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Cleaning Grout

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Dirty grout can make tiled surfaces look unsightly. Regular cleaning can remove stains, mold, and mildew. This is a guide about cleaning grout.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 9, 2010

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.

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By Onesummer

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 1, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I know this will sound strange, but my granddaughter sent me 100 ways to use Coke. Cleaning grout was one of them. Just pour a can of Coca Cola on the floor or the counter and wipe it up. Must use the name brand.
Hope this will help.

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January 29, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have an amazing new cleaner that got my grout white! It's called ZEP Grout Cleaner. It's only sold at Home Depot. I bought a 14yr old house that came with white tiles, and what was supposed to be white grout. I poured some on and used an old brush that's used to clean bird cages. And voila, I have amazing white grout. I'd tried absolutely everything to get this floor clean, and this was the one thing that worked!

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July 14, 20090 found this helpful
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Maybe your grout is dirtier than mine, but I just apply some Soft Scrub with a cloth making sure it's covering all the grout. Then I have a glass of tea while it works. I go back after about a half hour and use a stiff brush to scrub. It doesn't take much scrubbing, mostly just a couple or three swipes over each part and it's clean.

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August 17, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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November 13, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 7, 2010

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

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September 22, 20080 found this helpful
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Try a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Also, they'll last longer if you don't get them too wet.

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Anonymous
December 8, 20100 found this helpful
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I've heard that Home Depot, and probably regular hardware stores like ACE, sell a non-toxic citrus grout cleaner.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 11, 2010

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

By Karen from Whitelaw, WI

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful
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I have been successful cleaning grout with a toothbrush and bleach.

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March 4, 20111 found this helpful
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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.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2011

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

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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By 1 found this helpful
December 27, 2012

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

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December 31, 20120 found this helpful

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!

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By 0 found this helpful
October 22, 2009

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

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Did you try CLR? I know it's for hard water stains, but really it seems like you've tried everything.

Did you try fresh lemon juice? Try a small area, let it sit (you will probably have to experiment with how long it should stay on the grout), rinse and see what happens. There's a show on the BBC Channel called 'how clean is your house?' and those two women who clean are forever coming up with ways to clean things with lemons.

Or, see if Hints from Heloise - I don't know if you remember, but she had a newspaper column where you could send your cleaning questions to - see if she has a website and ask her.

Wait! Email Martha Stewart's web and I feel sure that woman can solve anything.

Maybe you can buy a white grout pen like at Home Depot kind of hardware store (is the tile supposed to be white in the first place?)

Then if and hope and pray it worked, I'd re-seal the grout. I know we were told by our contracter that tile grout has to be re-sealed every 2-3 years. You can buy the sealer at Home Depot stores.

I'd do the same on the grout that you were able to turn white again; maybe it will keep it white and you won't have to go through the grief again of grout issues, which I personally hate.

I'm just thinking that once you get it white (again, if it's supposed to be white) you can seal it and maybe it would stay white.

You know, I just thought of something. Go to a tile store, the kind where you buy the tile and they install it for you. I bet there's someone there that can recommend a product for you or could at least tell you what's going on with your weird grout.

Or ask someone at Home Depot. Really, you'll have to get lucky there because the Home Depot by us has most of their employees straight from high school who not only haven't a clue, but don't want one either.

Good luck. Post your results, ok? I'd like to see what worked for you.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Also, have you tried Barkeeper's Friend? I use it on my kitchen sink, otherwise called, spawn of Satan, because the porcelain sink stains when you just look at it.

I buy it at Kroger, my local grocery store, but I bet Target-like stores have it too.

I tried everything on it including soaking it in bleach, most of the products you tried; no luck.

Then I read about Barkeepers's Friend and it worked. Plus I found out today that it got rid of hardwater stains in my husband's bathroom. Don't ask me, he's the only one who gets hard water stains in his commode. Well it worked! and believe me, I tried everything and anything, even CLR and that type of thing, with no luck.

But someone on this site said not to use bleach in the commode for hard water stains - it will set them.
Yes, I read this bit of advice AFTER I used bleach in my commode.

I'm not saying that bleach will set the stains in your grout, but I'd try a small section first.

Good luck!

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Anonymous
October 24, 20090 found this helpful

Have you tried Oxiclean?

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful

Have you tried toilet bowl cleaner? I have used it on dark floor grout and it usually ends up at the original color. It probably has some clorine in it so be careful with eyes, especially on the ceiling.

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful

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

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By 0 found this helpful
March 10, 2010

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

Answers

March 10, 20100 found this helpful

You could paint it white. The hardware store would advise you on the proper paint to use.

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Anonymous
March 15, 20100 found this helpful

I think the contrast looks really nice and especially so if that's a floral tile that is showing in the photo (instead of a plant) and happens to have even a small similar amount of the grout color or any other items in your bathroom that might have a similar color for that matter :-)

People are often charged more for tinted contrast grout during installation ;-)

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

I have used Clorox wipes or even baby wipes to clean the grout. It is time consuming and hard work as you have to rub the grout possibly with the help of an old toothbrush but it works.

