Suppose your grout has turned out much darker than you desired. In that case, you’re probably wondering if it is possible to lighten the dark grout. Many will tell you that grout can only be changed from light to dark, but the fact is that there is a way to lighten grout.
Grout can be lightened with a diluted bleach mixture. It’s important to dilute the bleach, as scrubbing your grout with pure bleach will eat away at it. Scrub the grout with the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, rinse it with water.
In the rest of this article, I will outline the process of creating a diluted bleach mixture. I’ll also explain how to apply the mixture to your grout in a manner that will not damage it and when it is best to perform this modification.
Step 1. Make a DIY Mixture for Lightening Grout
Changing the color of grout from dark to light is not easy. You must use an abrasive substance capable of changing the color while still being gentle enough not to destroy the grout.
A solution of diluted bleach can accomplish this task. Using bleach on your grout is generally advised against. Still, if you want to lighten the color of your grout without completely replacing it, this is your best option.
When I refer to diluted bleach, I don’t mean the diluted bleach that you can purchase in a store. It’s better to purchase bleach and mix it in with water. This should take a bit of the edge off the bleach and make it less abrasive.
Using a bleach solution that you have mixed yourself will prevent damage to the grout and uneven discoloration. You should mix ⅓ of a cup of bleach with one gallon of room temperature water.
This may seem like a bit too much water and a minuscule amount of bleach, but this mixture is strong enough to clean and change the color of the grout without damaging it. A stronger mixture will lighten your grout at the expense of the structural integrity of the grout.
The worst thing you can do in this situation is to weaken your grout to improve its aesthetics. Bleach is harmful to your grout. That is why you must heavily dilute the bleach.
Step 2. Apply the Mixture to the Grout
You can then use this mixture with a grout brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the grout. You should continue to add small amounts of the bleach mixture to the grout as you scrub to keep the color even.
It is best to start in an area that is not easily seen so that you can test the solution for its efficacy. The bleach mixture should be as weak as possible while still being able to lighten the color of the grout.
The bleach mixture should be applied continually to the grout as you scrub the grout. This will ensure that the color remains even throughout the grout lines. Keep the brush lubricated so that you are not just scrubbing the grout itself with the brush.
You should take your time with this process. It will inevitably take a long time to complete this job as you scrub every single line of grout in a given area. Still, it is essential not to rush through this.
Applying the diluted bleach mixture and scrubbing hastily will cause spots of discoloration which will hurt the aesthetics of the grout more. This can also damage the grout. If you scrub too quickly and aggressively, you will eat away at the grout.
Step 3. Let It Sit for 10 Minutes
After applying the bleach to the grout slowly and steadily, you should let it sit for about ten minutes. This will give the bleach time to work, resulting in a much more effective lightening. Take a moment to make sure the area is well ventilated.
Step 4. Rinse the Grout With Water
When you are satisfied with the results of your work, you should rinse the area with water. This should be done thoroughly. Make sure to rinse all areas that were cleaned with the bleach mixture. Bleach allowed to sit on the grout without being rinsed will damage the grout.
You can rinse the grout by wiping it down with a lightly damped towel or by simply spraying it off with water. Wiping the grout down with a towel is the best way to rinse it because it forces you to be more thorough when washing away the bleach.
When To Lighten Grout
It’s best to lighten your grout before you seal it. Lightening involves applying an abrasive substance, and doing so after the grout has been sealed will just scrub away the grout’s seal.
Scrubbing away the seal on your grout is very problematic. Due to the porous nature of grout, it can cause major damage and make the grout much more susceptible to mold and mildew.
Trying to lighten your grout after it has been sealed will not only damage the seal—it will also be highly ineffective at lightening the grout.
To lighten grout after it has been sealed, you will have to scrub away the seal and then scrub the grout until it reaches the desired color. On top of that, you will have to re-seal the grout after you lighten it.
If you are going to change the color of your grout, try to do so before you apply a sealer to it. Changing the color of the grout is not impossible after sealing it, but it is much more difficult.
Lightening grout is not an easy task. And if your grout has been dyed or colored already, lightening it may be nearly impossible. You will either have to sand it down or completely replace the grout to get the desired color.
This is difficult but not impossible. A solution of highly diluted bleach can effectively lighten grout without damaging it if applied before the grout is sealed. The bleach must be heavily diluted—bleach at full strength will damage the grout and affect its longevity.