Tile has long been the standard for shower walls and floor coverings for good reason. Tile is strong, impervious to heat and moisture, and comes in an unlimited array of colors and textures. The grout between the tiles, however, are a problem. Water soaks into the grout and eventually begins to mold and mildew. The key is to prevent the mold from taking hold from the start.
If you already have a mold problem, you need to remove it completely, or it will continue to grow back. First use a powdered laundry detergent. Spread the detergent over the grout joints and scrub with a damp brush. An old toothbrush is ideal for this. Next, use a solution of bleach and water on the grout. Spray the solution over the grout and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off. Begin with a 10-percent solution and increase the strength gradually until the mold is gone.
Once you have mold-free grout, it is an easy task to keep it away. After each shower, squeegee the water off of the tile walls and floor. This will get rid of most of the moisture that has been soaking into your grout. After you dry off, use your towel to wipe down the rest of the water from the tile. Leave any fans in your bathroom running for a while after you shower to help circulate the air and complete the drying process. During low-humidity seasons, consider leaving your bathroom window open.
If your tile is new, or you are sure you have eliminated all traces of mold and mildew, you might consider sealing the grout joints. Grout sealer is available at your home or hardware store. Use a small paintbrush to saturate the grout joints with the sealer and allow to dry thoroughly before using your shower again. It is critical that you have eliminated mold and mildew before applying the sealer. Otherwise, you will be sealing the mold into your grout and will never be able to clean it.
Don’t allow unsightly mold and mildew to ruin the beauty of your tile shower. A few minutes each day will keep your tile and grout as beautiful as the day it was installed.