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Cleaning Grout

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Someone cleaning tile grout with a toothbrush.

Dirty grout can make tiled surfaces look unsightly. Regular cleaning can remove stains, mold, and mildew. This is a guide about cleaning grout.


Solutions: Cleaning Grout

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Tip: Magic Eraser To Clean Grout

I can't believe how well this worked; you all know about those Magic Erasers that you can pick up really cheap at the Dollar Store; they work super-duper on black marks on the wall.

If you carry a small container of warm water with you and use those Magic Erasers on ceramic tile, and especially to clean grout between your tiles, without much elbow work at all, the grout comes clean. It is like magic.

One eraser cleaner lasted long enough, after dipping it in water to clean it out, to clean about 15-20 ceramic tiles and the grout in between. I picked up three Magic Erasers in a bundle for less than $2.00. This is a hands-and-knees job, but I have not been able to find anything that cleans grout as easily as this.

By kghornsten from Davis, CA

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Here are questions related to Cleaning Grout.

Question: Cleaning Grout

What can I use to clean white bathroom tile? I have 3 bathrooms with white tile and it is very tiresome trying to keep the white caulk between each square tile clean. I have been using a toothbrush to scrub it, but I thought you had a better idea. Please help.

By Onesummer


Best Answers

By Lee [4]11/13/2010

Don't clean it. Paint it. Go to the hardware store in the tub and tile section. They have paint in a bottle that has a roller on it. I think it worked great. And it stayed on a long time.

Best Answers

By Faye08/19/2010

I have successfully used vinegar on grout. Pour white vinegar directly onto the grout and let sit a few minutes, then use a scrub brush or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Wipe away excess with a towel. I have found that it's best to clean a small area at a time.

Best Answers

By Ginny [26]08/17/2010

I just used hydrogen peroxide on my grout, and it worked. Just put it on, let it sit for a while, scrub it with a small brush (I used a small brush used for your nails) and wiped dry. I was amazed, as it took off lots of grime left by a previous owner of our condo.

Best Answers


Please try not to use bleach for anything. It's toxic to the environment and hazardous to your lungs.

Here's a safe and healthy tile/grout cleanser and if anyone wants a complete list of Homemade Green Cleanser Tips/Recipes just click on my contact button and I will gladly email the Word document to you:

Tub, Tile and Grout Cleaner:

Rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.)

Question: Cleaning Grout Without Chemicals

Any ideas on cleaning shower grout without chemicals? I've thought about using a steam cleaner, but I don't know if they really work. What is the best type?

By Carol from NH


Best Answers


I've heard that Home Depot, and probably regular hardware stores like ACE, sell a non-toxic citrus grout cleaner.

Best Answers

By Angela Truitt09/22/2008

Try a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Also, they'll last longer if you don't get them too wet.

Question: Cleaning Dingy Grout

My bathroom grout in my ceramic tile is filthy. How do I get it clean without replacing it?

By Karen from Whitelaw, WI

Best Answers

By lisa Hegewald [3]03/04/2011

Ammonia. Dilute it and spray it on. Let it sit for a half hour or so then scrub with a brush. You can even use Windex. This will work better than bleach or anything else I've tried, with much less scrubbing. The ammonia lifts the oils from the grout.

Best Answers

By KatherineC [21]08/11/2010

I have been successful cleaning grout with a toothbrush and bleach.

Question: Cleaning Tile Floor Grout

Does anyone know a secret on how to clean tile grout on the bathroom floor? I have tried everything I could think of including some horrible smelling chemical I got at Lowe's. Thanks for any and all ideas.

By Gail

Best Answer

By Faye05/11/2011

Allow vinegar to soak on the tile grout by placing paper towels on the grout soaked with it. Take care to try not to leave it on the stainless steel or aluminum type drain that's in the shower, as too much exposure could pit it. It won't hurt the grout at all. After it has soaked a while, take a scrub brush or toothbrush to it. It should clean it up really well.

Question: Cleaning Grout Between Floor Tiles

How can I clean filthy grout on tile floors without getting on my hands and knees? I live in an old rental house that has filthy floors. I have arthritis in both knees and can't afford to hire someone to clean the floors.

By lasamons

Most Recent Answer

By Diana Sue M. [5]12/31/2012

No need to get down on your knees. Use something like Simple Green, or like mentioned before for carpet odors salt and lemon juice in a spray bottle - anyway spray on floor. Use a broom to scrub your floor! Then mop up residue. Hope this helps!

