I'm a do-it-yourself newbie who's trying to clean the stained grout
(used to be white) between the tiles over the bathtub in my bathroom.
The stains appear to be a combination of soap scum and rust stain.
I've tried several products that claim to be "grout cleaners," but they
Is there any alternative at this point to stripping all the grout and
regrouting (quite a long job)?
Even some way of staining the grout white again?
-- Steven L.
Elbow grease? My supply has been depleted for several years, so I like
Scrubbing Bubbles for normal cleaning....it gets rid of normal soap scum
without strenuous scrubbing. Rust stains my not be removable, but a
rust remover (test inconspicuously) with phosphoric acid may do the
trick. I've replaced grout in a shower and it is a fairly big project,
but well worth it. In the process I discovered our old shower had a lot
more soap scum than was apparent....tile is light taupe, matte, so it
didn't show. I could only smell soap while working on the grout until I
took a razor blade scraper to the tile. Whew! When all done, sealed
the grout and keep the shower open so it ventilates.
Possibly a product like CLR made for lime and rust stain removal. They
all(?) are basically phosphoric acid so that should eat up the soap scum as
well as get rid of the rust. They are pretty mild but if "acid" scares you,
you might try vinegar. It should work too but will take much longer and/or
White grout is one of the abominations of man. Others include the IRS,
politicians, traffic lights and light beer.
Well, the Romans got their vinegar by collecting piss. Must've been
interesting when they brought the toga back to the cleaners...
"Hey, Romulus? Yeah, my toga smells like piss, and it's not my piss.
Can you run it through again? Thanks."
Looks like Spic and Span might still contain TSP. According to the MSDS,
the ingredients contain:
Anionic surfactants, water softeners (complex sodium phosphates, sodium
carbonate), dry chlorine bleach, processing aids (sodium sulfate), metal
protection agents (sodium silicates).
Mr. Clean ingredients:
Cleaning agents (nonionic and anionic surfactants), quality control agents,
perfume, colorant and water.
My wife bought two whole gallons of Mr. Clean many years back and I'm so
glad we've finally used it all up. I'm buying some Spic and Span, as Mr.
Clean hasn't ever done nearly the same job, especially on bathroom tile
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