How to clean Grout

by Team HomeServe |
How to clean Grout

Here I am, trying to have a relaxing shower but all I can see is pesky dirt and scum marks in the tile grout on the walls. I'm sure the bathroom and kitchen floor are just as bad. Time to get the cleaning supplies out - I want my fresh white tile grout back!


Follow these five easy steps to clean your tile grout:

1. Prep the surface

Start by wiping down the grout with a wet cloth. Next, scrub the surface with a bristle brush to remove the initial layers of dirt and grime. You can purchase a cleaning brush from your local home center or hardware store, or an old toothbrush will do the trick. According to Real Simple, you'll get the most reward from your effort if you scrub in a circular motion while following the direction of the grout line.

2. Mix your cleaning solution

Now that the surface layer of gross is gone, it's time to give your grout a deeper clean. The most effective cleaning solution depends on who you ask - so we'll leave the decision up to you. However, keep in mind that some "safe" cleaning products may contain hidden toxins, so it's usually a good idea to try milder, homemade remedies before resorting to store-bought cleaners.

Some fan-favorite cleaning solutions to try include:

  • Equal amounts of vinegar and warm water.
  • Two parts baking soda, one part water.
  • Two parts baking soda, one part vinegar.
  • Two parts baking soda, one part hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of dish soap.
  • Oxygen bleach.
  • Commercial alkaline or grout cleaners.

Some people start with a simple vinegar-and-water solution and then follow up with a baking soda paste if the stains are too stubborn for the initial mixture. Adding a few drops of dish soap to your solution will be especially effective for breaking down grease on kitchen tiles. Feel free to experiment with a few solutions back to back until you reveal just-like-new grout – just be sure you rinse thoroughly and never mix two different solutions together!

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If these solutions fail you, Bob Vila noted that steam cleaners are an effective (and environmentally friendly!) method for cleaning grout.

3. Apply your chosen cleaning solution

Depending on the consistency of your solution, you can spray it onto the grout or apply it with a brush, spoon or cloth. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Scrub, scrub and scrub some more

Use your brush to move around the solution and draw out dirt trapped inside the grout pores. Better Homes & Gardens suggests using an old electric toothbrush for even more scrubbing power during this step. According to DIY Network, sandpaper and pencil erasers can also be effective grout cleaner tools.

5. Rinse it all away

Flush the grout with hot water once you finish scrubbing. You can also mix some dish detergent into the water to rinse away the remaining grout cleaner.

Tips to keep your grout clean

After putting so much elbow grease into cleaning your grout, you'll want to make sure you don't have to do it all again a week later. Real Simple advised applying a grout sealer, making it harder for dirt and grime to make your floors and shower walls a permanent home. In the shower, try to get in the habit of running a squeegee over the tile after every use to prevent mold and soap scum from building up in the grout.

Take advantage of being in cleaning mode and freshen up the rest of your home with these cleaning guides:

Being prepared for home repairs caused by water damage is always a good strategy. See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.