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1 June 2021

How to Clean Tile Grout

Are you fed up of the dirty looking tile grouting?

Is it infested with mildew, discolouration and griminess?

This is quite normal as over time as dirt builds up on grout, especially in corners and tight areas between tiles.

Grout is made from a mixture of cement, sand and water, and since it’s porous, it will easily stain and discolour over time.

In bathrooms and showers the problem gets more pronounced as mould and mildew will often end up developing due to high moisture levels.

So it’s an unfortunate fact that discolouring and stained grout is a common occurrence in properties where tiles are present.

The first thought is that it won’t be easy to restore the grout back to its original colour again.

However it’s not impossible as long as you know how to go about it.

The following tips will help you clean your tile grout effectively to get rid of that unappealing appearance which has been bothering you so much.

We’ve included mild cleaning options which may be enough to clean the grout, as well as more aggressive cleaning solutions for dirtier and discoloured grout.

Cleaning Tile Grout with Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening Toothpaste

Lot of people are unaware you can use whitening toothpaste to restore tile grout to its original colour.

All you need is whitening toothpaste and an old toothbrush.

An modern electric toothbrush is recommended as it will make the scrubbing more effortless.

Alternatively, you may use a scrubbing brush or a scourer.

Whitening toothpaste should work well as it’s a mild abrasive, so any black tinges on the grout should be removed quite easily as soon as you start to scrub.

Cleaning Tile Grout with a Grout Eraser

Grout Eraser

Another good option is to use a grout eraser.

This tool is specifically made for the job.

Simply wet the sponge and start scrubbing over the grouting with the grout eraser.

The grime on the grout should start to be lifted off quite easily and quickly.

Make sure to have some sponges to replace the one you are using on the eraser every now and then.

Cleaning Tile Grout with Mould Remover

Mould removers come in spray form and work well in removing mould and mildew on grouting.

Make sure you wear gloves when using mould remover.

Simply spray it onto the grouting you want to clean, and allow it to work for a few minutes.

Check the instructions on the packaging as this may vary from one mould remover to another, depending on the brand.

Afterwards, start brushing the grout with an old toothbrush or nail brush.

Once you’re done, rinse the areas to remove the loosened dirt.

Wipe with a cloth to inspect the tiles.

In case there’s still some mould and dirt to remove, you may need to repeat the process.

Cleaning Tile Grout with Vinegar Spray

White Vinegar

Vinegar works wonders in cleaning tile grout.

Use distilled white vinegar for best results.

Simply mix a solution made up of half vinegar and half water.

Use a spray bottle to spray the mixture onto the grout you would like to clean.

Leave it to stand for around five minutes.

Then, use a scrubbing brush to scrub the area.

In case of mild stains, vinegar should work well enough even to restore the grout to its original colour.

It’s recommended to do this simple cleaning process on a regular basis as it can help to keep your tile grouting in great condition.

Cleaning Tile Grout with Bleach

Cleaning Sponge

A very effective cleaning option is to use bleach.

This is also recommended for stubborn stains on grout.

Before you start cleaning with bleach make sure the room is well ventilated.

You can either pour some bleach in a cup and dip an old toothbrush into it and start scrubbing the grout.

Alternatively you can mix bleach with some bicarbonate of soda to create a paste.

This can be easily applied to the grout and scrubbed with a toothbrush.

Allow it to stand for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse away with water or by wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Cleaning Tile Grout with Bicarbonate Soda

Bicarbonate Soda

Bicarbonate of soda is commonly used for cleaning purposes.

As noted earlier, it can be mixed with bleach.

It can also be mixed with white vinegar.

This method is especially ideal in cases where the grout t is noticeably discoloured.

When you mix them together, a paste will form and this can be applied to the grout using a small brush or toothbrush.

Allow it to settle on the area for 15 minutes and then rinse well.

You can also use bicarbonate of soda on its own.

When it’s mixed with water it can also produce a paste that can be rubbed into dirty grout.

Cleaning Tile Grout by Regrouting

Freshly Grouted Tiles

Regrouting is recommended when your grout is in a very poor condition.

Even when it’s been cleaned with various methods as recommended above, and yet the results are still not satisfactory, regrouting might be necessary.

This is a process whereby you will need to remove the old grout by scraping it off.

This is not that simple and it is best to use an oscillating tool in case there are a considerable number of tiles that you will be regrouting.

Once the old grout is removed, clean up the area and allow it to dry well.

Afterwards, mix the new grout and start applying it as neatly as possible using a grout float.

Clean up extra grout with a sponge as soon as possible to prevent the grout from hardening.

Cleaning Tile Grout Without Chemicals

Electric Toothbrush

Chemical solutions can be highly effective to clean stubborn stains and grout that is very dirty.

However, heavy chemical cleaners, such as bleach, are dangerous since they give off fumes when used.

Besides, if they are mixed with other products they could be even more dangerous when inhaled.

Hence, it’s best to avoid using chemicals wherever you can.

Indeed, there are various other cleaning solutions that you could try using before resorting to chemicals.

Sometimes all your grout really needs is a good, thorough scrub.

Try using some warm water and a scrubbing brush or electric toothbrush to see if this works well enough.

Chances are that most of the dirt can be removed even this way.

You can also stick to natural cleaning agents such as white vinegar and baking soda.

Generally these will suffice in cleaning tile grout well enough.

Tips to Cleaning Shower Grout

Bathroom Tiles

The shower grout can be a bit trickier to clean since there are various corners, which can be quite tight at times.

To make cleaning shower grout a bit easier, you can prepare a solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

If the cleaning needs to be more thorough, you may wish to opt for a bleach solution.

It is a good idea to run a hot shower prior to starting the cleaning process to dampen the tiles and grout.

Spray the solution onto the grout, and after about 10 to 15 minutes start scrubbing with a toothbrush or a cotton wool bud.

These are both ideal for the corners of the shower as you will manage to reach difficult spots quite easily.

It’s recommended that you wipe down the walls of the shower with a clean cloth to reduce the mould and grime that builds up as a result of water and soap used in the shower.

Tips to Cleaning Floor Tile Grout

Floor Tiles

Cleaning floor tiles grout requires a lot of effort as you will need to bend down for quite some time.

Hence it’s best to opt for a cleaning solution that can be as effective as possible to lessen the time required to clean up the grout properly.

For floor tile grout, it’s recommended that you mix a cup of peroxide with a cup of baking soda.

Wear gloves while doing so.

Then start applying this solution to the floor grout.

This can be done either by using a spray bottle or directly with an old toothbrush.

Allow the solution to sit on the floor grout for at least 15 minutes.

Afterwards start scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Once you finish scrubbing, rinse well using warm water.


Cleaning tile grout is important as mildew and other grime are not ideal to have around.

Spores from mildew can lead to health conditions such as asthma, not to mention the fact that they look unsightly.

While there are different cleaning methods and products that you can use, it’s best to avoid chemicals as much as possible.

Homemade cleaning solutions with white vinegar or baking soda usually work well enough.

In case natural cleaning agents still do not do the trick, you can then opt for more drastic solutions such as bleach, or even consider regrouting the tiles completely for a brand new, fresh look.

Related Article: How to Clean Venetian Blinds

How to Clean Tile Grout
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How to Clean Tile Grout
Read our blog to learn how to clean tile grout using various methods including chemicals, natural cleaners and methods.
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