Do it all using ingredients you already have on hand
Tile is beautiful, sure, but it has a widely known dark side: grout. And we use “dark side” literally here, as in discolored and gross from grime and dirt getting trapped deep within its layers.
Much like cleaning behind the toilet, cleaning grout often feels like a job you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. And yet that dirty grime and dirt sandwiched between your tiles eventually gets embarrassing enough that you commit to getting rid of it whatever it takes.
At least scrubbing the grout is more fun than unclogging your shower head or changing your dishwasher filter? Well, maybe.
We get it. We’ve spent so much time confronting dirty grout, we’ve compiled 9 tricks to do it faster and more simply than most people realize can be done. So, without further ado, let’s get at your grout so you can get on with your day.
Dunk your brush in a bowl of water and give your grout a good scrub. Note: if you find that water’s just not cutting it, you can move on to the more aggressive methods below. Even if you do, scrubbing your grout with a good brush and water is a good first step for any of the methods listed here, since it helps prep the area by removing the first layer of scum.
Use a brush to apply the baking soda mixture to your grout lines. Then, spray the baking soda mixture with your vinegar solution. When the grout stops foaming, scrub with a grout brush or toothbrush. Finish by rinsing with plain water.
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
This method begins with making a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The portions of each ingredient can vary, depending on how thick you want the mixture to be. (We like a nice, thick option, almost like toothpaste.) Start by pouring a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl, then pour over the hydrogen peroxide until you get to your desired consistency. Spread the paste out onto the grout with a brush and let it sit for ten minutes. Use a toothbrush (consider an electric toothbrush for speed!) to scrub the coated areas and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Powdered oxygen bleach and water
Unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach is gentle and doesn’t have that strong, chemical odor. Make a paste by combining 2 parts powdered bleach and one part water in a bowl. Once you’ve achieved the consistency of toothpaste, apply the mixture to your grout lines. Let it sit there for 15 - 20 minutes, then use a brush to scrub vigorously. To finish, wipe the area clean with a damp cloth and do a final mop-up using a high-quality mop, like a Swiffer Wet Jet.
Chlorine bleach and water
If you have white grout, a household chlorine bleach will do the trick and it’s pretty simple. One important word of warning, you need to wear protective gear for this method because chlorine bleach can be caustic to your skin and will ruin your clothes. We recommend safety glasses, rubber gloves, and old clothes. We also recommend opening a window to ventilate the area. When you’re prepped, simply dunk your grout brush into your container of bleach, apply it to the grout lines and scrub. Rinse the area thoroughly and dry with a towel.
Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap
One DIY grout cleaning trick we love is to combine the power of three different cleaners in one. More specifically, this recipe is one part baking soda, one part hydrogen peroxide, and a few squirts of dish soap. Mix everything in a bowl and apply it to your grout, waiting ten minutes before you start scrubbing with a grout brush. Rinse with water when you’re finished and then wipe dry with a towel.
For really difficult grout stains, turn to a steam mop. It’s not only an environmentally-friendly method, heat does a great job of releasing problem grime and mildew. Using this technique is even more effective when you keep up a regular cleaning schedule throughout the week. We recommend spraying your grout with vinegar and giving it a wipe down about once a week.
We know cleaning grout isn’t at the top of your fun-things-to-do list, but once you’re done you’ll be super satisfied with how clean your tile looks. Honestly, it’s like giving your backsplash, bathroom shower or floors a complete makeover. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to clean the rest of your bathroom. And we’re here for that every time.