Skip to main content

Category Archives: Blog

DIY Tile & Grout Cleaner

DIY Tile & Grout Cleaner

Our guest post today is from Edna, who is a maintenance expert.  Be sure to read more about her at the end of this article; but in the meantime, let’s sparkle!  You know that my advice would always be to try the safest, most natural remedy first.  Edna gives us a few to choose from so that we can work up to the right solution. 

The trouble with grout is that it shows every speck of dirt, making your bathroom really unappealing. The same goes for your tiles. It’s really difficult to get stains off your bathroom surfaces, considering that they provide the perfect conditions for growth of bacteria and mold. Well, don’t panic. Here are a few homemade grout and tile cleaner recipes that may work wonders to keep your tiles free of dirt and stains. Check it out.

Grout Cleaner Recipe #1: Ammonia

Things you need:

  •  7 cups of water (warm)
  • ¼ cup of vinegar (white, distilled)
  • 1/3 cup of ammonia (household)
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 1-gallon container
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrub brush, sponge or cloth


The first thing you should do is pour water into a clean gallon container. Then add the other ingredients and stir continuously. The cleaning solution is ready. Transfer it into a spray bottle using a funnel. Spray onto your tiles or grout and scrub with a sponge or cloth. Rinse well and dry. Don’t mix the solution with bleach! Mixing vinegar or ammonia with bleach is highly dangerous and is completely out of the question.

cleaning tile

cleaning tile


Grout Cleaner Recipe #2: Bleach

Things you will need:

  •  ¼ cup of bleach
  • ¾ cup of baking soda
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Bowl


In a bowl, mix bleach and baking soda. Stir well. You need to make a thick paste. Once the paste is ready, simply apply it to the tiles or grout and allow it to work its magic for about 10 minutes. When the solution has sat there for a while, go back to it and scrub with a stiff brush or sponge. You might also want to use a toothbrush for all the crevices and corners that sponges and stiff brushes cannot reach. After you do this, allow another 10 minutes for the cleaner to work. Then rinse with water. Let it dry.

A few notes: Make sure to wear appropriate clothing while using this cleaner. It contains bleach, which is toxic. Use safety glasses and rubber gloves and air out the room after you are done cleaning.

scrubbing bathroom

No, this isn’t me!


Grout Cleaner Recipe #3: An Eco-friendly Alternative

For our UK readersSo far so good. You have a couple of frugal cleaning recipes to get grout and tiles gleaming but you want a cleaner that is gentle on nature and your family. Bleach and ammonia, although they are perfect for grout cleaning, are anything but harmless. Here is an eco-friendly grout cleaner recipe for all those of you who like to be extra precautious. This recipe is used by many professional cleaning companies like ShinyCarpets Cricklewood.


Things you need:

  •  Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle


Start by making a solution of one part water and one part vinegar. Pour the solution into a clean spray bottle and spray your grout/tiles. Let stand for a while. Then go back to it and scrub with a brush. Rinse. The next thing you want to do is prepare a paste of water and baking soda. Apply onto the grout/tiles. Scrub with a toothbrush or stiff brush. Grab your vinegar solution and spray over the area. Continue scrubbing. Rinse.

If after doing this there are still stains on your grout/tiles, go for hydrogen peroxide. Simply spray some hydrogen peroxide on the affected area and let stand for a while. Scrub with a stiff brush or sponge. Repeat the procedure until the stain disappears.

Here is what to do to keep your tiles or grout from staining or getting dirty. Every time you are about to take a shower, take a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar with you in the bathroom. When you are done showering, spray the tiles with the solution. Use it twice a week and your grout and tiles will be in tip-top shape. No scrubbing required.

Hope this helps to deal with dirt on your grout and tiles. What cleaners do you usually use for your bathroom?

Edna is a professional cleaner and expert in the field of home improvement and maintenance. She is enjoying her life in London, taking care of her family.  Thanks, Edna, for sharing these DIY tips with Pantry Paratus.


