Whole Living Daily

Econundrum: A Natural Way To Whiten Tile Grout?

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Got a green dilemma? Ask me! I'll be answering a new question each week.

Q: Is there an eco-friendly substitute for bleach that I can use on my bathroom tiles? —Nicolette Jarvis

A: First, remember to ventilate! Mildew and mold that infest grout thrive on humidity. Toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in household cleaners have recently been associated with elevated risks of breast cancer, so instead of chlorine, which is terribly caustic and harms aquatic life, scrub an oxygen-based bleach such as Biokleen’s on your grout with a toothbrush or stiff grout brush. You can also try making your own paste using baking soda and a little water and white vinegar.

Mindy Pennybacker is Whole Living’s “Econundrums” columnist. See her answers to reader questions and ask your own here.  She is also editor of GreenerPenny.com and author of Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices.

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Comments (5)

  • I have had great success cleaning my white tile grout with a steam cleaner like the one made by Shark. Mr Clean sponges work well, but I will use up several sponges to clean one room.

  • 'Tis the season for ground squirrels and gophers! Is there a humane (? :) ) method to rid gardens of these pesky critters without compromising my vegetable and flowers?

  • I did not know that the chlorine can cause breast cancer. In the house, we are fond of using it. We did not know the effect of it to our health. I know now what to do. I must lessen the use of it.

  • My bathroom tiles were a sight for sore eyes: the grout was stained and looked filthy. Sadly I couldn’t afford to replace the grout for the entire bathroom. I found out about Nugrout products and decided to give it a try. I am amazed by how new my bathroom now looks with the new grout color, and how affordable the entire process was. Check out their website at http://www.nugrout.com. I highly recommend them.

  • “In fact, the government of China is highly predictable and supports business. Forget about the claims from the free world that newspapers are not transparent. In China, you can be extremely critical of the government.” The advice sounded counterintuitive to what I had heard so far, and to be fair to Christian, most of what I heard came from the media outside China. During my stay, I often picked up China Daily and Shanghai Daily newspapers to find reports mostly on economic development, education and basketball. A few stories of corruption scandals also filtered in these Party’s mouthpieces. “Government allows certain stories to be published as it shows that there is serious drive towards curbing corruption”, so was I told by Tor Morseth, a Norwegian journalist who had spent three years in China.
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