Even if you clean your bathroom weekly and spray the shower walls in between with a product meant to ward off soap scum, over time you'll still notice that the grout gets dirty. And it seems like you can't really keep it clean unless you get in there and scrub with a toothbrush. This, however, is a back-breaking and time consuming task that most people would rather avoid. And yet, you don't want your bathroom to look filthy just because you don't have hours to spend on grout maintenance. So what can you do to get the grout gleaming (so to speak) without bending over backwards, forwards, and every other direction to get into every nook and cranny? Here are a few tips to help you save some time and trouble while getting your grout spic and span.
Perhaps the easiest solution is to use a handheld steam cleaner. You can find both small and large versions with the main difference being the amount of water they'll hold (and consequently, how often you have to refill them). They often come with a variety of attachments, but you'll want to look for one that has rigid bristles on the end so that you can really scrub away the grime that gets stuck in between your tiles. All you need to do is fill the machine, wait for the water to heat (it usually takes a few minutes), and then point the nozzle and push the button to shoot super-heated steam at the grout. This may be enough to blast off any dirt in and of itself, but if not you can always use the brush attachment to scrub away anything that clings to the surface. The best part is that you don't even need cleansers to get your bathroom clean.
Of course, steam cleaners can be a bit pricy, not to mention unwieldy depending on the size and the attachments you use. And if you're cleaning floors or counters you'll still have to mop up the moisture they leave behind. So you might want to opt for more standard cleaning methods. But while choosing items like bleach pens will certainly help you target the small ruts of your grout, they are just as time consuming as using your toothbrush (although significantly less back-breaking since the bleach does most of the work for you - you simply paint it on, leave it a while, and wipe it away). In this case you should consider using powdered oxygen bleach.
This fantastic product is toxin-free and safer than (if not quite as strong as) chlorine bleach. You may not find it in the cleaning aisle at your average grocery store, though. It is sold at some hardware stores, but your best bet is to order it online. Stain Solver is a good brand that features ingredients made in the USA, making it perhaps the most eco-friendly option out there. But for your purposes, it is also an awesome grout cleaner. All you have to do is mix it with water (per directions on the container) to get the proper solution for use on vertical or horizontal surfaces. Then you just let it sit for the specified amount of time (generally 15-30 minutes) to let the oxygen work before wiping it away. It's almost as easy to use as the liquid breaker cartridges in waterless toilets, and it's just as eco-friendly. So if you want to do less work and have the beautiful, clean grout that graced your home when you first moved in, try one or all of these methods to save yourself some time and effort in the process.