Question: Cleaning Stained Bathroom Tile Grout

My entire shower is tiled, ceiling and all. There is a residue, hard water stains (?) that turns pinkish and responds to over the counter and home-made cleaners. However, the ceiling tile grout turns dark gray and nothing I've tried gets it clean.

I've already tried baking soda, Borax, Scrubbing Bubbles, Comet, BonAmi, Melaluca stuff, Brillo, and Magic Erasers. Aside from straight bleach, what else should I try? I usually look like someone from HazMat when cleaning the ceiling. I would prefer something not harmful to children and pets.

By HamptonHeron from Hampton Rds., VA

Most Recent Answer

By helen [64]10/24/2009

Hi I clean my bathroom tile grout with toothpaste spread on to an old toothbrush if you have a large area to cover then spread toothpaste onto a soft bristle scrubbing brush. Let me know what worked the best. Good luck, Helen

Question: Cleaning Tile and Grout

The grouting in my bathroom is discoloured, only a year old. The tiles are white, the grouting was white and now looks yellowish. It is not a result of soap scum, etc. The grouting manufacturer says it is atmospheric conditions. Any help would be appreciated.

By Tizzyfluff from Scotland

Most Recent Answer

By Tina06/05/2010

Our Dollar Store in America makes a cleaning product called Tuff Stuff. Its in the automotive section. If you have a dollar store in your area, run, dont walk and grab yourself a couple of cans of it. You will be glad you did. Spray it on, wait 5 minutes and wipe it off. It will clean the grout and the tile. If the stains are stubborn, use an old toothbrush. I'm telling you, it works. Does great on carpets too.

Question: Cleaning Floor Grout

I made the mistake of choosing a light colored grout for my ceramic floors and now they look gross and dingy. How do I restore the color to the grout and keep it from looking so dirty?

By Adriana P. from Galveston, TX

Most Recent Answer

By Kelvin Magee04/01/2013

I do professional floor cleaning for a living and the biggest mistake I find is people using homemade recipes. Yea I know it works, so people say but being in the business as long as I have I can see the damage to the tile & grout from using household products. Usually bleach, vinegar, pine -sol etc. Pro -long use can cause damage to the tile and grout. Even with the powerful equipment I have in some cases I have had to tell the client they will have to buy new flooring from using these products. Don't let this happen to you.

Answer to your question. If you cannot afford a professional. There are products at you local hardware chains that sell cleaners designed for cleaning tile and grout. Follow the directions and always test an area. If you get the results you need maintain your tile and grout with a neutral cleaner or just plain water. Good luck.

What does bleach and vinegar do to tile and grout?

Bleach is an acidic product that should not be used to clean ceramic tile floors. Bleach will break down the grout and also cause the colored cements in the grout to wear away. Bleach will literally bleach away the color in the grout. Eventually the grout will start to loose its deep rich colors and also cause your grout to look splotchy.

Vinegar is an acidic product that was never meant to be used to clean ceramic tile and grout. Prolonged use of vinegar will eat away at the grout and cause the grout to break down. Additionally vinegar is difficult to totally rinse away after using it to clean ceramic tile floors. A vinegar residue will start to accumulate inside of the grout that is extremely difficult to remove.

Question: Tile Floor Grout Cleaner Suggestion

My bathroom floor tiles and grout are white. The grout is really dirty and almost black in some places. I have tried several grout cleaners. Does anyone has one that really works for this stubborn area?

By Rose

Most Recent Answer

By Sandy C.11/26/2012

I use awesome cleaner straight out of bottle.

Question: Cleaning Mildew on Shower Grout

We have a shower that doesn't get the best ventilation, so I have a hard time keeping mildew out of the grout. It is exhausting trying to clean it. I saw a suggestion of a Clorox bleach pen. Do you think that will work? or does someone have a better idea. I'm sick of spraying bleach and scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing!

By Michelle P

Most Recent Answer

By Kathie622 [3]10/10/2012

You may need to regrout. After time, grout becomes porous and picks up mildew quickly. Once you do that, I suggest you get a squeegee (sp?) and wipe down the walls after you shower. It only takes about a minute to do all 3 walls. I use a small fan facing the shower to dry it quicker as I don't have ventilation either. This should help somewhat. My housekeeper cleans the shower walls and ceiling with Clorox Cleanup about once a month and this maintains it well.

Question: Cleaning Kitchen Grout

What is the easiest way to clean kitchen grout without scrubbing?

By Sherrie P.

Most Recent Answer

By Joyann03/29/2012

Someone else might be able to tell you how to clean grout, but the grout in my bathroom floor was discolored, so I purchased some grout paint at Home Depot. You use a small brush to paint it on (you don't have to avoid getting it on the tiles), then immediately use a dry cloth to wipe over it, wiping the tiles, not the grout. It was fast and easy and worked great. The paint can also be used on kitchen countertops and walls and in shower stalls. It is very durable and will hold up to frequent cleaning. It comes in several colors.

