I hate bleach. It smells. I used to mop my floor with bleach because I couldn’t find anything else that would effectively clean the grout. It also meant that the bottom two inches of any pants I wore while I was mopping were also white by the end of the experience.
I also tried vinegar for mopping, but though it cleans, it also doesn’t do fabulous things for the grout. And again, it smells.
For both of those cleaning practices, I always walk away with a headache. The vinegar is a better cleaner from a health standpoint, and from an environmental one, so I still mop with vinegar, but when it comes to cleaning grout, I have a new best friend: hydrogen peroxide.
I had noticed that the active ingredient in the oxygen-based laundry bleaches was hydrogen peroxide. I had used this for years to brush my teeth and to clean blood stains, but it had never occurred to me to use it on anything else. When my bottle of oxygen-based laundry bleach ran out, I refilled it with hydrogen peroxide because it was cheaper, and I wanted to see if it was as effective. My first job: tackling an old disgusting stain on the carpet in my daughter’s room. I sprayed it on and scrubbed at it with a fake boar’s bristle hair brush and, much to my glee, it came up. I had tried repeatedly to clean the spot with carpet cleaners before, to no avail, so I was thrilled. I ran the carpet cleaner over the spot one more time to get the rest of the area clean and proceeded to do a little dance.
I now love hydrogen peroxide in almost any cleaning application. It is less expensive than many other cleaners. It doesn’t have a strong smell and it breaks down quickly in light to water and oxygen, so you can be less concerned about fumes or environmental damage. My one caution is this: be careful when you use it with colors, because it does bleach stains, including dyes.