If dirty grout in your bathroom drives you crazy, you may be tempted to try some of those miracle grout cleaners you've seen advertised on TV.
Well, Consumer Reports was, too, and has a few things to tell you before you place your order.
Erin Abrams says, "I always use a ton of cleaning products. My grout never looks clean. It never looks white."
It sounds like Erin Abrams could use a bit of a "bully" in her bathroom.
"Hi, Mark Gill her for Grout Bully. The fastest and easiest way to clean, renew, and redesign your grout, guaranteed."
And who wouldn't want a smidgeon of superhero in their shower.
Infomercial says, "Watch how easily stains disappear with the Groutinator."
Testers at Consumer Reports wondered: Can you really get sparkling grout with ease?
Take a look at Grout Bully. It costs ten dollars a bottle and makes some big promises.
Infomercial says, "Simply line up Grout Bully with your grout line, press down gently to apply, wipe off the excess, and voila."
But Consumer Reports ShopSmart says it wasn't that easy.
Sue Perry of Consumer Reports says, "It was really hard to get the excess off. It kept smearing, and it left a film that stuck to the tile."
Test photos show it did hide the mold and mildew, at least at first.
But just 12 days later, pictures show the mold and mildew already growing back!
So how about the Groutinator? Ten dollars gets you two different-sized coarse erasers with a sharp edge that works like sandpaper on dirty grout.
Consumer Reports found it isn't easy, and it isn't quick!
Perry says, "It's really just good old-fashioned elbow grease. And you have to constantly re-sharpen the edge, especially when you're working with narrow grout lines."
And test photos taken two weeks after cleaning show mildew is already growing back.
Which means neither of these as-seen-on-TV grout cleaners offers the perfect solution.
Consumer Reports says when you're grouting, adding a seal can make it more resistant to dirt and stains.
And there's a good homemade grout cleaner that's worth a try. You dip a toothbrush into a solution of one part bleach and six parts water, and go to work! Be aware there can be fumes, so be sure you've got good ventilation.