When I moved into my house the bathroom tiles in the shower were in great shape, and very cool 1950s decorative design. The grout on the other hand was rust stained pretty badly and in some areas needed repaired. This is a pretty common issue when the grout sealant wears away over time.
There were also some issues with the caulk, where it appeared over the years people had added new layers of caulk on top of layers that had mold on it. So kind of a water proofed mold and mildew line of caulk that was very resistant to cleaning.
Since I liked the design of the tiles I resisted the traditional home improvement suggestion of tearing it out, putting up green board, and re-tiling the wrap around in the shower.
So I started looking into ways to clean grout. I tried bleach, baking soda, Comet, CLR, peroxide, and several other suggestions from home improvement sites. They all did absolutely nothing. The grout was cleaned, but still the same rust stain that it always had. So I started looking into other approaches. Many sites just suggested removing the grout and re-grouting. That sounds great on paper. If your grout is all straight lines, which mine was not.
Then I saw a commercial for a product called "Grout Bully" and did some research on the product. The commercials made it appear like just the product I was looking for. The reviews said it was about as effective as shoe polish on the grout; in fact many people said that was actually what it was. But in reading the reviews I found a link to a site for a product called "Grout Shield." It is a more commercial grade product, but they sell a grout refreshing, recoloring, and resealing product that resists mold and water damage. And it was fairly affordable.
So I spent an hour a couple weeks ago repairing and re-grouting some of the problem areas in my shower, and I ordered the smallest batch of grout shield. The cleaner was better than every other grout cleaner I had tried in the past. Not perfect, but still better than other stuff I had tried. It even removed some old paint stain from the tiles themselves.
But when you add the color sealer, that was when you really see the difference. As you can see in the image above, the grout is actually white again. In case you can't tell the grout on the left hand side was treated, and the right had not been treated yet. I also took the time to strip out all of the old caulk. BTW: WD40 is awesome for loosening old caulk for removal.
The image above is the same area after it was fully treated with the product. After I let it dry for about an hour I broke out my caulk gun and a new tube of silicon sealant and finished out the project. It took about five hours from start to finish, but it really is very easy to use and clean up.
The product does exactly what it says it will do. It is not flawless and it is not the same as re-grouting or re-tiling the area, but it definitely brings old grout and tiles back to life. And re-caulking the edges didn't hurt either.
Time will tell if the product will live up to all of it's claims, or if it is water and stain resistant like they claim it will be; but for now it looks great, and I'm happy with how it turned out