What to Look for in a Grout Cleaner
The most important thing you want from a grout cleaner is, of course, clean grout. How strong of a cleaner you should buy will depend on how dirty your grout is.
If you’re only looking to prevent gunk from building up on grout that’s already fairly clean, then a milder cleaner will get the job done. However, if your grout is covered in tough stains and mold, you’ll want to choose a stronger one.
Just like there are different types of grout, there are also different types of grout cleaners for them. Some are specifically made for showers, while others can be used on any type of grout. Grout cleaners can come in gels, sprays, and pens, which may change your choice depending on what you prefer to use.
Also, it is important to consider the type of surface surrounding the grout as well as to make sure a certain type of cleaner is safe for it. This is because some can damage various types of marble and stone.
You also want to consider how much elbow grease is involved. With some cleaners, all you need to do is simply spray on and wipe off. Others will take some powerful elbow grease.
How To Clean Tile Grout
Fortunately, it’s possible to clean and restore your grout using common household products and some elbow grease.
Here is a visual step-by-step guide on how to clean grout.
We also just wrote an in-depth guide all about how to clean tile floors.
Before you begin cleaning, remember that with any cleaning project, it is always best to start off with the weakest cleaning solution, and slowly work your way up.
When in doubt about a grout cleaner, test it in a hidden spot. This could be under an appliance in the kitchen, or even behind the toilet in a bathroom. This will give you an idea of how strong the cleaner is and whether or not to use it in places that are more sensitive.
Here's a video tutorial showing you the best way to clean grout:
The following tips for cleaning grout are listed from the mildest to the strongest.
- Scrub dirty grout using plain warm water and a brush
If you don’t already have a brush for the job, most hardware stores have many options specifically designed for the purpose of cleaning grout. Next, spray warm water on the grout lines and scrub in a circular motion, then let it dry for a few minutes.
- Spray with equal parts vinegar and warm water thoroughly
For heavier stains, use vinegar. Then, fill an empty spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of warm water and vinegar. Spray on the grout, let it dry for a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
- Apply a baking soda paste, water, and vinegar
To add even more cleaning power to the party, cover the grout with a paste of baking soda and water. Then, spray on vinegar solution. Once the mixture stops foaming, thoroughly scrub with a brush and rinse with plain water.
- Pour on some hydrogen peroxide
Moderate stains may require you to use hydrogen peroxide, which is available in most drug stores. You can use the product plain, or apply a paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. In any case, the grout will fade away.
- Apply oxygen bleach for up to 15 minutes.
For tough stains and strong grout, use oxygen bleach as a tough grout cleaner. You’ll find that it is most often sold in a powdered form. A recommended best-selling brand is OxiClean. Also, make sure the area is well-ventilated. Then, carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for application. Next, let the oxygen bleach solution work for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Make sure to always rinse with clean water so that the dirt does not resettle into the grout lines.
- Use chlorine bleach in small amounts on the grout.
Chlorine bleach can be used sparingly in extreme cases to clean grout. One go-to product, when all else fails, is Clorox Clean-Up spray, it is available on Amazon. Before you apply, rinse away all of the above attempts, especially the vinegar, because traces of vinegar mixed with bleach will produce a highly-toxic chlorine gas into the surrounding air. Make sure to not make this a routine, because long-term usage of caustic cleaners will erode grout which is why these products should be used on a limited basis.
- If all else fails, steam will clean the worst of grout stains.
Steam cleaners can be an effective and environmentally-friendly method of cleaning grout and even many other hard surfaces in your home. Bissell, Oreck, and Hoover all make steam cleaners for residential use.
- Optional: Use a powerful tile floor cleaning machine to clean dirty tile and/or grout.
To keep your grout clean and stain-free, it’s a good idea to spray it with vinegar and wipe it down once a week.
You can also wipe grout with alcohol to fight mold and mildew. In the process, the appearance of your home will significantly improve.
Here's another video showing you 3 ways to clean tile grout:
So, which cleaner will you add to your next shopping list?