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If you’ve noticed that the grout in your bathroom has turned yellow or orange, you may be wondering what could be causing this unsightly discoloration.
Grout, which is a mixture of water, cement, and sand, is used to fill the gaps between tiles and help keep them in place. It’s an important component of any tiled surface, but it can also be prone to staining and discoloration over time. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the possible causes of yellow or orange grout and what you can do to prevent or fix the problem.
Why is my bathroom grout turning yellow or orange?
There are several possible reasons why your bathroom grout might be turning yellow or orange. Some common causes include:
- Iron or other minerals in the water:
According to the latest research, hard water is the most common reason why people notice reddish-yellow or orange stains in their shower tile or tub.
If your water contains high levels of iron or other minerals, it can cause the grout in your bathroom to turn yellow or orange over time. This is because the minerals can leach out of the water and be absorbed by the grout, causing it to become discolored. The discoloration may be more noticeable in areas where the water has pooled, such as around the base of a shower or in the grout lines between tiles.
One way to determine if mineral content in your water is causing the discoloration is to test your water. You can also try using a water filter or a water softener to help remove minerals from your water. If the discoloration persists after you have taken these steps, it may be due to one of the other factors listed below.
This kind of discoloration is quite tough to remove especially if the stains have been present on the grout for many weeks. If the stains are dark orange in color, the iron in the water has mostly caused rust to accumulate.
- Faulty mixture of grout:
Using poor quality grout can lead to a number of problems, including discoloration. Grout that is made with subpar materials or that is not properly mixed may be more prone to staining, cracking, and crumbling.
To ensure that your grout is of good quality, it’s important to purchase grout from a reputable supplier and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying it.
If you have already used poor quality grout in your bathroom and are experiencing discoloration, it may be necessary to remove and replace the grout. This can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but it may be the only way to correct the problem and restore the appearance of your tiles.
- Soaps and shampoos:
Some soaps and shampoos can cause grout to become discolored over time, especially if they are not rinsed off completely after use. This is because certain ingredients in these products can react with the grout and cause it to change color.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to rinse the tiles and grout thoroughly after showering or bathing.
If your grout has already become discolored due to soaps and shampoos, it may be possible to restore its original color by using a grout cleaner or by scrubbing the grout with a mixture of baking soda, water and vinegar.
If these methods are not effective, you may need to remove and replace the grout.
Bacteria (more specifically Serratia marcescens) is one of the major contributors to new white grout turning orange or yellow in color.
Bacteria can grow in damp, humid environments like bathrooms, and they can cause the grout in your bathroom to turn yellow or orange. This is because bacteria can produce pigments as they grow, which can be absorbed by the grout and cause it to change color.
To prevent bacteria from growing in your bathroom grout, it’s important to keep the area clean and dry. Regularly cleaning the tiles and grout with a disinfectant cleaner and ensuring that the bathroom is well-ventilated can help reduce the risk of bacteria growth.
- Body oils:
Body oils can cause grout to become discolored over time, especially in areas where the oils are repeatedly deposited, such as around the base of a shower or in the grout lines between tiles. This is because the oils can be absorbed by the grout and cause it to change color.
To prevent body oils from staining your bathroom grout, it’s important to keep the area clean and dry. Regularly cleaning the tiles and grout with a mild detergent or grout cleaner can help remove any oils that have accumulated.
The products that have waxes and oils can also turn your shower tiles to orange or yellow. The grout absorbs the oils and loses its color. Removing such stains is challenging.
Bleach can cause grout to become discolored over time, especially if it is used frequently or in large quantities. This is because bleach is a strong oxidizing agent that can react with the grout and cause it to change color.
Ammonia and bleach are strong cleaning agents that can be effective at removing dirt, grime, and stains from surfaces. However, they can also be harsh and may cause discoloration or damage to certain materials, including grout.
The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with a pH of 7 being neutral. Ammonia and bleach both have a high pH (in between 11-13), which means they are alkaline. Substances with a high pH can be more corrosive and can cause discoloration or damage to materials that are sensitive to alkalinity.
To prevent household cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach from damaging your bathroom grout, it’s important to use them sparingly and to rinse the area thoroughly after using them. You may also want to consider using a different cleaning product that is less likely to cause staining or damage.
Household cleaners that have ammonia or bleach have a pH scale of 11 to 13. This means they are extremely alkaline. Although alkaline mixtures can easily cut through grease and dirt, they unfortunately discolor or erode grout.
- Plugged Air Fresheners:
It’s possible that the use of plugged-in air fresheners could contribute to the discoloration of bathroom grout, although this would likely be due to the accumulation of moisture in the area rather than a chemical reaction with the grout itself.
Plugged-in air fresheners produce a continuous stream of scented mist or vapor, which can increase the humidity in a room and lead to the growth of mold and mildew. If the grout in your bathroom is consistently exposed to high levels of moisture, it may become discolored over time.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to ensure that your bathroom is well-ventilated and to avoid using plugged-in air fresheners if possible. If you do use these types of air fresheners, it’s a good idea to place them in an area of the bathroom where they are less likely to come into contact with the grout.
- Grout type:
The type of grout you use in your bathroom can affect its appearance and durability. Different types of grout are suitable for different applications and can be more or less prone to staining, discoloration, and other types of wear and tear.
