Clean Tile Grout: A Complete Guide

Clean Tile Grout A Complete Guide

Tile is durable, beautiful, and typically easy to clean. However, grout is a bit trickier. Grout tends to stain because it’s made up of a porous and light colouring composition. There are many different ways grout can become stained, but it all depends on where it is.

In entryways, it can be due to mud and grime, but in the kitchen, it can be due to spills. Regarding the bathroom, it can become stained due to the mould and mildew build-up after showers and baths.

Thankfully, there are ways to clean grout and bring it back to its original composition.

Remember, before starting, grab a mild cleaning solution and patch test it on a piece of grout that is hidden. That way, you can make sure the cleaning solution does not ruin your grout.


These are the tools you are going to need:

  • A stiff-bristled brush
  • White Vinegar
  • An empty spray bottle
  • Baking soda from any store
  • Hydrogen peroxide that can be bought from a home hardware store
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Grout cleaner
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Steam mop

Before running out to the store, read the following ways to clean your grout and decide which cleaning solution you need. You may not need the toughest solution available.

How to Clean Grout

The following steps are listed from mildest to strongest cleaning method. Use your own judgement to figure out which one you need.

Stiff-Bristled Brush & Water

If your grout is not too dirty, then this is the simplest way to clean it. Grab a cleaning brush from any hardware or home store and get to work. Spray warm water onto the grout lines. Afterward, use the brush and scrub in a round motion to release any dirt or grime. Let it dry to see the results. If it’s still not clean enough, then move on to the next cleaning method.

Vinegar & Water

This is for that stronger dirt and mild stains, so it’s perfect for the kitchen and mudroom. Vinegar is used all the time to clean, so it’s perfect for grout. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and warm water; it is suggested to do half a bottle each. Afterwards, spray the grout and let the solution sit for five minutes, then use the brush and scrub away.

Remember to wash the area with water afterwards, so you can see the results.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

In the case of tougher stains, cover the grout lines with a paste of baking soda and water. Afterwards, spray it with the same vinegar solution from above. Allow the mixture to foam, but when it stops, begin to scrub it with the brush and wash everything away with plain water.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Moderate stains can be found anywhere when it comes to grout. If you find some, then grab some hydrogen peroxide, which can be found at many stores, and apply it straight to the grout. However, if applying it straight to the grout makes you nervous, then make a paste with baking soda instead.

Afterwards, scrub it with a brush and wash it away with some plain water.

Oxygen Bleach

This is for those tougher stains that are really grimy. Grab some oxygen bleach from a hardware store; it can usually be found in a powdered form. Before you start, make sure the room is well ventilated because you do not want to have that smell stuck in the room. Read the instructions on the packet and then let the solution sit on the grout for 10 to 15 minutes.

After this, you can then brush and wash away the solution to see if this method has worked for you.

Commercial Product

Have a look at the best grout cleaners that are on the market. These products can make light work of any grout cleaning job. Your purchase is either going to be a spray and wipe, or a scour with a brush.

Spray-on products tend to say that they work without any scrubbing, which can save a lot of energy and time. However, they can contain harsher chemicals, acids, chlorine bleach, or solvents. Scouring with a brush may be a bit more work, but it is really useful to get rid of any grime and dirt in grout.

Like with any product, make sure to read the label to see the instructions and safety precautions.

Chlorine Bleach

This should only be used in extreme grout cleaning cases. Chlorine bleach, whether by itself or inside another product, should only ever be used sparingly and only on really dirty grout. Definitely make sure to wear rubber gloves when handling this product because it can dry out your skin very fast, and if you have any small cuts on your hands, it’s going to hurt.

Also, if you have tried to clean the grout with anything else, make sure the grout has been properly washed of any of the previous solutions. Vinegar and bleach together can emit a very toxic chlorine gas into the air. On top of this, do not use this method as a regular cleaning measure because using this on a long-term basis can cause the grout to erode.

Steam Clean

The last solution is to use a steam cleaner. They are environmentally friendly and effective, so the grout can be cleaned this way. Many hard surfaces can be cleaned with a steam cleaner. This method is only for those really dirty grout cases, so try out some of the easier ways first.


Grout is an easy thing to clean if you use the right equipment. It is recommended to clean the grout once a week, so try and add this into your normal cleaning schedule in order to prevent a larger grout cleaning job in the future. When you’re cleaning it regularly, you can end up just wiping it down with some alcohol in order to keep any mould or mildew away.

By cleaning your grout often, you can save yourself time and effort in the future. Also, your tiles and grout can shine together when they’re both cleaned.

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About the Author

Hi, you can call me Steve. I have been with Clean Group for almost four years now and work as a Regional Operations Manager in Sydney. I manage a team of 10 and am responsible for the day-to-day management of cleaning operations, planning, online assessment for clients, overseeing operations, collecting clients' feedback and ensuring proper & regular maintenance of cleaning equipment. Having more than 30 years of experience in the commercial cleaning industry, I am familiar with my clients’ needs and always able to meet their expectations. Do reach me for a quick chat about your cleaning needs.

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