This post will show you how to clean grout easily and the best homemade grout cleaner to use!
Tile floors are so popular these days and for good reason. Gone are the shag-pile carpets of the 60s and 70s!
Generally, tile floors are easier to keep clean, long-lasting and can take anything your family can throw at it (sometimes literally!).
But one of the biggest problems with tile floors (or walls for that matter), is the grout!
And to make matters worse, we normally put tile floors in high traffic or “dirty” areas like hallways, utility rooms or mudrooms!
Over the years I’ve tried every type of grout cleaning method available and I finally found one that works, is easy and fast! So I thought I’d share with you!
Table of Contents
Why Grout Gets Gross
First off, let’s talk quickly about why our grout gets so nasty. When we think about how to clean grout, it’s useful to understand WHY it gets so gross in the first place
Even if you regularly mop your floors, you probably find that your grout will discolor over time.
If you think about your tile floor, the grout lines are like little channels between the tiles. So it’s not surprising that dirt and grim end up collecting in those channels. When you sweep the floors, a lot of the dirt and dust will end up in those lines.
One of the other problems is when you mop your floors. If you use a traditional mop and bucket of water, then as you mop, the dirty water will collect in the grout lines. It then dries there, leaving the dirt and grim behind.
One way to help this problem is to use a microfiber mop and spray bottle to clean your floors instead (see tip #10 in my Quick Cleaning Guide).
You can also make sure that you sweep or vacuum your tile floors often (daily ideally). I LOVE my robot vacuum. I schedule it to run every day, so my floors are always clean!
Want to learn more about robot vacuums? Check out my Definitive Guide to picking the best robot vacuum cleaner for your lifestyle!
If your grout isn’t sealed, then your problem just gets worse, because the grout will become stained!
For more tips about cleaning all types of floors – check out my post “11 Unusual Cleaning Tips for Spotless Floors“.
How to Clean Grout Easily
Cleaning grout doesn’t have to be a horrible, intensive task if you do it regularly. If you’ve not cleaned your grout for a while or you’ve moved into a house with dirty grout, then it might take a bit longer.
To get started you want to gather your grout cleaning supplies. I suggest that you buy a good stiff brush to clean your grout. I like this grout cleaning brush as it has very stiff v-shaped bristles and an extendable handle.
If you don’t want to get a special grout brush, then you can use a scrubbing brush or toothbrush (make sure you also have a pad for your knees!).
Below I will give you the full recipe for my homemade grout cleaner, but here are the ingreidents you will need:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Baking Soda
- Dish Washing Soap
Steps for Cleaning Grout
Once you’ve made your cleaner you want to follow these steps:
- Liberally apply the cleaner to the grout
- Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes (the longer the better, but not until it dries out)
- Use your grout brush, a scrubbing brush, or old toothbrush to scrub the grout. You want to be vigours when you scrub to get all the ground in dirt loose!
- Use a rag to wipe away any dirty water or leftover cleaning solution.
- Rinse and mop the floors to remove the last of the dirt.
- Call your family over to admire your handiwork!
It really is that easy!
Apply – Wait – Scrub – Rinse
The “wait” part is particularly important, so make sure you don’t skip that!
The Best Homemade Tile Grout Cleaner
There’s plenty of fancy homemade grout cleaner recipes out there, but they are not all created equally! Some might be effective, but they require 6 or more ingredients and take time to measure and mix.
Nope… no-one has time for that! I want a grout cleaner that is quick, easy and effective.
As I mentioned above, I’ve tried so many different homemade store-bought grout cleaners. Some of them were good, some of them were a complete waste of time and money!
This DIY grout cleaner is by far the most effective and easiest to use!
It’s super easy to make. I just mix it up in a bowl or jug when I need it and pour/spread it into the grout lines.
The grout cleaner is made from the following:
- 1 Part Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1 Part Baking Soda
- A few drops of Dish Soap
Let’s talk a little about these ingredients and why they are such awesome grout cleaners!
Hydrogen peroxide is an amazing cleaning product that you can use all over your house (I use it to clean mattress stains!). It’s a great alternative to bleach, it brightens, sanitizes and breaks down the yucky stuff!
Baking soda is a common component in homemade cleaners and there’s good reason for that! It’s a great abrasive cleaner! Together with your scrub brush, it will help absorb and lift the dirt from the grout lines.
This is an optional ingredient, but it is especially helpful for kitchen tile floors. The dish soap helps to breakdown and release any grease and grim in the grout lines.
Tile Grout Cleaning Tips
Here are a few more tips on how to clean grout and keep it clean:
- Try not to use chlorine bleach on grout as it will eat away at it and damage the grout in the long term.
- Use a steam cleaner to remove stubborn dirt from grout lines.
- Oxygen-bleach products, such as OxiClean, are also good for cleaning grout.
- Don’t use vinegar on grout as it can corrode
- Let your grout cleaner soak on the grout lines for at least 5 minutes before scrubbing. For best results, leave for at least 10 minutes.
- Seal your grout to keep it cleaner for longer and prevent stains.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is grout?
Grout is a cement based product that is used to fill the gaps between tiles on floors and walls. It is a porous material and if it is not sealed it will absorb dirt and grim and stain easily.
Can I use bleach to clean my grout?
No, it is best not to use chlorine bleach to clean your grout as it will erode the grout over time. However, oxygen-bleach products, like Oxi-Clean do work.
Is it safe to use white vinegar on tile grout?
That’s another product that isn’t great to use on grout. vinegar is acidic and will eat away at your grout if you use it repeatedly.
What is safe to clean tile grout with?
I recommend a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and a few drops of dish soap.
How to clean grout between tile?
Apply your cleaning solution and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then use a stiff bristled scrubbing brush to clean the grout lines. Once you’ve finished wipe the surface down with clean water to remove the residue.
How do you whiten grout?
Don’t use bleach! If you want to get your grout lines whiter, you can use the same solution above or just use hydrogen peroxide. The secret is to let it sit for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing.