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Grout Revival

Before & After
When we were choosing the finish of our kitchen floor, I didn't really think about the consequences of using white grout. We chose it because we thought it would bring out the black tiles, which it did. But I didn't really think about how grubby-looking and discoloured it would become (especially with having two dogs!).

My lesson: White grout needs maintenance.

My first notice at discoloured grout was when a friend spilt a considerable amount of beer. Even though I mopped it up instantly, the spilt area no longer matched the rest. I didn't buy a steam-mop (which by the way, are amazing!) until we had had the floor laid for over a year. Previous to steam-mopping, I would use the old traditional mop, which actually just pushed dirty water around the floor and never seemed to clean it! Several mops later, and from many wet-dog days, all the floor grout had discoloured. I think had I steam-cleaned the grout from the very beginning, perhaps it would have stayed white... but I hadn't. I should also say due my extreme amounts of trying to whiten it through cleaning, it is definitely stained and not just dirty.

 


It was Grant's suggestion to use a grout-revival pen to bring it back to its white self. Initially I totally dismissed the idea thinking it would look stupid. Nope, I would re-grout it in the near future I said. Time passed and I realised I really couldn't be bothered to scrape out the old grout and re-grout, especially after only having had the floor laid a year! So I decided to try the pen out.



Now, I bought one of these a few months ago to use but I didn't get the whole floor done. Not because there wasn't enough 'ink' but because the tip became so worn it was impossible to use. The tip is actually removable and you can turn it around, but I still didn't get too far. I decided that perhaps I had been too rough and had maybe been pushing down too hard. So I bought another one to finish the job (a little delayed, I know!).

So these retail for around £6.99 in the UK, and can be bought from most DIY shops and are found right next to the grouts. This one is by UniBond, and they do two sizes depending on how wide your grout-line is. This one is the smaller of the two.

It literally works like a tip-ex. or felt-tip. The pen has a ball inside that requires shaking to mix the substance up, and then when pressure is applied to the tip the white ink-like stuff comes out. It comes out pretty evenly so it's really easy to use - you literally just colour in the grubby grout. Our kitchen isn't that big and it probably took me 30-45minutes to do the whole floor (and I went back over the side I had previously re-coloured too).



At first it might look a bit 'fake' and painted-looking but it does fade in a day or two to look more natural. Now this is just a quick-fix, don't go expecting it to last forever.. It will eventually fade all-together. I did half the kitchen a few months ago and whilst it had faded a fair amount you could still tell the difference between the two sides, and you could see (if you looked closely enough) where the pen-lines ended.




Overall, I actually really recommend one of these if you're as picky as I am for grubby-looking grout. Surprisingly the grout in our bathroom has stayed perfectly white, therefore I think dogs and spilt food/liquids are definitely to blame for its discolouration.. But I'm hugely pleased with it's new fresh look. :)


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