How to Clean Grout: DIY Tips and Tricks

Read time: 5 mins

Scrubbing grout without seeing any improvement can be frustrating, and the fumes from bleach or other harsh cleaners make the task even more unpleasant. But there's a simpler and safer way to tackle your grout cleaning. 

While you can always opt for professional cleaning services like the COIT Team for best results, this guide is all about empowering you with effective DIY methods. 

Whether you're dealing with bathroom grime, kitchen stains, or even a commercial space in need of a refresh, our straightforward recipes and tips will help you achieve clean grout with ease.

Understanding Grout and Its Challenges

Grout is the filler between tiles that often becomes a magnet for dirt and grime, leading to staining and discoloration. Knowing how grout works and why it gets dirty is essential for proper cleaning.

It's important to recognize that grout is porous, making it susceptible to absorbing liquids and debris, which contributes to its quick soiling. 

In areas with high moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens, grout can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, further complicating cleaning efforts.

DIY Grout Cleaning Solutions

Recipe 1: Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution

Ingredients: Baking soda, vinegar, water.

Instructions: Create a paste with baking soda and water, apply to grout, then spray with vinegar. Scrub post-fizzing and rinse. 

Bonus: Clean drains by pouring ½ cup baking soda down drain and following with ½ cup vinegar.  Caution: Do not use vinegar if you have natural stone tiles like marble.

Best For: Mild stains and routine cleaning.

Recipe 2: Alternative Natural Cleaners

Options: Lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide are great for their natural bleaching effects.

Recipe 3: Oxygen Bleach Solution

Ingredients: Oxygen bleach powder (like OxiClean), warm water.

Instructions: Dissolve oxygen bleach in warm water, apply to grout, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then scrub and rinse.

Best For: Deeper stains and areas needing a more robust cleaning.

Recipe 4: Salt and Detergent Paste

Ingredients: Table salt, liquid dish detergent, water.

Instructions: Mix equal parts of salt and detergent with a bit of water to form a paste. Apply it to the grout, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse.

Best For: Grime and grease in kitchen tile grout, providing a gentle yet effective cleaning solution.

Best Practices for Grout Cleaning

  • Use a stiff brush and scrub your grout in circular motions. This method helps break down dirt effectively. 
  • Clean your grout at least once a month to avoid deep stains setting in. When using homemade cleaners, always wear gloves and open windows for good airflow.
  • Use a tile brush drill attachment or old electric toothbrush to speed up cleaning. This is particularly useful in large or commercial spaces in need of grout cleaning. 
  • If you have a cordless drill, several companies make scrub brush attachments for the drill. Pick your favorite cleaner (we recommend baking soda) and let the drill do the scrubbing.

Check out our Cleaning and Restoration Spot Removal blogs for detailed instructions on how to clean the most common household stains and spots. 

Preventive Measures and Maintenance

Clean up spills as soon as they happen and regularly wipe down tiled areas during deep cleans. This keeps your grout looking clean for longer. Sweep and mop the area frequently to stop dirt from building up in the grout.

You can also keep a spray bottle mixed with half vinegar and half water in your shower.  Simply spray your shower with the mixture after each shower-you’ll be amazed how clean your shower stays.  Bonus: use liquid soap instead of bar soap and say goodbye to soap scum.

Popular Questions and Professional Answers

What is the best way to clean grout?

The best way to clean grout involves a combination of regular maintenance and targeted deep cleaning. 

Use a baking soda and vinegar solution for general cleaning, and for tougher stains, consider stronger natural cleaners like hydrogen peroxide.

How can I get my grout white again?

To restore grout to its original white color, use a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Apply it to the grout, let it sit for several minutes, then scrub gently and rinse. For persistent stains, repeating the process may be necessary.

How do you remove dirty grout?

Removing dirty grout requires a two-step approach: first, apply a cleaning solution like vinegar or a commercially available grout cleaner, then scrub vigorously with a grout brush. 

For extremely dirty grout, a grout removal tool might be needed to scrape out the old grout before reapplying new grout.

What is the best homemade grout cleaner?

The best homemade grout cleaner is a mix of baking soda and vinegar. This solution is effective for most grout cleaning needs and is safe for regular use.

What do professionals use to clean grout?

Professionals often use commercial-grade grout cleaners that contain stronger acids or alkaline solutions. They may also use steam cleaners for a deep clean that doesn't involve harsh chemicals.

How do you clean grout without scrubbing it?

To clean grout without scrubbing, apply a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This helps to loosen the dirt and grime, making it easier to wipe away with a cloth or sponge. For tougher stains, a second application may be necessary.

Remove Grout Stains With COIT

If nothing seems to work, a professional cleaning and grout staining might be the only thing that saves you from re-grouting. Contact COIT today or find a location near you. 

Need more amazing cleaning tips?  Check out the COIT blog

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