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How to clean grout — 6 of the most effective grout cleaning tricks

Cleaning grout is one of the most tedious cleaning tasks in the home so we’ve searched high and low to bring you the most effective grout cleaning tricks!

Dirty grout not only looks awful, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties. And being a porous substance, it’s best to clean grout regularly to avoid permanent discolouration or worse.

So after researching and testing dozens of techniques, these are the 6 most effective grout cleaning tricks that (mostly) don’t require harsh chemicals. Let’s get cleaning!

Related article: The best way to clean your shower and glass screen — and it’s natural!
Related article: Everything you need to know about picking the right grout: From the type of grout to what colour, your questions answered

Add half a cup of dish soap

Tips on how to clean grout

As with any new cleaning product, it’s always a good idea to do a test patch first. Somewhere inconspicuous like behind the toilet or under the vanity.

We would also recommend trying the mildest cleaning solution first, then working your way up to stronger solutions. Although this tip may not be favourable because it could require multiple tries before getting your grout clean 😉

Get yourself a grout brush. A grout brush is a small, stiff-bristle brush usually made of nylon. It has a long handle to make scrubbing grout lines a bit easier and much quicker than using an old toothbrush!

The best grout cleaning methods

1. Baking soda and vinegar

Sprinkle baking soda (aka bicarb soda) liberally over each grout line. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray over the baking soda. Allow it to sit and bubble away for a few minutes. The baking soda adds ‘grit’ when cleaning, helping to lift the dirt away from the grout lines. Scrub your little heart out using a grout brush, then wipe away the dirt as you go.

2. Baking soda and dishwashing liquid

A similar method to the one above is to mix baking soda with water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Add more water to make it liquid, or more baking soda to make it a paste.

Trickle white vinegar into the grout lines, then add the baking soda mixture. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then scrub away with a grout brush. Wipe away the dirt with a sponge.

You could also use our soft scrub cleaner which contains similar ingredients and has amazing results!

3. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

In a bowl mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Add to grout, leave for 5 or so minutes then scrub with a stiff bristled brush or grout brush.

Hydrogen peroxide a non-toxic alternative to bleach. When cleaning and used with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide is less harsh than bleach yet more effective than using just water. It’s available in most supermarkets and is usually found in the health and beauty aisle.

4. ‘That’ TikTok toilet cleaner

We’re the first to admit, this TikTok grout cleaning hack makes us nervous… but it does seem to have very positive results. So, we’re including it in this round up of the best grout cleaning tricks. But with a warning!

TikTokers suggest using a commercial toilet cleaner. Pour it onto each grout line then allow it to sit and bubble away. Leave for 10 minutes before scrubbing it off with a brush.

Be aware: Caustic ingredients in some toilet cleaners can erode the sealer on your grout over the long-term. So, either use this method sparingly, or try more natural methods in this article.

5. Grout saw

A grout saw is another effective way to remove stubborn dirt in your grout lines that the above options may not be able to remove. It’s a little tool (available from most hardware stores) that comes with a carbide grit-edge.

Rub the grit-edge along the grout line to lift off stains but remember not to go TOO hard. This tool is also used for removing grout so take it easy!

6. Tile and grout cleaner

Seems obvious, but many people aren’t aware you can buy specific tile and grout cleaning products, such as Ardex ACP 21, from tile stores. Although it’s a professional grade cleaner, it’s classed as non-hazardous and has a low VOC content (chemical gasses emitted from the product).

This product is mild enough to use as part of your everyday cleaning schedule and you can clean with confidence knowing it’s specially formulated for this purpose… not going to lie, that TikTok hack concerns us a bit!

Keeping your grout clean: grout cleaning maintenance tips

Once you’ve cleaned your grout, there are a few tricks you can do to help keep it this way!

Grout sealant

Before you use the space again, it’s a good idea to apply a grout sealant. Follow the instructions on the product you buy but generally you need to apply 2 coats, allowing it to dry fully in between applications.

You should reapply grout sealant once a year after a good deep clean.

Brush regularly

Just like your teeth, grout lines benefit from regular brushing. For shower grout lines, a clever tip is to get yourself a 2-in-1 dish brush like this one from trusty old Kmart!

Fill it with regular washing up liquid, use the brush side for your grout and the sponge side for your glass. Whip around the shower every few days while you’re in the shower to keep it sparkling clean. Keep it in the shower so it’s always on hand to use.

Have we inspired you to give your grout some much needed love and attention?! Or perhaps you have another grout cleaning method you swear by. We’d love you to share it with us in the comment section below!

More cleaning tips here

Disclaimer: this post was first published in December 2021 and continues to be updated with latest information. It contains some affiliate links. This means, if you purchase an item we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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