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June 5, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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July 6, 20120 found this helpful

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

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July 8, 20120 found this helpful

I feel your pain. My late husband was such a spiller of coffee that I considered mopping the whole floor with coffee to make it at least consistent.

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April 1, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 24, 2012

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

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November 26, 20120 found this helpful

I use awesome cleaner straight out of bottle.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 24, 2012

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

Answers

October 10, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 28, 2012

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

By Sherrie P.

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March 29, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 24, 2014

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

By Jeanne from Cortez, CO

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February 17, 20130 found this helpful

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

By Alexxis F.

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By 2 found this helpful
August 3, 2010

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

By Marion from Parsippany, NJ

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 7, 20100 found this helpful

How do you effectively clean grout without harmful chemicals? Should I replace the grout in the shower?

Harold from Tallahassee

Answers:

Cleaning Grout Without Chemicals

Try a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Also, they'll last longer if you don't get them too wet. (09/22/2008)

By gogogirl

Cleaning Grout Without Chemicals

Vinegar and a scrub brush removes dirt in plastic tubs and cleans soap scum off of glass and leaves it crystal clear! Its easy. (09/23/2008)

By luckyonetexas

RE: Cleaning Grout Without Chemicals

Cleaning Grout Without Chemicals

Just pour cheap bleach on the grout and go enjoy yourself for about 30 minutes. I have no idea where the goo goes, but it is gone. (09/24/2008)

By Tedebear

Cleaning Grout Without Chemicals

Home Depot sells a non-toxic grout cleaner made from oranges. Spray on, wait 2 minutes, scrub clean. You'd want to seal the grout after the cleaning though to prevent the problem from reoccurring, which of course isn't going to be non-toxic. (10/05/2008)

By Sabien

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November 9, 20100 found this helpful

How can I clean dirty floor tile grout? I've tried so many different suggestions, and really don't want to pay for professional cleaning.

By Betty from Bloomington, IL

Answers:

Cleaning Grout

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 wipe dry. I was amazed, as it took off lots of grime left by a previous owner of our condo. (08/17/2010)

By Ginnywest

Cleaning Grout

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. (08/19/2010)

By firefly57

Cleaning Grout

Use a Mr. clean magic eraser and a toothbrush. (08/19/2010)

By Skibum1910

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August 15, 20100 found this helpful

I am looking for information on cleaning grout.

By Jim from Sumter, SC

Answers:

Cleaning Grout

I saw on HGTV that you just mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and the fizziness plus HP makes the dirt absolutely disappear. You can do a large area with this method to save time. Good luck. (02/07/2010)

By fionarx

Cleaning Grout

First I started cleaning the tile with a Clorox pen. I worked hard and was not satisfied. Then I tried a grout pen to color the grout from Home Depot. Finding it expensive because each pen ran out quickly, I had the bright idea to use white shoe polish and an eyeshadow wan to color in the white grout. It worked and my bathroom had a facelift. It has been months now and the bathroom still looks good. Mopping did not effect it, I was surprised. Worked for me. (04/25/2010)

By aurwtk

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

I live in an older apartment and the grout between the tile is really dirty. Is there an effective way to clean this without completely re-grouting? Thanks in advance!

By Ginn from Tuscaloosa, AL

Answers:

Cleaning Dingy Grout

Have you tried bleach? (06/06/2010)

By sharikae

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August 3, 20100 found this helpful

After years of searching for something that cleans my ceramic tile pores and grout with no luck, I finally found a solution! I bought the spray cleaner Tuff Stuff from the dollar store for about $2.50 for a big can, sprayed it on, waited about five minutes and everything came off. The grout, the tile, all of it was clean.

You have to understand, I have had ceramic tile for 10 years and it looked bad because nothing could get into the uneven surface of the tile and get those specks of dirt out. The grout never came clean either.

After my floors looked like new, I tried it on my ceramic tile counter tops and they too look new. I made sure to rinse my counter tops thoroughly after cleaning them. Because my tiles had 10 years of stains, I had to use a toothbrush in some places, but it was so worth it. My floors are my pride and joy now.

By worksmart from WV

Answers:

Cleaning Grout and Tile

I was "introduced" to Tuff Stuff about 10 years ago by my uncle. He had a vehicle that needed old coffee stains (on med. grey interior) cleaned up. Also, some pet stains. Well all I could say at the time was wow! It made me a believer. To this day I use it on my own home carpets for spot cleaning, car interior, and bathroom and kitchen cleaning. The best stuff is Tuff Stuff! PS. Dollar General is the best price I've seen. (06/07/2010)

By peggyseitz

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June 6, 20100 found this helpful

To clean dingy grout, use the new "White Out" which has a small sponge brush. It's ideal for grout lines and puts a waterproof seal over your grout, which will last a long time.

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June 3, 20100 found this helpful

How do I clean bathroom grout and tiles?

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January 27, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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July 14, 20090 found this helpful

What is the best way to clean grout?

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

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

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November 29, 20060 found this helpful

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.

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June 29, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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