Queen of Clean: Best cleaners for grout

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Tile surfaces are durable and beautiful, but keeping those grout lines clean can be a nightmare. Today, we share an easy and effective way to make the grout sparkle like the rest of your tile.

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into a squeeze bottle. This could be a repurposed ketchup or mustard container. Add  1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide. The baking soda will help remove tough stains and hard water buildup, while the hydrogen peroxide will clean and brighten, cutting through residue on the grout to remove discolorations.

To this add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, then replace the lid and shake the mixture to make sure the ingredients in your homemade grout cleaner are well combined. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more hydrogen peroxide.

Use the squeeze-top bottle to apply the homemade grout cleaner to any soiled areas. Allow the solution to sit on the grout for about 5 minutes or longer so it can work its way into the stain. Wipe the mixture off with a wet sponge or rag. Rinse with water to remove any residue. If stains remain, repeat as needed until the grout is clean. 

This solution does not store so use it all or toss what is left. You can use it to give your sinks a good cleaning too if you have leftover solution. 

Wear rubber gloves. While hydrogen peroxide is generally safe for topical use, it can sting if it gets in any cuts and also dry out fingertips. If you splash any in your eyes, rinse immediately.

Seal the grout
Prevent discoloration by sealing your grout once a year. Sealant creates a barrier that protects against unsightly stains and dirt buildup, so you won't have to break out your homemade grout cleaner. Find sealant at home centers.

Tips for floor grout
Mop tile floors once a week with water and a microfiber mop. Using all-purpose cleaner and other mopping products can leave a film and residue. The residue left behind will attract more dirt after the floor dries.

Never use a sponge mop on tile. It acts as a squeegee pulling dirty water into the grout lines.

Natural floor cleaner for tile or laminate
2 quarts warm water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup rubbing Alcohol
6 drops Dawn dishwashing liquid
Essential oil of your choice  optional
Combine in a bucket and wash floors, rinsing the mop frequently. No rinsing needed. Air dry.

Mold remover for caulking
First, use adequate ventilation. Open a window or turn on a fan if you can. This tip uses a product called cotton coil. This is used in hair salons to protect your skin from bleaches and dyes. It is basically a long roll of 100 percent cotton. Buy cotton coil inexpensively at beauty supply stores and Amazon.

Soak that cotton coil in bleach, and it lay it across the moldy caulk. It needs to sit overnight. Don't drip the bleach on other surfaces and remove towels and other accessories from the area. Bleach fumes will remove color. When you remove the bleach soaked cotton, the mold should be gone. It will be slower to return, too. Rinse the area down once you remove the cotton and you are done.

Quick cleaner for dirty caulking
Vodka is a great cleaner for dirty and moldy caulking. Simply put cheap vodka in a spray bottle, spray it on and then rub with a brush. This is for caulking that is not heavily covered in black mold. 

[WATCH: Queen of Clean says vodka is not just for drinking]

It works great for the pinkish mildew that you may find in your shower. Another great cleaner for caulking is that old fashion white toothpaste that you used as a kid. Grab a tube of Colgate, for instance, at a discount store and pick up a cheap toothbrush or nail brush too! Squirt on the toothpaste and rub it firmly. Rinse and dry.

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