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Best Homemade Grout Cleaner Recipes

Jennifer L. Betts
cleaning grout with toothbrush

Easy and inexpensive grout cleaners help lighten stains and remove mold and mildew. And they won't harm your wallet. Learn several sure-fire ways to get your grout gleaming again using peroxide, vinegar and bleach.

Homemade Grout Cleaner

You might not think too much of your bathroom grout until it starts having a dingy appearance. Don't let it get you down. Instead, grab a few items from your pantry or under your sink. For these cleaning recipes, you need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach
  • Grout scrubber or old toothbrush
  • Bowl and mixing tool
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves (wear with all methods during mixing and cleaning)

Discard Cleaners That Cannot Be Stored Safely

Discard cleaners with baking soda and bleach or peroxide pastes right away. These are one-use only cleaners.

Homemade Grout Cleaner With Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a great cleaning agent for grout. Try out these recipes, if you're looking for an instant grout whitening winner!

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.

  1. Sprinkle the baking soda on the grout.
  2. Pour hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the baking soda.
  4. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Use a brush to scrub the grout.
  6. Rinse and voila!

Baking Soda, Dawn & Peroxide

While baking soda and peroxide work excellent to whiten and clean grout, adding a little Dawn dish soap just makes it better. For this recipe, you're actually going to mix them together first.

  1. In a container, combine:
    • ¼ cup of peroxide
    • ½ cup of baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap
  2. Mix together until you have a nice consistent paste.
  3. Carefully place the mixture on the grout. Use caution with marble and stone tiles.
  4. Give it about 15-20 minutes to sit.
  5. Grab your scrub brush and put a bit of elbow grease in.
  6. Rinse and dry.

Dawn and Vinegar Grout Cleaner

Do you hate scrubbing? Unfortunately, there aren't any completely no-scrub recipes for cleaning grout. However, this 2-ingredient zinger does get pretty close.

  1. Heat a cup of 1-to-1 vinegar and water in the microwave for about a minute.
  2. Pour it into a spray bottle and add a cup of Dawn dish soap.
  3. Carefully spray the mixture on your grout lines.
  4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes longer if you have dirty grout.
  5. Grab your brush and give it a few good swipes.
  6. Wipe and rinse.
  7. Be pleasantly amazed by the dirt fighting power of Dawn and vinegar.

Homemade Grout Cleaner Bleach and Baking Soda

Since bleach is a whitening agent, it works great to brighten grout. Add a bit of the scrubbing power of baking soda and you have a combo that can't be matched. For this winning 2-ingredient recipe, you need to:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of bleach.
  2. Create a thick paste with a smooth consistency.
  3. Using a spoon, precisely put the mixture on the grout.
  4. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. Use a brush to scrub particularly yucky grout.
  6. Let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  7. Rinse and dry.

What Not to Use on Grout

When it comes to grout, there are a few cleaners you should avoid and use with caution. This is especially true if your grout is colored.

Acidic Cleaners

Recipes including straight vinegar or lemon juice should be avoided when it comes to your grout. The acid in the cleaners weakens the grout over time causing sooner replacements.

Harsh Commercial Cleaners

Again, grout is weak. Some chemicals used in commercial cleaners will work to break down the mortar. While they will clean it, the replacement will happen much sooner than with gentler cleaners.

Avoid Using Too Much Water

Grout is porous. When too much water is used for cleaning, it will break down the cement mortar sooner. This can actually lead to grout breaking down and disintegrating.

Colored Cleaners

When cleaning white grout, avoid using anything with color. The same goes for colored grout -- stay away from the bleach and peroxide. These are bleaching agents and could lighten your grout.

Tips for Cleaning Your Grout Safely and Effectively

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

  • Wear gloves when cleaning grout because some chemicals can be harsh to the skin.
  • 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.
  • Remember to safely dispose of cleaners with baking soda and bleach or peroxide pastes once you're done cleaning with them. They are for one-time use only and should not be stored.
  • Store the vinegar and Dawn in a spray bottle.
  • Avoid using wire brushes or any metal tools because these will damage the grout.
  • 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.

Grout Cleaning Schedule

When it comes to cleaning your grout, following a schedule can make sure that you don't let filth settle in.

Immediate Attention

There are a few things that should never wait for cleaning.

  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, especially dark-colored spills.
  • Sweep up dirt clumps or tracks when they happen.

Weekly Grout Cleaning

You'll want to do these tasks on a weekly basis. Even a couple of times a week wouldn't hurt.

  • Prevent dirt build-up in grout by sweeping/vacuuming.
  • Use a damp cloth to mop. Avoid leaving standing water.

Monthly Grout Cleaning

You've worked hard, but even the most diligent of cleaning will still leave some residue. Therefore, every month give the grout a good scrub.

  • Use the recipes above to deep clean the grout only.
  • After cleaning your grout, consider sealing it to prevent new stains from forming. (This should be done every 6 months regardless.)

Clean Your Grout

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

Best Homemade Grout Cleaner Recipes