How to clean tile grout

Tile grouting in kitchens and bathrooms often collects dirt! This article explains how to clean tile grout in the shower, and the best grout cleaners to use.

Updated 12 August 2019

Scrubbing brush on a tiled floor with a grout cleaner solution on the side

Key Steps:

  • An old toothbrush is a handy tool for scrubbing your tile grout.
  • Baking soda and vinegar combined together as a paste can be an effective grout cleaner.
  • Remove mould and mildew from your grout with an antibacterial mould and mildew spray such as Cif
  • Remember to test any cleaning product on an inconspicuous area of the grouting first to check there is no adverse reaction.

Is your tile grout looking grubby? Grout is the white mortar between your bathroom and kitchen tiles, and if neglected it can make your bathroom look a lot dirtier than it actually is. As a porous and rough surface, it needs to be cleaned differently from tiles; so what is the best way to clean tile grout? This article explains effective techniques to use, with a description of products you can use to clean the grout in your bathroom and kitchen, particularly focusing on how to clean shower grout. The best way to clean grout will clear out dirt from the pores of the grout, while also stopping the growth of mildew. These tips will make the process simple and hassle-free.

The best way to clean tile grout is by using a commercial cleaning product that contains bleach as one of the main ingredients, like Cif Mould Removal. Using a product like this will mean you will spend less time scrubbing, leaving with you with more time to relax! Remember to read the directions on the label and test any cleaning product in a small area first.

Clean Tile Grout with Commercial Products

Your local supermarket or DIY store will offer a number of commercial products specially designed for cleaning tile grout. You’re best off choosing one with anti-fungal properties — an antibacterial mould and mildew spray, for instance. Mildew thrives in moist places, so a spray like this will help to eliminate any build ups of mildew on your tile grout. Alternatively, a grout pen functions as a paint marker and helps to keep the grout looking white.

Many of these commercial products can contain strong chemicals, so be sure to wear rubber gloves and ventilate the bathroom or kitchen properly when using them. Remember to follow the directions on the label and to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Cleaning Tile Grout: Bleach or Not to Bleach?

How should you clean grout in the shower? Bleach will often be recommended, as it is very effective on white and light grey grouts. However, if your kitchen or bathroom has black or another coloured grouting, bleach should be avoided as it will make the grout fade. If you do apply bleach, rinse your tiles afterwards with cold water only, as warm or hot water will only intensify the vapours. Be sure to ventilate the room and wear rubber gloves when handling any bleaching product, and also ensure that you read the instructions on the label before applying it.

An alternative is oxygen bleach, a bleach compound that comes in powder form and can also be used in your laundry. Remember to follow the directions on the label and to test this product on a small area first before continuing. Mix equal parts oxygen bleach with warm water, let it dissolve, and apply to the grout. You can either pour it on or apply it using a spray bottle. Afterwards, scrub with an old toothbrush, rinse with cold water, and wipe your tiles dry.

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

Cleaning Tile Grout: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another way to clean shower tiles and grout is by using a solution of vinegar and baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda, or sodium bicarbonate).

  1. In a small bowl, mix together vinegar and baking soda into a thick paste.
  2. Spread the paste onto the grout and let it sit for up to 30 minutes.
  3. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away at the grout until it’s clean.
  4. Rinse the surface with clean water.

With enough scrubbing, the acid in the vinegar and the whitening properties of the baking soda should combine to make your tile grout look as good as new. White vinegar can also be used in lots of other ways to clean the bathroom.

The above tips suggest how to clean grouting in shower stalls, kitchens, and other surfaces. Clean your tile grout on a regular basis, and this will help to prevent mould and mildew from accumulating. With so many solutions to choose from, keeping your tile grout clean and mildew-free should be a breeze.

Originally published 19 July 2018