How To Clean Stained Grout

Date Published: August 1, 2021
Author: Kylee Smith

Due to its porous nature, grout can stain easily. Grout is used to fill the voids in tiled surfaces in kitchens, bathrooms, etc.

Grout must be cleaned regularly. You can remove dirt, grime, and other residues in a few easy steps using either a commercial cleaner or a homemade cleaning solution.

Grout Cleaning Supplies

Dirt and grime build up on grout quickly. In the kitchen, spills are often the main cause of grout stains and discoloration. In the bathroom, homeowners must watch out for mold and mildew. Your choice of cleaning solution may have everything to do with the area you are preparing to clean.

Cleaning Brush

A cleaning brush is used for scrubbing. Choose an appropriately sized cleaning brush based on the size of the room and the width of the grout.

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Spray Bottle

An empty spray bottle is required if you plan to use one of the homemade cleaning solutions.

Veco Spray Bottle (5 Pack,16 Oz) with Measurements and Adjustable Nozzle(Mist & Stream Mode), HDPE Plastic Spray Bottles for Cleaning Solution, Household/Commercial/Industrial Use, No Leak and Clog
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White Vinegar

White vinegar is used to make one of the homemade cleaning solutions.

AVO 1 Gallon (128 oz) Pure Natural Distilled White Vinegar - 5% Acidity For Cooking and Cleaning Purposes
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 Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used to make one of the homemade cleaning solutions.

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Bleach

Bleach is another choice available to you when deciding on which grout-cleaning agent to use.

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Clorox Regular Bleach 64 oz - 2 Pack (128 oz Total)
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  • Perfect for cleaning and disinfecting around your home or office, Easy to grip handle prevents spillage

Cleaning Gloves

Cleaning gloves are necessary for this task, especially if you plan to use bleach.

Vgo 3-Pairs Reusable Household Gloves, Rubber Dishwashing gloves, Extra Thickness, Long Sleeves, Kitchen Cleaning, Working, Painting, Gardening, Pet Care (Size L, Yellow, HH4601)
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Steam Mop

A steam mop is used during the last step of this task only if you are cleaning the grout in between floor tiles.

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How To Clean Grout

Cleaning grout may seem like an arduous task, especially if you must get on your hands and knees; however, this chore is straightforward and requires only a minimal time investment. This task is completed in three easy steps using either a commercial cleaner or a homemade cleaning solution.

Step One: Prepare Cleaning Solution

Grout is sensitive, so it is recommended you begin this task using the mildest cleaning solution. Some experts suggest simply using warm water to clean grout.

You can make a cleaning solution by adding a teaspoon of dish soap to warm water in an empty spray bottle.

Alternatively, you can make a homemade mixture of equal parts warm water and vinegar in an empty spray bottle.

Hydrogen peroxide may also be used on grout directly as a cleaning agent.

If you are working in the bathroom and notice mold or mildew, create a warm water and quarter cup bleach solution in the spray bottle.

• Pro Tip: Both bleach and commercial cleaners should be used sparingly on grout. Using bleach too often on grout can cause damage, forcing you to regrout prematurely.

• Pro Tip: If using bleach after attempting to clean with the white vinegar and warm water solution, be sure to rinse away all traces of the vinegar. Vinegar and bleach mixed are toxic.

Step Two: Scrub Grout

Spray the grout using your preferred cleaning solution, and scrub in a circular motion. Remember, when cleaning grout, it is best to begin with the mildest cleaning agent, unless you are certain you need a stronger solution.

• Pro Tip: If using a commercial cleaner, instructions may read ‘spray and wipe’ rather than ‘spray and scrub.’ Therefore, it is essential to read the instructions and follow the directions printed on the cleaner.

Step Three: Rinse Grouted Tiles or Use Steam Mop

Rinse the grouted tile using water and a cleaning cloth. Conversely, if you are cleaning grouted floor tiles, a steam mop can be used.

• Pro Tip: Some experts suggest that more advanced steam mops clean grout in between floor tiles efficiently on their own.

FAQ: Cleaning Grout In Between Tiles

Grout not only creates an aesthetically pleasing surface but also serves to strengthen the bond of the tiles. When kept clean, grout will enhance the look of any tiled surface. To keep your tiles looking great and your grout in good condition, perform this cleaning task when you notice your grout is becoming discolored, or at least once a month.

When should you decide to regrout vs perform this grout cleaning task?

If you notice damage to grout that extends beyond mild discoloration or your grout becomes damaged,  it is time to regrout. Damaged grout causes water to seep behind tiles, which can cause structural damage.

How often does grout need to be cleaned?

While there is no specific timeframe when it comes to cleaning the grout, you should perform this task once a month. Keep an eye out for any type of buildup or damage to your grout. Keeping the grout clean and in good shape helps it last longer.

How often should grout be replaced?

When installed correctly and well-maintained, grout can last up to 20 years. The average lifespan is about 15 years. Therefore, replacing grout is not a project that homeowners must worry about if they perform routine maintenance and keep their grout clean.

Can you make grout a darker color without regrouting?

Yes, grout can be made darker to hide imperfections and for better aesthetics in general. There is no need to regrout unless that is your preferred method to get the job done. Instead, you can use dye to darken the color of the grout. If you choose to do this, however, darkened grout does not mean you can stop cleaning your grout. In fact, dark grout can show as much or more dirt as lighter colored grout.

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