Scrubba, Scrubba

 I can see the finish line of this little, Phase 1 bathroom makeover...I can see it.  Here's where we left off:

Freshly painted walls that gave us a nice, blank slate.  As much as I'd love to post another updated picture, I have to keep you in suspense.  ;)  Instead, let's get sidetracked and let's move our gaze from those sparkling walls to that floor.  I can't say they're sparkling.  You can't tell from the above photo but if you look closer...

No sparkle in sight.  Not only do they not gleam, but they look like they haven't been cleaned in months...even though they have.  The grout is stained and those spots that look like dirt on the tile are actually bits of wax sealer.  When we first moved in, I took a scrub mop and some bleach and went over the floors quick just so I felt comfortable letting our kids walk on them barefoot.  They were probably "cleaned" before the house was put on the market even though it really didn't look clean thanks to the stained grout but you know, nothing is clean enough until you do it yourself.  Anyone else feel like that?  Just me?  Okey dokey.  Well, they must have sealed the floors after that "cleaning" and whatever sealer they used came right off in clumps when I started scrubbing with bleach.  I picked up the majority of it while I scrubbed, but assumed I could just keep scrubbing and brush the rest up after the floors dried.  WRONG.  That wax dried and stuck and it was going to take another big scrub to get it back up and off.  At the time, we were also knee deep neck high in scraping popcorn ceilings so scrubbing the floor a second time quickly sank to the bottom of the priority list.  But at least they were sanitary, right?

Fast forward a year plus some and it was time.  I couldn't freshen up the rest of the bathroom and ignore the floors!  I needed to not only get that wax up, but I wanted to see how white I could get the grout.  I tried a "Best Way to Clean Grout" mixture I found on Pinterest - lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar - but sadly, it didn't make a difference.  I needed to up my game with bleach so I ran to Walmart quick and grabbed some of this:    

My mom relied on powdered cleaners a lot when I was growing up so I crossed my fingers and hoped I'd have the same luck.  Spoiler alert: it worked!  

To go along with the Comet, I grabbed a bucket, some rubber gloves to protect my hands, a long-handled scrub brush, a grout scrub brush, and larger scrub brush, an old washcloth, and (not pictured) a knee pad. 

I know, that's a lot of scrub brushes.  Somehow we've accumulated several over the years.  You probably don't need all three kinds.  I love our long-handled and use it for so many scrubbing jobs and the grout brush is great for, well, grout.  For this job, I probably only needed those two.  Also, see that clean grout up in the top right corner of the above photo?  That's where I tested the Comet before I dove in just to make sure I wasn't going to waste time and energy.  It was a go from there!

My process:

I started at the far end of the room (furthest from the door) and worked in small sections.  First, I filled the bucket with hot water, dipped the long-handled brush in it, and scrubbed the current section just to get it wet.  Then, I sprinkled the Comet all over and scrubbed until it all of the tile and grout had a layer of the Comet/hot water mixture. 

Then I let that section sit for about 10 minutes so the bleach could do its work on the grout.

After the 10 minutes, I came back, gave the tile another good scrub, and scrubbed the grout with the grout brush.  Our tiles are fairly small and our grout lines all over the place so this was tedious but it paid off!

After I was finished scrubbing, I wiped the whole section down with the washcloth.  I had to rinse and rewipe a few times before I picked everything up.  Then I moved onto the next section.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

You can see the difference in scrubbed tile vs. not-yet-scrubbed tile:

The tile in the top half of the picture is clean but I hadn't touched the bottom half yet.

This is end result of all of that scrubbing and elbow grease: 

Compared to that first close up, we are way ahead in life.  There is still some slight staining I couldn't get out of the grout which was expected since it's over 30 years old but overall, it's 1000 times better and even hard to spot unless your nose is a foot from the ground...which I don't recommend in any bathroom.  ;)

I loved these floors before but now that the tile is clean and the grout lines are white and distinct, I love them even more.    

I can't wait to show you the whole bathroom!  Stay tuned!  I'm gunning for a reveal next week! 

+        +        +


  1. Tired just reading this! Great job, looks good!

  2. If you wanted to bring it back to a more new like condition, could you re-grout that?

    1. Possibly! It would be great if we could and we'll definitely look into it especially since there are small spots where pieces of grout are missing. There are a couple of tiles that have hairline cracks in them that we need to look into fixing too so it'll probably be a whole 'nother project.