Homemade Grout Cleaner

cleaning grout with toothbrush

Made primarily of Portland cement, grout that hasn't been sealed stains and discolors easily. Because grout is an integral part of any tile job, it's important to have some quick and easy remedies to help lift these stains as they occur. Luckily, there are many types of homemade grout cleaner that are environmentally friendly, inexpensive and easy to make.

Homemade Grout Cleaner Recipes

These easy and inexpensive grout cleaners will help lighten stains and remove mold and mildew. Be sure to test the grout cleaner in an inconspicuous area to make sure it does not discolor your grout before you use it, particularly on dark-colored and epoxy-based grouts.

Do not store any of these cleaners once mixed; they are made to be used shortly after mixing. Discard any leftover cleaning solution once the grout is cleaned.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

The combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can help bleach stains from some types of lighter or white grouts. Do not use this combination on grout that is surrounded by marble or stone tiles.


  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Scrub brush


  1. Mix three parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide to form a paste.
  2. Scrub the paste into the stain on the grout.
  3. Let sit for up to an hour.
  4. Rinse well.

Baking Soda

Baking soda makes a perfect cleaner for most grout because it has a slightly grainy texture, which helps get deep into the pores of the grout.


  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Toothbrush or scrub brush


  1. Sprinkle some baking soda directly onto the grout.
  2. Slowly add water until the baking soda forms a soft paste.
  3. Scrub the paste into the grout joint with a toothbrush or scrub brush.
  4. Rinse with clear water.

Baking Soda and Lemon

When you mix baking soda with lemon juice, the lemon acts as a bleaching agent to clean discolored grout that used to be white or beige. The lemon juice may be able to lift stains out of the grout, but test it first in an inconspicuous area to make sure it does not discolor the grout.


  • One cup baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scrub brush
  • Water


  1. Mix a small amount of lemon juice into the baking soda. Keep pouring in the lemon juice until you end up with a runny paste.
  2. Spread the paste over the stain or discolored area on the grout.
  3. Cover the paste with plastic wrap to help seal it in.
  4. Leave the area undisturbed for one hour.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap and scrub the area with a scrubbing brush.
  6. Rinse with clear water.

Salt, Baking Soda and Vinegar

Salt, baking soda and vinegar mixed together create a bubbly reaction that can help loosen up hardened grime in grout, including lime scale. Mix up only as much as you will need to clean the affected area; this solution can get messy if too much is applied, as the salt may leave behind deposits once the rest has been rinsed away.


  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Scrub brush
  • Water


  1. Mix together equal parts salt, baking soda and vinegar.
  2. Apply the mixture directly to the grout joints and allow to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub the grout well, then rinse with clear water.
  4. Allow to dry, then brush or vacuum up any remaining dried salt.

Chlorine Bleach and Water

Bleach is especially effective on white grout that is stained with mold and mildew. Do not use chlorine bleach on dark colored grout; it may bleach the pigments from the grout, resulting in an uneven color.


  • Chlorine bleach
  • Water
  • Spray bottle


  1. Mix together equal parts bleach and water.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the mixture directly onto the stained or mildewed areas of the grout.
  4. Allow to sit undisturbed for one hour.
  5. Rinse with clear water.

Tips for Cleaning Your Grout

To get the best results from any of these homemade cleaners, follow these tips when dealing with your grout:

  • Wear gloves when you are cleaning grout because some of the chemicals can be harsh on your skin.
  • Avoid using wire brushes or any metal tools because these will damage the grout.
  • Test any grout cleaner, especially those containing bleach, on a small inconspicuous area of grout to make sure it does not discolor it.
  • Prevent stains by cleaning up spills of dark colored liquids as soon as they occur so they will not become permanent.
  • Do not attempt to clean grout that has been cracked, loosened or that is coming free from the joints; this grout should be removed for the best results.
  • After cleaning your grout, consider sealing it to prevent new stains from forming.

Clean Your Grout

With these simple recipes for homemade grout cleaners, your old and discolored grout will take on new life. Get your grout clean and see your tile in a whole new way.

Homemade Grout Cleaner