How to Clean Tile Grout

Grout is one of the trickier things to keep clean in a house. Not only is it walked on every day, but it’s white and porous. Crumbs, dirt, and anything else that might get left behind on your floor. Even giving your floor a quick sweep and wash won’t remove everything from dirty grout.

So what’s the best way to clean this stuff?


Blog Series: How to Clean Tile Grout

Difficulty: Easy
Time: Varies

Mixing chemicals is a science. Make sure to add the exact amounts given, and wear protective clothing when dealing with bleach.

Light Grout Stain - Home Remedies

There are several home remedies for cleaning tile and grout out there. As a disclaimer, while these work, they are not as effective as consumer grade cleaners, but they do work. Their benefit is simply this; you’ve probably got the materials needed in your home already.

Home Remedy 1: Baking Soda and Vinegar

This one will be the most readily available for most people.

Step 1: Mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water to make a thick paste. This will work with all colors of grout, but vinegar might harm natural stones such as limestone and marble.

Step 2: Put on some gloves and use your finger to apply the paste to the grout lines.

Step 3: Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle.

Step 4: Spray the paste that you laid down with the vinegar solution and wait for the solution to stop bubbling.

Step 5: Use a nylon bristled brush or a toothbrush to scrub along each grout line. Pay close attention to corners and edges while doing this

Step 6: Mop the floor with plain water to remove the residues. Rinse the mop and change water often to avoid spreading around any residue left over.

Home Remedy 2: Using Oxygenated Bleach

Bleach is dangerous. Make sure you wear rubber gloves, safety goggles, and are working in a well-ventilated area before using bleach. Oxygenated bleach damage colored grout and may further damage damaged grout.

Step 1: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of oxygenated bleach into 2 cups of warm water. Mix thoroughly.

Step 2: In a hidden corner, test the bleach before applying to the rest of the floor. If any discoloration happens to the grout or tiles, don’t use it for the rest of your floor.

Step 3: Pour the oxygenated bleach onto the grout. Pour enough to cover the grout lines, but use just enough to clean one small section.

Step 4: Allow the bleach to sit for several minute. Use a nylon bristle brush to clean by scrubbing the oxygenated bleach into the grout lines.

Step 4.5: If you need more power, dip your brush in the oxygenated bleach

Step 5Rinse the floor with water and dry.

Deeper Stains - Use the Big Guns

If you’ve got deeper stains that aren’t removed by any of the methods above, you should consider employees some products sold at Koopman Lumber.

Grout Scrubber

grout scrubberGetting a brush that is made to clean grout and tile is important. The bristles are manufactured to specifically clean (safely) and get in tough corners.

Tile Cleaner

tile guardA specially formulated spray that will clean both tiles and grout will take care of most deeply seeded stains in your grout. It’s recommended to use this even if the stains seem light due to both the cost and the efficiency. Home remedies are great when you have to use what’s lying around, but there’s a reason that a consumer product exists!

The Last Resort

If all of the above has failed you, then it’s time to regrout. Odds are you’ll only have to regrout a small area of the floor after cleaning if it’s needed at all. For a little amount of grout that needs to be removed, get a removal tool at your local Koopman Lumber with a carbide blade. For larger areas you’ll need a comparable rotary tool.

Work it slowly to remove the grout, and stay to the center of the grout line to avoid damaging the surrounding tile.

Mix up a new batch of grout matching the existing grout color and apply it to the cracks where the original grout was, leaving a slight margin.

Let dry for about 10 minutes and clean the area with a damp sponge. You’re done!

Wrap Up

Grout and tiles, super exciting stuff right? Luckily it’s easy to have a good looking floor despite years of  traffic. It might take a bit of time to clean back to it’s former grouty glory. If you have any questions, come down to your local Koopman Lumber hardware location and talk to any one of our experts who will be glad to help you out. Thanks for reading!