Question: Cleaning Grout in Shower

The grout on my shower floor has a few black lines that don't clean out. What to do?

By Jeanne from Cortez, CO

Question: Cleaning Painted Grout

After painting old grout with concrete paint do you mop regularly using vinegar and water solution to clean ceramic tile floors?

By Alexxis F.

Question: Cleaning Grout and Tile

What is the best way to clean tile and grout that is mucky?

By Marion from Parsippany, NJ


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning Grout

Can anyone tell me what to use to clean grout. I have porcelain tile floors in my kitchen and dining room, and the grouting is dirty and stained. I've tried different cleaners such as Pine Sol, bleach, etc., but nothing seems to really make the grouting look like new again. The grout was "sealed" when installed two years ago, but it didn't seem to protect it against everyday spills and dirt!

Debbie from NJ

Clorox Clean-up 06/29/2005
Spray on Clorox Clean-up, or make a similar bleach solution yourself. You can also consider dying the grout.
By Anna
Advice 06/29/2005
Part of the problem may be that you need to use a very stiff scrub brush in addition to the cleaner. I found a nice grout brush at Target for about $3 that worked wonders on my bathroom tile. Good stiff plastic bristles and it says "grout brush" on the label. I went up and down the rows of brushes and scraped them on my hand, looking for the one with the stiffest bristles.

My sister in law had brown grout put in on her kitchen tile because she knew that the grout would eventually brown up, but then wished she hadn't as it looked perpetually dirty after day 1.

A friend had new grout laid over the old grout and sealed, just 'cause she didn't like the browning effect of the original grout and then wasn't pleased because the second layer of grout dried orange, even though the sample was more beige. Sometimes that happens.

By Holly (Guest Post)
Stiff Tooth Brush 06/30/2005
Clean the grout with soft scrub cleaner and a stiff tooth brush, then reseal.
By Danielle (Guest Post)
Awesome 06/30/2005
Hydrogen peroxide works really well and a product called Awesome found at Dollar tree works really well. You do have to scrub though and then rinse. You can do the wipe up with a big rag mop. Mine isn't sealed. I have heard you have to do it every year.
By suzi homemaker (Guest Post)
Hydrogen Peroxide 06/30/2005
I have a house full of floor and wall tile, I often use hydrogen peroxide to clean up the grout lines. It will break down the dirt and then you can rinse the tile with water on a damp mop or rag.
By pavanco1
Bar Keeper's Friend 07/21/2005
Try Bar Keeper's Friend. Go to It's sold at Bed Bath & Beyond. I've seen it off and on at Wal-mart. Some grocery stores carry it also.
By Jennifer, CA (Guest Post)
Coca Cola 07/21/2005
Tile grout can be cleaned with coca cola. Just pour it full strength on the tile grout and leave it for about 30 minutes or so (you can test it) and then use a tooth brush or scouring pad. I've tried this and it works. Just mop the floor when you're through and you're done. Have fun grouting!
By peggygv (Guest Post)
Toothpaste for Stains 08/03/2005
If you have white grout, and a stain that just won't come out, I've used a whitening toothpaste and scrubbed the spot with a toothbrush. Peroxide didn't work on a spaghetti sauce stain, but the toothpaste did. Go figure.
By Gail (Guest Post)
Grout Brush 01/13/2006
I have that nice grout brush from Target that another poster mentioned. It's worth the money because it is made specifically for that purpose, has nice stiff bristles and a nice sort of padded gripper handle. I think it would also work well for shower door tracks, altho I haven't used it yet for that. I tried a Magic Eraser on my dirty grout and it got it clean as could be; however you'd have to use too many of them, as they wear out quickly. Might work though on just a badly stained area. Also Clorox Clean Up works but I imagine just some straight bleach would do the trick.
By Debbie52

Archive: Cleaning Grout

I have white tile floors with white grout. The grout is very dirty. I have tried several different cleaning materials for grout but none work very well.


Archive: Cleaning Grout

How do you clean white grout on a tile floor and is there anyway to re-grout in a darker color?


Archive: Cleaning Grout

What is the best way to clean grout?


Archive: Cleaning Grout

Is there any easy way to clean grout? It tool me 2 hours to clean an 8 ft. x 6 ft. section, on my hand and knees with scrub brush and bleach. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Archive: Cleaning Grout and Tile

How do I clean bathroom grout and tiles?