Some common types of grout include:
- Sanded grout: This is a type of grout that contains sand, which gives it a more cohesive, mortar-like consistency. It is typically used for grout lines that are wider than 1/8 inch and is more resistant to shrinking and cracking than unsanded grout.
- Unsanded grout: This is a type of grout that does not contain sand and is more suitable for use in grout lines that are narrower than 1/8 inch. It is more prone to shrinking and cracking than sanded grout and is more easily damaged by water and other types of wear and tear.
- Epoxy grout: This is a type of grout that is made with a combination of resin and hardener and is known for its durability.
One potential issue with epoxy grout is that it can stain and discolor porous surfaces, such as unglazed tiles. This is because the resin in the grout can penetrate the pores of the tiles and cause them to become discolored.
To avoid this problem, it’s important to be mindful of the type of tiles you use with epoxy grout and to choose tiles that are less prone to staining and discoloration. You may also want to consider sealing the tiles before installing the grout to help protect them from staining.
- Not cleaning:
Not cleaning your bathroom and shower grout regularly can contribute to the discoloration or it changing colors.
Grout is porous and can absorb dirt, grime, and other substances that come into contact with it, which can cause it to become discolored over time.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to keep your bathroom clean and to regularly clean the tiles and grout. This can help remove any accumulated dirt and grime and prevent the grout from becoming discolored.
What is the orange stain on my shower grout?
The orange stain on your shower grout may be soap scum. Soap scum is an amalgamation of soap residues and hard water deposits that sit on the surface of bathroom grout.
How can you keep your bathroom grout from turning yellow?
Is your white grout turning yellow? If yes, you must try the below-mentioned effective remedies.
- Baking powder mixture:
Preparing a thin paste from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide may help. Apply the paste on the bathroom grout for at least ten minutes. Scrub the area thoroughly using a toothbrush and then wipe it off with a wet cloth.
Baking soda is a bit abrasive thus it removes the dirt stuck inside porous tile grouts easily, without causing any substantial damage. Hydrogen peroxide is believed to be the best alternative to bleach. It can brighten the grout surface while killing the germs. Also, hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic.
Chlorine bleach is effective on most hard stains but most people opt for bleach when all of the other remedies fail. Oxygen bleach is not too harsh and can clean the stains on the grout. Allow the bleach to sit for at least 10 minutes. Rinse the grout or else the dirt would sit back into the corners.
If your bathroom grout is sealed but has somehow accumulated lots of stains and dirt, you should rely on the household staple, vinegar. Fill a bottle with a half-and-half solution of warm water and vinegar. Spray this solution on the grout and scrub the surface with a brush after five minutes. Do not use vinegar if the grout is unsealed.
- Deep cleaning:
Deep cleaning bathroom grout becomes essential when none of the above-mentioned methods work. Call professionals and they would clean the grout without damaging the tiles.
How can you get orange mold out of grout?
To remove orange mold from grout, you can try the following steps:
- Protect yourself: Wear gloves, a face mask, and goggles to protect yourself from the mold and any cleaning products you will be using.
- Mix a cleaning solution: Combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. You can also add a small amount of baking soda to the mixture to help lift the stain.
- Spray the mixture on the affected area: Spray the cleaning solution directly on the orange mold. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the solution to penetrate the mold and loosen it from the grout.
- Scrub the area: Using a stiff-bristled brush or a toothbrush, scrub the affected area to remove the mold. You may need to apply additional cleaning solution and scrub repeatedly to fully remove the mold.
- Rinse the area: Rinse the area with water to remove any remaining mold and cleaning solution.
- Dry the area: Use a clean, dry cloth to blot the area to remove any excess moisture. Allow the area to air dry completely.
If these methods do not effectively remove the orange mold from the grout, you may need to use a stronger cleaning product or consider removing and replacing the affected grout.
It’s also important to identify and address the source of the moisture that is contributing to the mold growth to prevent the problem from recurring.
Is there a white grout that doesn’t stain?
There are several types of white grout that are more resistant to staining and discoloration than others. Some options to consider include:
- Epoxy grout: Epoxy grout is made with a combination of resin and hardener and is known for its durability and resistance to staining and discoloration. It is more expensive than traditional cement-based grouts, but it is also longer lasting and requires less maintenance.
- Polyurethane grout: Polyurethane grout is a type of synthetic grout that is resistant to staining, water, and bacteria. It is more expensive than traditional grout, but it is also more durable and easier to maintain.
- Ceramic tile grout: Ceramic tile grout is made with a mixture of water, cement, and sand and is known for its durability and resistance to staining. It is a good choice for use with ceramic tiles, which are also resistant to staining.
It’s important to note that no type of grout is completely stain-proof and it’s still important to regularly clean and maintain your grout to help prevent staining and discoloration. Sealing your grout can also help protect it from stains and make it easier to clean.
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It’s not uncommon for bathroom grout to become discolored over time, especially if it is not properly maintained or if it is exposed to water, soap, and other substances on a regular basis.
Understanding the possible causes of yellow or orange grout and taking steps to prevent or fix the problem can help you keep your bathroom looking clean and fresh.
I hope the above write-up provided you with all the information you require for cleaning orange or yellow bathroom tile grout.
If you have any queries regarding this article please feel free to contact us. Thank you for reading.