How to Clean Grout

Tile is a beautiful material that instantly adds luxurious style and class to any room, whether that room is the bathroom, kitchen, or entryway. What’s more -- It’s durable and easy to clean.

But the grout is a different story. If the grout is light in color (which it often is), stains darken its appearance. The good news? Regular household ingredients and cleaners can typically handle a grout cleaning job. Try the easiest method first -- if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to manage the grout cleaning with some water and a little bit of elbow grease. But if not, you still have plenty of options.

Do a Preliminary Clean

Start by cleaning your floors as you normally do. Sweep, vacuum, and mop to remove any dirt or grime that can easily be taken care of.

Work in a Small Area

Don’t tackle the entire floor at once. Start small -- just 1 to 2 square feet is all you need to work on at a time.

Then try one of these methods:

1. Water and a Brush

Purchase a stiff-bristled brush at any hardware store or home center. Spray warm water on your grout lines, and scrub with the brush in a circular motion.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda

If water didn’t do the trick, use a spray bottle with 50% vinegar and 50% warm water. Spray on the grout, and let it stand for five minutes before brushing.

If you need a little more oomph, start by laying down a baking soda/water paste. Then spray the vinegar mixture onto the paste, and wait for it to stop foaming. Once it has settled down... you guessed it -- scrub! Rinse with plain water.

3. Vinegar and Ammonia

Make a solution of 7 cups warm water, 1/2cup baking soda, 1/3 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Mix until the baking soda is dissolved. Put the mixture in a spray bottle, and shake. Spray it on the grout, and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Oxygen Bleach

So your grout stains are more than vinegar and baking soda can handle. No worries. Use an oxygen bleach (like OxiClean). Follow the manufacturer’s directions, and put the mixture on the grout for 10 to 15 minutes (open the windows and turn on the fans to keep the area well ventilated). Rinse with clean water.

Remove the Dirty Residue As You Go

It’s likely that all the scrubbing will leave dirty little puddles of water on your tile as you go. Keep a damp cloth with you to wipe it up, and wring it into a bucket.


Now that your tile grout is sparkling clean, maintain it so you don’t have to do all this hard work again (for a while)!

     Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Even dry spills, like cracker crumbs or dirt, can stain grout when they’re ground into the floor.

     Use one of the above methods to treat small stains as they happen. You can even try a pencil eraser for some stains.

     Spray your floor with a vinegar solution once a week, and then wipe it down.

     Keep the area ventilated so mildew doesn’t have the chance to jump back on the grout.

     Apply grout sealer once a year

New Life Bath and Kitchen's design team is here to help you find the perfect tile for your bathroom or kitchen.  We proudly serve Orcutt, Nipomo, Santa Maria Arroyo Grande, Lompoc and other cities and towns in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Call us to discuss your project at (805) 639-5433.