Two Is One and One Is None: What is your Single Point of Failure?

Two is One and One is None: What is Your Single Point of Failure?

Some technical difficulties range from “Wow, that was annoying,” to the type of events that can make you want to lose your religion.  The constant prompts to “listen carefully as our voice menu options have changed” annoy me, because I am constantly caught up in the spin cycle of man’s evolution for automated phone answering systems.  Compare that to having your hard drive fail on your laptop; this can bring you to the point of finding out whether you are as emotionally well adjusted as you think you are.

Continue reading

Tastes Like Lemon: The Time I Ate Ants (& more about eating insects)

Photo of Beondegi by Alpha

This is the most self-deprecating thing I have ever posted online.   But you know what they say: If you can laugh at yourself, you will never cease to be amused.

My interest in this topic started with one of only a handful of regrets I have obtained through life. I’m just not prone to regrets, apparently, given that this makes that short list.

Continue reading

Kitchen Self-Sufficiency Skills: 11 Places to Start

kitchen self sufficiency

Some of us might jump into the middle of this list of kitchen self-sufficiency skills; some might have more to learn. I personally find I am overwhelmed with what I don’t know, but that once I have a plan to tackle something I can shake off the paralysis. If the light-bulb has come on over your head and you’re thinking “gak—I only have enough food in the fridge for 3 days,” start here.

Continue reading

Walking the Plank of Politics Simply Because I Like Real Food

Walking the plank of politics because I like real food

The people who shop at Pantry Paratus and the people who interact with us through Facebook and email are often very different from one another. There are self-described hippies and conservatives (and even people like me who get accused of both quite often). There are Christians, Atheists, Pagans and other faith representations. We have vegans, traditional foodists (bring on the bone broth!), paleo, and conventional-food lovers who are exploring what it might mean to make a change. There is the pro-wheat crowd and the gluten-free one. There are city-dwellers, homesteaders, farmers, and busy suburban moms just trying to abate food allergies or illness….the differences abound.

Continue reading

Chia Seeds: Nutrition & Cooking Tips

Chia Seeds Nutrition

I am a traditionalist in most things, including food; I rarely jump on a bandwagon for the newest healthy thing out there, because most of it is bunk.  But then, in our modern age, many of us are still discovering the traditional foods that other people groups have been eating for centuries.  Such is the case with chia seeds.  This nutty, delicious seed spiked in popularity about a year or so ago and is now falling into the shadows of the latest-coolness; but I do not consider it a “bandwagon” at all—rather, we were all a bit late to the party and shouldn’t make an exit too soon.

Continue reading

Why Food Matters: Ideology, food ethics, provision, & palette

Why Food Matters

Food is my business. Not just food—I am not a chef; I can’t make my tiramisu presentable or my own puff pastry dough from scratch—but our (Wilson & my own) passion is in teaching others the importance of knowing where food comes from and how to preserve it for future use.

Maybe you’ve thought some of these:

The problem is bigger than me. 
I don’t want to know.
But it tastes so good.
I don’t have time.
I don’t know how.

If you have (and I have), then I would like for you to consider four areas of food ethics.  These four things will totally change the way to see–and taste–what’s on your plate. 

Continue reading

Fermenting: Large vs. Small Batches

pickled carrots

You can pickle nearly anything following the same basic steps in this article. Really. My family doesn’t really care for pickled carrots, but I absolutely adore pickled garlic, onion blooms, and radishes. And of course, there is always sauerkraut too! If you are interested in pickling eggs, please read this article.

pickled-carrots pickled-garlic

When I ferment anything, I no longer use the large “crock” method. Perhaps that is because I have never owned a real fermenting crock but have tried other hacks such as food grade buckets. I much prefer fermenting in very small batches and so I stick with mason jars.  This is purely experiential opinion, but you’re welcome to it:

Continue reading

Produce, Prepare, & Preserve Your Own Harvest.