Your grout is gross! Here's how to clean it properly

For many people, bathrooms are sanctuaries. More than a place to get yourself clean, your bath and shower can be a place to unwind. They have a certain Zen quality that exudes tranquility. But even the most state-of-the-art bathroom can fall victim to dirty grout lines if not properly maintained.

Let's face it, cleaning the grout is not on anyone's list of the most desirable ways to spend an hour or two. It's hard work and just a tad gross. However, if you want your bathroom to have that spa-like vibe, a little elbow grease is essential to maintain its pristine good looks. And if you choose to do it yourself, we've got the answer.

Watch the video to learn how to rid your bathroom of dirty grout lines.

Why do grout lines turn black?

There are many reasons why your grout turns gray, brown or black. The most benign may result from using too much soap and failing to wash it off properly. That leaves a film of dirt and soap, hence the discoloration. But it gets worse. Black grout can also be mold and mildew, which forms where there's moisture or high humidity. Mold is a type of fungus. Unsurprisingly, it's not good for your health. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, mold can cause allergy symptoms or, in rare cases, more severe issues.

How often should I clean my bathroom's grout?

How often you clean your grout will depend on how much you use your bathroom. For example, a guest bathroom may inevitably get less use, so it won't get as dirty, whereas a master bathroom or a kids' bathroom could quickly become a petri dish for grime and bacteria. Your cleaning regime may also depend on where you live, as dirt may build up more rapidly in a dry, dusty climate. But, generally speaking, most households should lightly clean their bathroom grout once a month and deep clean and sanitized once or twice a year, whether you do it yourself or get a professional to do it.

More problems, solved

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Top tips for cleaning dirt and mold off your bathroom grout