How to Clean Grout – The Ultimate Guide

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You’re fed up with the stains on your grout lines, aren’t you? Well, you’re in the right place! This guide will walk you through five tried-and-true methods on How to Clean Grout.

You’ll be testing each one, comparing their efficiency, and best of all, watching your tiles shine again.

So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get those grout lines looking fresh and clean.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

How to Clean Grout

You’ve got five effective methods to choose from when it comes to cleaning your grout. Each method employs a different grout cleaner, from a Magic Eraser to a Tide to Go pen, and even a homemade concoction of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. The trick is finding the one that works best for your tile grout.

First, the Magic Eraser is a simple scrubbing tool that requires a bit of elbow grease. Using it dry or damp can help clean grout effectively. The Tide to Go pen, on the other hand, is a convenient option for spot cleaning.

If you lean towards natural solutions, a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can be used. Create a paste using baking soda and water, apply to the grout lines, and let it sit. After 10 minutes, scrub the grout with a brush, then rinse.

Lastly, Zep Grout Cleaner & Brightener is a commercial product that outperforms others in terms of effectiveness. It’s the top choice when you want a comprehensive grout cleaner that can tackle even the toughest stains.

Types of Grout

You’re about to dive into the world of grout types. As you navigate, you’ll encounter sanded, unsanded, and epoxy grout, each with its unique properties.

You’ll learn how your choice influences cleaning methods and the overall look of your tile project.

Ready to make informed decisions for a better, more beautiful surface? Let’s get started on this journey through the nitty-gritty of grout.

Sanded Grout

If you’re dealing with wide grout lines, you’ll want to opt for sanded grout. This type of grout contains large sand grains, preventing it from cracking. Its gritty texture gives your grout and tile a distinct look.

Remember, it’s porous, so seal it to make cleaning your tile floor easier.

Unsanded Grout

For those tighter grout seams, you’ll find unsanded grout to be your best bet. Among the types of grout, it’s smooth, easy to clean, and perfect for vertical surfaces. This white grout has a thinner consistency than epoxy grout, making it more user-friendly. Its fine mineral content creates a sleek finish, which is ideal for jobs requiring precision.

Epoxy Grout

Continuing with your grout journey, let’s delve into epoxy grout, your go-to choice when you’re after toughness and water resistance. Among the types of grout, this is perfect for your floor due to its resilience.

However, its shinier finish and rapid setting time can highlight imperfections. It’s also trickier to apply and clean tile with, and tends to be pricier.

Despite these, it remains one of the best ways to clean.

How I Tested the Methods for Cleaning Grout

In my quest to find the most effective grout cleaning method, here’s how I tackled the dirty task at hand. The kitchen in our new home, with its thick, blackened grout lines, served as the perfect testing ground for various methods for cleaning grout.

For each method, I focused on a 12-inch line of grout. I prepared the solution, applied it using a grout brush, and subsequently wiped it away with a wet paper towel. The total time listed for each method reflects how long it took to clean that particular stretch of grout.

I tested the methods and rated them on a scale of 1 to 5, considering the effectiveness, ease of use, and the time taken. It’s important to note that if you’re dealing with larger areas, you’d be better off using a rag instead of paper towels to clean your grout.

Grout Cleaning Method: Magic Eraser

Credit: Sarah Crowley

  • Total time: Less than a minute  
  • Rating: 2/5

While it may not be your first choice for tackling grubby grout, a Magic Eraser can be a quick fix if you’re in a pinch. This grout cleaning method: magic eraser is particularly useful for those unexpected grout stains that need immediate attention. Here’s how it works.

  1. Wet the Magic Eraser, squeeze it out, but not fully, and then use it to scrub the grout.
  2. However, this method does come with some reservations. The rough surface of grout can quickly wear down a Magic Eraser, so it’s not the best solution for large areas. Furthermore, bits of the Magic Eraser can crumble and be left behind, necessitating a follow-up with the vacuum cleaner.

In terms of grout maintenance, the Magic Eraser method is better suited as an emergency measure rather than a regular cleaning solution. Despite the quick fix it offers, it’s not a recommended go-to for clean grout. It’s also not the most economical choice, as you might find yourself going through multiple erasers in one cleaning session.

Grout Cleaning Method: Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Credit: Sarah Crowley

  • Total time: 2 minutes 
  • Rating: 3/5

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Moving on from the Magic Eraser method, let’s dive into a more homemade solution for grout cleaning: a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

This grout cleaning method: hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, is both simple and cost-effective. You’ll likely have these everyday ingredients already on hand.

  1. Begin by mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a bowl, creating a somewhat runny baking soda paste. The consistency of the paste can vary, but keep in mind, the more baking soda you use, the more white residue you’ll need to clean off later.
  2. Now, grab your grout brush. Apply the paste to the grout and scrub thoroughly. Don’t be shy; give it some elbow grease. Once you’ve scrubbed all the grout, wipe away the residue with a damp cloth or mop.

This method is best-suited for grout that isn’t too dirty or for quick touch-ups between deep cleanings. While it may not provide a dramatic before-and-after, it’s a practical way to maintain clean grout in between more intensive cleanings.

Just remember, consistency is key when maintaining sparkling grout lines.

