depot.  It is called Polyblend Grout Renew.  This is what it says on its website:

"Polyblend 8 fl. oz. Grout Renew is a water-based, acrylic, urethane stain and sealer for renewing or changing the colour of cement grout joints. It seals against stains while it colours. Contains patented technology to inhibit mold and mildew."

Another similar product appears to be Grout Refresh by Mapei.

This is the AFTER picture:

And here is the before and after side by side.  I can't get over it.  My floor is gorgeous again.  I am in love with this product.

It was cheap.  My kitchen is about 200 sq ft and I used about a half of the little bottle which cost about $14.  But it was time consuming.  The whole kitchen probably took me about 7 hours to do.  I picked the sweatiest heat wave ever to do it in and somehow, I was driven to complete this project.  I love the results and am kicking myself for not listening to my husband doing it earlier.

Because it is acrylic based, it does not have much of an odor at all and is quite safe to use around kids and pets.

My armamentarium:

I steam cleaned my floor and then used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
on it.  It was mostly for my porcelain tiles as the grout was hopeless anyways.  The product calls for an acid cleaner to be used first on the grout but me, I had no patience.


The plastic bristled brushes are from Testors.  They are the pointy type.   I bought a 20 pack which included flat brushes that I didn't need but were cheaper this way.   The toothpicks are also the pointy type.  And I used lots of Kleenex.  I tried toilet paper but it was too soft and ripped easily in the process.

One thing I have not pictured on there is the Foam Mat that I used to sit, kneel, crouch on while I worked on the tile floor.  It saved my knees and elbows.

After I cleaned my floor (or you can obviously use this on any tiled surface),

1.  I dispensed a small amount of product into a shallow dish.

2.  Using paint brush, I painted small sections and cleaned up the excess with a toothpick

(after the first day, I used gloves so that I didn't have to scrub paint off my hands)
and Kleenex.  Do not wait to clean the excess as it will dry on the tile.  I have made a video to show this step in more detail.  It is linked below:

3.  Then I moved onto the next section.  Because I did not finish the whole floor on the first day, I labeled the tiles I painted with little bits of blue tape to alert my family not to step on the lines.

 The product states that it takes 24 hours to dry but in the warm temperature I was using it at, it was closer to 2 hours.

That's it!!  Super simple!