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How to Clean Grout


Have you ever walked into your bathroom or kitchen and noticed dirt, grime, or mildew along the spaces between the tiles? If so, you’re not alone. Grout, or the substance that adheres tiles to the surfaces they live on, is great for ensuring the longevity of tile work, but it’s also prone to staining, mildew, and grime. And if you’re the one tasked to clean it, it can be an annoying process, especially if you don’t have the right tools for the job. Luckily, cleaning grout is a relatively simple task, and there are multiple ways to do it effectively so you get rid of it and discourage it from coming back. 

Below, we’ve listed five ways to clean grout that range from mild solutions to heavy-duty processes. Many of the methods below only require household products that you likely have on hand, but keep in mind that some of the more aggressive methods can require commercial products. Whether as part of a spring cleaning checklist or just routine maintenance for your kitchen or bathroom, cleaning grout is an essential component of a clean and healthy home. To learn how to clean tile grout effectively, keep reading below!

5 Best Ways to Clean Grout

Before you begin cleaning, be sure to put on gloves to protect your hands from the solutions below. Even the mildest of cleaning products can irritate your skin, so do everything you can to avoid that possibility altogether. Additionally, as you begin cleaning, start with the mildest solution and work your way up to a more aggressive mixture if you encounter particularly stubborn grout stains. Or, if you’re trying to tackle a particularly dirty job – jump down to the end!

Warm Water and a Cleaning Brush

Even though it seems like cleaning your surfaces with water won’t do much, it’s actually a perfectly effective and safe way to clean. Water has a neutral pH, making it a lot safer for your grout because acidic and basic products, like vinegar and bleach respectively, can start to eat away at the grout. So, with a little elbow grease, a toothbrush, and water, you can prolong the life of your grout while also keeping it clean.

Half Vinegar, Half Warm Water

For slightly more stubborn stains, try creating a solution of vinegar and water. Vinegar is a gentle yet powerful substance that is made from acetic acid, which can dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and grime easily. Mixing it with water will dilute the acidity to ensure that the acid won’t wear away at the grout. Simply put the mixture in a spray bottle and let it sit on the area for a few minutes before you start scrubbing.

Half Hydrogen Peroxide, Half Baking Soda

The last, and most powerful, method using household items is a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. This mixture is a more eco-friendly option than commercial products or bleach, but it’s just as effective for grout cleaning. To use it, make a paste in a bowl and scrub using an old toothbrush. Alternatively, you can coat the area with the mixture, let it sit for a few minutes, and then start scrubbing.


For really tough stains and grime, opt for bleach. Bleach is an all-purpose cleaner, and it’s a great option for cleaning grout because it can require less manual scrubbing. To clean with bleach, put a little bit into a spray bottle and apply it to the grout, letting it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse with plenty of warm water. Additionally, make sure that you’re in a well-ventilated area before cleaning with bleach.

Commercial Products

For the toughest jobs, reach for commercial products. These products, which include things like Borax and Formula 409, are formulated to tackle any mess. They can also save you time and energy, but pay attention to ingredients and follow instructions when using them to stay safe and prevent damaging your tiles or grout. After spraying the area with your cleaning product, use either an old rag or toothbrush, wipe to scrub the area clean. Then, flush with warm water.

Other Tips for Cleaning Grout

Those aren’t the only methods for grout cleaning! Check out a few more of the best ways to clean grout below.

  • Steam Clean – Try steaming your grout by turning on the shower for a few minutes and letting the bathroom steam. You can also use a handheld clothing steamer or invest in a steam mop. 
  • Use a Grout Sealer – 24 hours after a deep clean, try using a grout sealer to prevent grime, grit, and mold from accumulating as quickly.
  • Cover High Traffic Areas – For tile flooring and high traffic areas, consider putting down a bath mat or rug to reduce your tile’s daily exposure to water and dirt.
  • Reduce Humidity – Humid environments breed mold, so make an effort to reduce the humidity in your space by opening a window, turning on a fan, or wiping off excess water on your tiles and grout after usage.

Final Thoughts on Grout Cleaning

Cleaning grout is a simple task, but it can be an annoying one. If you dread cleaning day, we can help! If you live in the San Francisco area, Mulberrys house cleaning services are a great option for hard-to-clean areas or general house cleaning efforts. Learn more about our San Francisco house cleaning services today!