Grout Cleaning Method: Tide to Go Pen

Credit: Sarah Crowley

  • Total time: 2 minutes  
  • Rating: 3/5 

For your next grout cleaning task, you’ll find a Tide to Go Pen surprisingly handy. This grout cleaning method is simple and straightforward.

  1. You just shake the pen, uncork it, and ‘write’ along your grout line. If you’re unfamiliar with Tide pens, they come with a stiff, chiseled tip. You just press it down on your tile and grout surface to release the cleaning liquid.
  2. After you’ve applied a good amount of Tide to your grout, follow up with a good scrub using a grout brush. Finally, wipe away the excess liquid with a wet paper towel.

You’ll find that the Tide pen can make a noticeable difference in the appearance of your grout. However, it’s not the most cost-effective method for cleaning a whole room’s worth of dirty grout.

Given its relatively fine tip, a Tide pen is best suited for touch-ups. For instance, it works wonders on the grout along the backsplash near your stovetop. So, when you’re dealing with small areas of dirty grout, a Tide to Go Pen can be a quick and easy solution.

Grout Cleaning Method: Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Lemon Juice

Credit: Sarah Crowley

  • Total time: 2.5 minutes
  • Rating: 4/5

You’ll find the combination of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice to be an effective and budget-friendly method for cleaning grout. It’s a simple grout cleaning method that uses common household items and offers surprising results.

  1. To begin, combine juice from half a lemon, about a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a sprinkle of baking soda. This mixture will be a bit runny.
  2. Dip your grout brush into the solution and scrub it onto the dirty grout lines.
  3. After scrubbing, wipe away the excess liquid with a paper towel.

This grout cleaning method works by leveraging the acidic properties of vinegar and lemon juice, which cut through grime, and the scrubbing power of baking soda. The mild bleaching properties of lemon juice also help in lightening dirty grout.

Don’t be deterred by the fact that vinegar and baking soda combine to essentially create salt. This simple chemical reaction doesn’t hinder the cleaning power of this homemade solution. In fact, you’ll see dirt lifting right before your eyes.

Grout Cleaning Method: Zep Grout Cleaner & Brightener

Credit: Sarah Crowley

  • Total time: 5.5 minutes (including 3 minutes of waiting time)  
  • Rating: 5/5 

After trying out the homemade vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice method, the next grout cleaner you should consider is the Zep Grout Cleaner & Brightener. This grout cleaning method is a game-changer. Packaged in a large 32-ounce bottle, this grout cleaner and brightener is easy to use.

  1. Just tip the bottle and run it along the grout lines. If you’re working on a wall, you can apply it with a brush or rag.
  2. Let the Zep grout cleaner sit for three minutes, then scrub. Remember, it’s a strong acid, so you’ll need to wear cleaning gloves and eye protection.
  3. If you’re cleaning a large area, work in sections and then wash away with a wet rag.

Zep Grout Cleaner & Brightener outperforms other methods, even visibly lifting dirt right in front of your eyes. You’ll be amazed at how it cleans grout, reaching even the deepest pores. However, it’s strong and can be dangerous, so follow the instructions carefully. Avoid using it on natural stone and keep it away from children and pets.

Despite these precautions, when you want to clean grout effectively, Zep is a clear winner.

UP NEXT: How to Clean Vinyl Floors – The Ultimate Guide

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Clean Grout

How do I deep clean grout?

To deep clean grout, you can use a mixture of water and oxygen bleach. Mix the oxygen bleach according to the instructions on the packaging and apply it to the grout lines. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub the grout with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly with water and your grout will look like new.

How can I remove stubborn stains from grout?

If you’re dealing with stubborn stains on your grout, chlorine bleach can be effective in removing them. Dilute the chlorine bleach with water in a well-ventilated area and apply it to the stained areas. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub the grout with a brush. Rinse thoroughly with water afterwards to ensure all the bleach residue is removed and your grout will be sparkling clean.

What are some natural ways to clean grout?

If you prefer to use natural methods to clean your grout, you can create a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the grout lines and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a brush. Rinse off the paste with water and your grout will be like new.

Can I use a tile cleaner to clean grout?

Yes, you can use a tile cleaner to clean grout. Look for a tile cleaner that specifically mentions grout cleaning on the label. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and use a brush to scrub the grout lines. Rinse thoroughly afterwards to remove any residue.

How do I clean grout on tile walls?

To clean grout on tile walls, you can use the same methods mentioned earlier. Whether you choose to use a bleach solution, a baking soda paste, or a tile cleaner, the process involves applying the cleaning solution to the grout lines, scrubbing with a brush, and rinsing thoroughly with water.

What other methods can I try to clean grout?

If the above methods don’t work for you, there are other options you can try. You can make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, or create a vinegar and water solution. Apply these to the grout lines, let them sit for a few minutes, scrub, and rinse. You can also consider using a steam cleaner or hiring a professional grout cleaning service.

Photo of author


Ira Njoroge

Hey, I’m Ira Njoroge, the founder of MySpaceAffair. Early on in my life, I had a passion to embark on a mission to create a cleaner, and more organized household. With a bachelor's degree in engineering after graduating from the University of Maryland in 2015 and seven years as a General Contractor and professional cleaner, on top of my DIY Enthusiasm. I saw the need for a reliable information source for homeowners. My passion, diligence, experience, and hired professionals confirms the reliability of all the advice given in My Space Affair and I hope to provide you all with reliable and thorough content!

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