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Aussies Living Simply

Tile Grout Cleaner

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    Hi everybody, I heard Shannon Lush talking on the radio about cleaning the grout between tiles in bathrooms etc. She said to clean the tiles with vinegar and baking soda and them spray on a solution of water and oil of cloves and leave a few hours before washing off.

    I have used the vinegar and baking soda before, a little messy, however I am unsure about the oil of cloves. Has anyone used this solution and was it successful? I am unsure about the quantities as I missed that part I was making curtains for my son’s bedroom at the time and not really concentrating on the radio, well that’s my excuse for missing the vital details.

    I am also having trouble sourcing the oil as our local organic shop doesn’t stock it. :confused:

    Should I persevere looking for it and if I find it is it worth buying it? I would hate to waste our money.

    There has to be good alternatives, out there, to all those yucky chemicals on the supermarket shelves!!!!!!!!!




    I couldn’t imagine what putting any sort of EO on grout would do. I would have thought it would make it more sticky and attract more grime. I could be wrong tho. The smell would be nice tho.:confused:


    Hi Meg,

    oil of cloves is supposed to be a mould-inhibitor, hence spraying the solution on after cleaning to prevent mould growing back as quickly.

    I can’t help you with where to buy it though I’m sorry. It might be worth trying if you have lots of problems with mouldy grout, but otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it.


    I just use bicarb on the grout – and if it’s really bad, I get in there with an old toothbrush.

    Drying the walls of your shower after you’ve used it is supposed to stop mould growing too


    I wouldn’t use oil of cloves on grout. Its a really dark brown oil and does not disperse easily. you would have to use hot water in your sprayer, but i would be concerned about it clogging the sprayer in the long run. As its so brown i wouldn’t use it on pale grouts either. Surely tea tree oil would be just as good as it has anti fungal properties…

    i did see something the other day about not using pure vinegar on tikle grout as it will eat into it, anyone heard that? i’ve been using straight vinegar on our tiled areas and haven’t noticed anything happening.




    No, its great! Really. I used it last week. You only need a tiny bit. Shannon Lush (who my hubby thinks is the most self-righteous woman on the planet) recommends 1/4 teaspoon in a litre of water. The trick is to use really hot water. Scrub the grout with a small brush (yes, :rip: I know…). Use some bicarb if you like. Rinse it off. No stickiness. Its not quite as breathtakingly white as bleach, but then its not as breathtakingly smelly either. Mould seems to go away for a while.

    The real trick to keeping mould off grout is to wipe the shower recess down after each use. Not a happening thing at our house!

    You could try asking for it at the chemist. Oil is cloves is a traditional and very effective remedy for toothache (very numbing). We used it all the time in the Army. Its quite potent. I think its one for the post PO stockpile for its dental applications alone



    oil of cloves is used to anaesthetise fish! Try your local pet shop 😉


    Thanks for that everyone. No my tiles are not particularly mouldly just discolored, so I thought I might try sprucing them up.

    As for getting the boys to wipe the shower out after they use it, LOL.

    Don’t know about Shannon Lush but if her techniques work I am prepared to give them a go. wish me luck.;)



    Peaky RamonePeaky Ramone


    I bought oil of cloves from the locall health food shop. They had it in the essential oils section.

    I put a few drops in a spray bottle with water. The smell makes me think I’ve got an apple crumble baking in the oven.

    Hope that helps.



    My mum used to give me Oil of Cloves for toothache when I was a kid. When I had a toothache in my twenties (this was in the seventies, so I had long hair and a beard) I asked for some at the chemists and I was given the third degree. Pharmacist said he was supposed to report anyone wanting O of C to the police, as it could be used to make drugs. I’m surprised you can still buy it.


    A friend here bought oil of cloves from the chemist yesterday as we’ve had rain and floods since before christmas which combined with the tropical temps has made everyone’s house mouldy 🙁 She asked me to look it up online for her to see what dilution she needed. I learned that beyound tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus which are all anti-fungal, oil of cloves is also an inhibitor so should help fend the stuff off for a while. In experiments it has performed just as well as chemical compounds.

    Clove oil is used in dentistry STILL because of its analgesic properties. There is a long list of ailments that it can remedy. It’s well worth looking up.

    Personally I wouldn’t waste my time mixed bicarb and vinegar. You read that often as a green cleaner suggestion. Unfortunately the combintion produces a neutralisation reaction leaving both useless and an abundance of carbon dioxide bubbles!

    Scrubbing grout with a bicarb/water paste is effective but a spec of oil of cloves would surely help too. I could only find a 0.5% recommendation or oil to water.


    Thank you everyone, I managed to buy some oil of cloves as an essential oil, not cheap, so I may try the chemist next time. Hopefully they won’t think I am into manufacturing drugs, not having long hair and a beard will probably help.

    Will try scrubbing with bicarb and water paste, sounds like a fun weekend job LOL.:tdown: Then spray with water and oil of cloves and leave on for a while, should make the house smell yummy.




    I use Green Potions No.10. It’s environmentally friendly and effective. My grout comes up looking new again.


    I have used 1/2 tsp oil of cloves to 1 litre of water, in a plastic spray bottle. After cleaning the grout, spray on. Leave 20 minutes, then wipe with over with a cloth, then spary again and leave 24-48 hours to dry. I gio this hint from flood-affected Queensalnders.

    It does work! buy oil of cloves at the chemist.


    I use cheap toothpaste and an old toothbrush. Works good.

    Have found toothpaste good for a lot of things like cleaning silver, grout. around taps. bit worrying isn’t it:|

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