When in Doubt, Ignore Your Grout

I've talked a lot on here about my son's ADHD, but there are days I swear I know where he got it: me. I have never been formally tested or diagnosed or whatever, and I'm pretty sure I don't have the "hyperactive" component (I mean, couch-sitting is my favorite), but my brain is always trying to convince me to do twelve hundred things at the same time, and I get very easily distracted.

Which is why the other day when I was doing laundry, I started poking around in the upper cabinets where the previous homeowners left a few house-related things: product warranties and user manuals, samples of paint colors, and, hmm, what's this? My fingers closed around something toothbrushy. As I pulled it out of the cabinet I realized what it actually was: a grout brush, for cleaning between tiles.

There's a ton of tile in this house, y'all. My kitchen and the attached (very spacious) dining area. The large front entryway. And three (3!!!) bathrooms. We've lived here for a year next month, and I clean these big-ass floors every. Single. Saturday. But the grout itself has never been touched. In fact, I've never cleaned grout in my life. So when I found the toothbrushy grout-cleaning apparatus, I was curious. Like Curious George. And we all know how shit turns out for Curious George.

I really just wanted to see what the grout brush did. Like, how effective it was at cleaning. So I crouched in a corner of my kitchen and scrubbed between a few tiles.


When I stood up and looked at my handiwork, I was shocked. My gray grout was actually ... not gray. Which meant I now had a few lines of sparkling white grout that stood out like a peacock at a chicken farm.

I tried to ignore it. Seriously. But it was literally impossible - it's all I could notice, the glaring discrepancy between the nice clean grout lines and the grubby ones. And I was like DAMN IT. Because I had two choices: either I could be driven slowly insane by the differing grout colors, or I could indulge my inner neat freak (that asshole) and scrub every last line of grout until they were all the same shade of clean. So you can probably guess what I did.

It took me a SOLID WEEK to finish it all. I literally wore through the grout brush and had to buy more. I had bruises on my knees and blisters on my hands. I was a dumb-dumb and used Comet, which left a white powdery residue that I had to rinse off, adding yet another layer of work. And then, because I had put so much effort into cleaning it, I wanted to seal it. So I did that, too. LINE. BY. LINE.

If you're considering it ... don't.

Is it nice to have brighter grout? Of course. My floor looks clean, whether it really is or not. BUT. I am officially ignoring it for the rest of my life no matter how dirty it gets. And if we ever move, or build a house, I'm specifying NO SPACES BETWEEN THE TILES BECAUSE GROUT IS THE DEVIL.

When it gets grungy again, I'm just going to pretend it's supposed to be gray. Gray is in, anyway.


  1. It made me tired just watching you! (Notice that I didn't volunteer to help.....I resisted my inner neat-freak.)

  2. I can't tell you how happy I am that you are back to posting. I used to check this blog every day hoping for something to appear. Thank you for coming back.

  3. We're renovating our house next year, and I told my husband from the beginning: NO TILES. They are damn slippery when wet (potty-training anyone?), when they are supposed to be less slippery, they're hell to clean, and they're cold anyway - son and hubby luuuuv to run around barefoot (and naked). Plus the grout. Nope, not doing it. Thanks for this!!


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