Mold is more likely to grow on tile grout built specifically in humid areas like the kitchen, laundry room, basement, and bathroom. Because tile grout is porous, water can readily soak in and stay there for a long period. It will cause mold spores to go airborne, which are ideal for settling and developing.
Long-term neglect of the mold-infected tile grout might cause it to spread to other areas of your house. It can cause major health problems for your families, such as asthma and allergic reactions, in addition to destroying the foundation of your house.
Causes of Mold Growth in Tile Grout
The main cause of mold growth anywhere is water. The excess moisture anywhere in the house can cause mold to grow from the basement ceiling to the tile grouts. Other main reasons behind the mold and mildew build-up are:
- High humidity: mold loves to settle in humid and wet areas. The tile grouts are porous. When they seep into the tiles, they remain there long. It becomes an ideal environment for mold to germinate.
- Inadequate ventilation: lack of ventilation is another main cause of mold growth in tile grout. The lack of air circulation in the house can increase the humidity level, leading to mold growth.
- Food source: When spilled food is not promptly cleaned up. It can easily grow mold and mildew in the decaying nutrients. Therefore, removing any filth and debris from the laundry, bathroom, and kitchen areas is advised.
- Roof and plumbing leakage: sometimes, the leak in the pipes, ceiling, and appliances can be the reason behind mold growth in the tile grout. Call a plumber or specialist to solve this issue.
How To Remove Mold From Tile Grout
From natural methods to chemical products, here are several ways to get rid of mold from tile grout. Make sure to gear yourself up with protective wear like a proper mask, goggles, and gloves before starting the cleaning process.
Method-Specific Tools and Materials
- Baking soda
- White distilled vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- An old toothbrush/non-abrasive brush
- Clean microfiber towel
- Spray bottle
Apply Baking Soda and Water on Mold Affected Tile Grout
Baking soda is a famous household cleaning agent that naturally removes mold in the tile grout. It is safe, unlike other harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Plus, it leaves a good smell during the cleaning process.
- Add two tablespoons of baking soda to a liter of water in a spray bottle.
- Soak the tiles by spraying the solution on the mold-affected area.
- Let it sit for 30-60 minutes. It will loosen up the mold and dirt.
- Make a paste of 3 parts of baking soda and 1 part of the water in a bowl.
- Apply the paste to the grout.
- Use an old toothbrush or a non-abrasive brush to scrub the mold out of the tiles.
- Dip a clean sponge in warm water and cleanse the grout.
- Finally, dry the grout using a dry microfiber towel.
White Distilled Vinegar To Get Rid of Mold in Tile Grout
White distilled vinegar is an effective household cleaner that you can use to clean mold from the tiles. However, because of its acetic acid content, it can damage the grout if used incorrectly. It is recommended to take precautions before applying vinegar to your tiles. Consider testing the vinegar solution in a small area before starting the cleaning process. Also, please do not use undiluted vinegar directly on the tile grout.
- Mix 50:50 parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture onto the mold-affected area.
- Let it sit for an hour.
- Scrub the grout with a soft brush in a circular motion.
- Rinse the vinegar with clean, warm water.
- Finally, dry clean the area with a clean, dry towel.
Eliminate Mold in Tile Grout With Borax
Borax is a good alternative to baking soda. It is a natural cleanser that helps eliminate the mold from the tile and makes it clean and shiny. It is safe to use on tiles. This cleaning agent’s only downfall is that it can have allergic reactions to the skin. So, it is recommended to wear a glove while cleaning the grout with borax.
- Make a paste of 3 parts of borax and 1 part of water and put it into a container.
- Apply the paste to the mold-affected tile grout.
- Start scrubbing the tile with a soft brush.
- Rinse the area with clean water.
- Finally, dry it with a clean, dry cloth.
Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Mold off Grout Lines
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective natural cleaning agent to clean grout lines. It is a natural disinfectant, tile whitener, and stain remover cleaning method. Remember not to mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar, detergent, and bleach. But, you can mix it with baking soda to eliminate mold from the tile grout lines.
- Add 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, add baking soda, and make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to the grout and let it sit for an hour.
- Scrub it using a gentle brush. For better results, dip the toothbrush in the peroxide before scrubbing.
- Rinse it with clean water.
- Lastly, dry it with a clean, dry cloth.
Apply Tea Tree Oil To Get Rid of Mold on Grout Tiles Naturally
Applying tea tree oil on the grout tiles is a natural way to get rid of the mold. Tea tree oil is a fungicide that prevents mold spores from settling back into the tiles. It has a strong earthy smell that can deodorize the room after the treatment. It is harmless to pets and people, but it only has one downfall: it is expensive. For killing mold using tea tree oil,
- Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil in a cup of water and put it into a spray bottle. Or you put the mixture into a bowl.
- Spray the solution on the mold-affected grout.
- Let it sit for an hour.
- Start scrubbing with a non-abrasive cleaning brush.
- Rinse the treated area with clean water.
- Dry the tiles with a clean, dry cloth.
Commercial Mold Sprays for Tile Grouts
You can purchase several chemical-based mold removal products at hardware stores and online sites. You can select products specially designed to clean mold off tile grout. Just spray the product on the mold-affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes and scrub it using an old toothbrush. Rinse it with clean water, and lastly, dry the area with a clean, dry towel.
Preventing Mold Growth in the Tile Grout in Future
Now it is clear that the main reason behind the mold growth is moist temperature. It makes tile grouts in high humidity rooms like the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, and basement perfect for mold growth. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the mold from growing in the high humidity room. Here are some effective ways to control mold growth in the future:
- Install a dehumidifier: You can invest in it and install it in high humidity rooms. It helps to absorb the moisture making the room dry. Run the dehumidifier after the shower or put it in the kitchen after you finish your work.
- Proper ventilation: Ventilate the rooms by opening windows and doors after the shower and while cooking in the kitchen. You can also install an exhaust fan to draw the moisture out from the room.
- Dry the tiles grout daily: Use a dry towel or sponge to wipe down water from the tiles. Do it especially after cooking or showering. Also, look out for soap scums and grease in the bathroom or kitchen and clean it regularly.
- Fix the leaks: Whether it is leaking on the roof, floor, or pipes, it is recommended to fix them immediately before it becomes a breeding area for mold. Call a certified plumber and specialist to do the job.
- Seal grout once a year: It is recommended to dry the grout by using a silicone-based grout sealer once a year. By doing this, moisture cannot stay in grouts for longer.