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Cleaning · Here’s How To Clean Grout So It Looks Like New
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Here’s How To Clean Grout So It Looks Like New

No one looks forward to cleaning their grout, but with the help of these tips, you can brighten up those dingy grout lines in no time!

I’m sure we all have a few chores that we tend to procrastinate doing (or else outright ignore) for as long as we possibly can. And if we all compared our personal lists of frequently procrastinated chores, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see “cleaning the grout” or “grout cleaning” on the majority of those lists!

Scrubbing the grout lines between your tiles may not be your idea of a good time, but it doesn’t have to take all day either. And it won’t, as long as you use the tips, tricks, and methods I’ll be sharing in today’s post! 🙂

Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to clean grout all over your home, whether on your tile kitchen floor or in your bathroom shower enclosure. With the help of some my favorite cleaning ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll have those grout lines looking like new in no time!

How To Clean Grout

1. Gather Your Tools And Cleaning Products

In order to clean your grout properly, you’re going to need a good, stiff scrub brush. And while I’m normally all for using an old toothbrush for cleaning purposes, I don’t recommend using one here because the bristles aren’t stiff enough for something as tough as grout.

On the other hand, I don’t recommend using a metal brush either. Metal bristles can easily scratch up your grout, so stick with a standard scrub brush instead. (You can even find scrub brushes that are designed for cleaning grout, like this one!)

As far as other tools and supplies you should have on hand, it will depend on which method(s) you end up using, which we’ll go over shortly. So in the mean time, here’s a list of everything you might to clean grout:

  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Grout sealer (optional)

Note: I do not suggest using chlorine bleach to clean your grout. Not only can chlorine bleach permanently affect the color of your grout, but it can even discolor the surrounding tiles too! Stick to the safer options listed above.

2. Clean The Grout Using One of These Homemade Cleaners

Everyone’s grout is different, which means there’s not really a “one-size-fits-all” method for cleaning grout. So I’ve picked out four of the best grout cleaning methods to share with you, each of which has been effective for me in the past.

I’ve listed these methods below in order from gentlest to most vigorous, and I recommend trying them out in the order they appear. That way, you can stop once you find one that works, which will be better for your grout in the long run than using grout cleaners that are harsher than necessary.

Method #1 – Hot Water

Decades of cleaning and blogging experience have taught me to never underestimate the cleaning power of hot water! That’s right, you might not even need a proper grout cleaner to get your grout shining brightly! Start by spraying or pouring hot water over your dirty grout, then give it a good scrub with your scrub brush.

If your grout isn’t terribly dirty, this method may be all you need to clean it up! But even if your grout is heavily soiled, using this simple method first will help remove surface dirt and the more serious grime easier to remove using the other grout cleaners.

Method #2 – Diluted White Vinegar

The next method I suggest is to mix up a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar. It’s easiest to apply using a spray bottle, but you can also mix it up in a bucket if you don’t have a spray bottle on hand.

Spray or pour the diluted vinegar solution to your grout, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes to give it time to break down mineral deposits, soap scum, and ground-in dirt (if you can stand the powerful combination of smells, you could even try adding dish soap to the mix…these two ingredients make a powerful soap scum cleaner!) After waiting, scrub the grout with your scrub brush and rinse with clean water.

Method #3 – Vinegar, Ammonia, And Baking Soda

The majority of your grout should be looking pretty good at this point, but you may still need some extra firepower to tackle a particularly grimy area or stained grout. That’s where this method comes in! 🙂

Start by combining 3 1/2 cups of hot water with 1/3 cup of ammonia and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, then spray your grout and let it sit for a few minutes, or up to an hour or so.

After waiting, sprinkle baking soda over the grout and give it a good scrub with your scrub brush. (You may notice some fizzing due to the baking soda and vinegar reaction, but that’s normal!) Then rinse away the loosened grime, baking soda, and cleaning solution with clean water.

Method #4 – Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

I saved this grout cleaning method for last because although it is highly effective, it can make a bit of a mess. But if you’ve used the previous three methods in order, you should only have to use this method on the really grimy grout stains, so that should make it easier to clean up afterward. (And the results will be well worth it!)

Start by mixing up a cleaning paste of one part baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide. Spread the paste onto tile grout and let it sit for about an hour.

After the wait, use your scrub brush to scour the grout and remove any last traces of grime or discoloration. Use a damp cloth or mop to clean up the paste, rinsing as needed to remove any remaining residue.

3. Let The Grout Dry, Then Apply A Grout Sealer

Once your grout is nice and clean, allow it to air dry for 24 hours, or at least overnight. (And make sure not to skip this step, because tile grout should be bone-dry before you seal it!)

After the drying period, apply a water-resistant grout sealer to your clean grout lines, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Sealing it will help keep your grout clean for much longer than it would otherwise, and it can help repel mold and mildew too!

So there you have it! I hope these tips and methods prove as useful to you as they have been to me, and pat yourself on the back for all your hard work too! 🙂

Do you have any favorite tips or tricks for cleaning tile or tile grout?

Cleaning Grout (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul
No one looks forward to cleaning their grout, but with the help of these tips, you can brighten up those dingy grout lines in no time!
Prep Time 5 mins
Active Time 15 mins
Drying Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Cost $10
Yield 1 spotless grout line

Equipment

  • Scrub Brush
  • Bucket
  • spray bottle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup White vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Baking soda
  • 1/3 cup Ammonia
  • 1/4 cup Hydrogen peroxide
  • Grout sealer (optional)

Instructions
 

Hot Water Method

  • Start by spraying or pouring hot water over your dirty grout, then give it a good scrub with your scrub brush. If your grout isn’t terribly dirty, this method may be all you need to clean it up!

White Vinegar Method

  • Spray or pour the diluted vinegar solution to your grout, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes to give it time to break down mineral deposits, soap scum, and ground-in dirt (you could even try adding dish soap to the mix…these two ingredients make a powerful soap scum cleaner!) After waiting, scrub the grout with your scrub brush and rinse with clean water.

Vinegar, Ammonia, & Baking Soda Method

  • Start by combining 3 1/2 cups of hot water with 1/3 cup of ammonia and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, then spray your grout and let it sit for a few minutes, or up to an hour or so.
    After waiting, sprinkle baking soda over the grout and give it a good scrub with your scrub brush. (You may notice some fizzing due to the baking soda and vinegar reaction, but that’s normal!) Then rinse away the loosened grime, baking soda, and cleaning solution with clean water.

Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide Method

  • Start by mixing up a cleaning paste of one part baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide. Spread the paste onto tile grout and let it sit for about an hour.
    After the wait, use your scrub brush to scour the grout and remove any last traces of grime or discoloration. Use a damp cloth or mop to clean up the paste, rinsing as needed to remove any remaining residue.

Apply A Grout Sealer

  • Once your grout is nice and clean, allow it to air dry for 24 hours, or at least overnight. After the drying period, apply a water-resistant grout sealer to your clean grout lines, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Sealing it will help keep your grout clean for much longer than it would otherwise, and it can help repel mold and mildew too!
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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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