Experts say this TikTok tile grout cleaning hack should be used with caution

TikTok users are using toilet cleaner to clean their tile grout. (Getty Images)
TikTok users are using toilet cleaner to clean their tile grout. (Getty Images)

As well as keeping us entertained during the first lockdown, TikTok has also been helping to improve our adulting skills, by sharing a whole host of cooking and cleaning hacks.

The latest trick doing the rounds on the video-sharing platform teaches us how to effectively clean the tile grout in our bathrooms.

To help rid their tile grout from grime, TikTok users have been turning to an unusual household product: toilet cleaner.

One such video, shared by @sarah_nde, illustrates how she managed to remove a built-up of dirt on her grout using nothing more than toilet cleaner and a toothbrush.

A thin layer of toilet cleaner is poured over the grout, which is left to sit for a few minutes before being scrubbed away with an old toothbrush.

And the results were pretty impressive.

Since the quick and easy hack was shared, it has received more than 1.3 million likes and received over 2,000 comments, many from users keen to give it a go.

But some did have some words of warning about using toilet cleaner on tile grout.

“This is harmful to the grout, it can actually dissolve it,” one TikTok user wrote.

Watch: This dishwasher cleaning hack is blowing people’s minds

So what’s the truth, is using toilet cleaner a genius way to clean tile grout, and if not, how should we be cleaning our grout?

We asked the experts:

“Toilet cleaner can be a very effective tool for cleaning tile grout,” explains Lauren Fealy, tile specialist at Easy Bathrooms.

“Tile grout can be particularly difficult to keep clean in areas where it regularly gets wet and is not dried down, such as the shower, or the floor.

“Toilet cleaner is tough on stubborn stains because of the presence of sodium hydroxide, bleach. However, I would advise going for an eco-friendly option as they contain no nasty chemicals that can be harmful to our skin or health. I would definitely wear a pair of gloves.”

If you only have toilet cleaners that contain bleach, Fealy suggests testing out a small area of grout first in a spot that can be easily hidden.

“Leave it on and if, after five minutes, the grout does not appear damaged, you can use it on other areas,” she says.

“Make sure you wear a mask and gloves and scrub it with a toothbrush. Once you’ve rinsed it, remember to dry the grout with a dry cloth to remove any residue.”

Dean Davies, cleaning supervisor at Fantastic Services, echoes the warning that toilet cleaner should be used on tile grout with caution.

“For white tile grout, the worst that can happen is for the bleach to ‘eat through’ it, potentially leaving a gap between your tiles. For coloured grout, you’re risking fading of the colour as well. This can lead to some pretty nasty problems down the road as moisture gets between the tiles.

“And if this isn’t problematic enough, cleaning with bleach produces fumes that can irritate us and potentially be harmful if you don’t have proper ventilation in the room.”

Is it safe to use toilet cleaner on tile grout? (Getty Images)
Is it safe to use toilet cleaner on tile grout? (Getty Images)

According to Davies, the best way to safely clean your grout at home is by mixing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap.

“This is the safest way to clean your grout the DIY method,” he adds.

And if you’d like to give another eco-friendly product a go, you could try Bio-D’s Laundry Bleach, which contains only plant-based and naturally derived ingredients.

All you need to do is mix it with some water and apply.

We know how we’re going to be spending our weekend.

Watch: TikTok’s best cleaning hacks

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