Written by Grove Collaborative

Clean Team: How to clean grout.

Last Updated: October 14, 2020

Nothing dirties up a space quite like grimy grout, so get it back to gleaming — naturally — with our easy tips and tricks.

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Ready to tackle the dirtiest spots in your home? Grove Collaborative has you covered with Clean Team. Each week, we’ll do a deep dive into how to clean a different place or item in your home. No spot is too small — and we’ll tell you how to conquer them all, naturally.

There’s nothing that fancies up a space quite like clean grout. It doesn’t matter if it’s grout on the wall, grout on the floor, or grout on a counter — when it’s clean, the whole place looks brighter.

Unfortunately, because grout is so porous, it’s prone to grunge and stains. Liquids get absorbed almost immediately and if they aren’t cleaned up with a quickness, you’re left with speckled grout that’s dingy and not too pretty.

Why should you clean grout?

No home can look truly clean when there’s discolored and dirty-looking grout between the tiles. It lends a permanently unkempt look to the whole house, no matter how much cleaning you do to everything else around it.

Since the longer you wait, the more difficult grout stains can be to remove, it’s imperative to clean your grout lines thoroughly. Cleaning will help bring out its natural beauty, whether white or some other modern color, and ramp your tile game up to a whole other level.

How often should you clean grout?

Grout cleaning needs to be done religiously if you want kick butt results. Kitchen grout can become discolored and dirty mostly due to spills. For entryway grout, the leading cause is dirt and mud coming from your shoes. Here’s how to break down the cleaning tasks so you aren’t faced with an insurmountable task when you finally decide to tackle grout stains.

Daily cleaning tasks

To keep the grime from escalating, you should give your grout and tiles a wipe down at least once per day. This helps make sure no spills stain the grout, and no dirt particles settle into the porous surface.

Weekly cleaning tasks

To keep your lines squeaky clean, do a preventative scrub of your grout once a week. You can stretch it to two weeks, but don’t go any longer than that.

Monthly (or more) cleaning tasks

As to long term maintenance, you should get your grout cleaned professionally at least once, preferably twice per year, to help keep it looking good as new

Things you’ll need to clean grout

Cleaning grout isn’t all that hard. It can be done with regular household items, provided you know how to use them properly. Keep in mind, however, that some cleaning solutions can be acidic in nature and repeated, aggressive use could damage your tile. Other options in liquid form require scrubbing to clean away the grout, but hey, upside! They tend not to harm your tile. It’s always best to read the fine print on products you use to avoid any mishaps. Here’s a breakdown of tools you’ll need.

What are the best natural grout cleaning products?

How do you make homemade grout cleaner?

If you’d rather go the DIY route instead of opting for a natural cleaner like Grove’s tub & tile cleaner or all-purpose cleaner, you have a few options.

Option 1: General homemade grout cleaner

Simply sprinkle baking soda on the grout and spray with hydrogen peroxide — start with one part baking soda to one part hydrogen peroxide

Option 2: Kitchen grout cleaner

Mix 1/2 c baking soda, 1/4 c hydrogen peroxide, and 1 tsp dish soap into a paste that you can apply to grout and surrounding tile. The dish soap is especially great at cutting through grease that might make its way onto your kitchen grout.

Sustainability tip

Homemade vs. natural tile cleaner

Homemade grout cleaner can be just as effective as store-bought tile cleaner, but consider your ingredients. Many popular online recipes for homemade grout cleaner recommend vinegar (or bleach!), which runs the risk of corroding the grout surface — or doing nothing if combined with baking soda, which can neutralize vinegar’s acid, its main cleaning powerhouse. Homemade cleaners are a great inexpensive workaround, whereas natural cleaners like the ones from Grove can save you some time and mess. It comes down to personal preference and how much cleaning you want to take into your own hands.

How to clean grout: Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Apply hot water

Wash the selected area with warm/hot water. This will soften any buildup of dirt on the surface of the grout and make it easier to remove.

Step 2: Scrub with a brush

Once the buildup is softened, use a stiff bristled toothbrush or bristled brush and scrub it off. This will allow the cleaner to get into the grout without any blockages.

Step 3: Apply the cleaner

Use your chosen cleaner from the options mentioned above and apply it to the grout. Let it rest for some time so it can work its magic — usually at least 5–10 minutes to let the cleaner get to work, and longer if you’re tackling some particularly tough stains.

Step 4: Clean it off

Scrub with a brush again to make sure the cleaner goes deep into the porous surface of the grout. Once it's clean, wash off with clean water to rinse away the cleaner — consider a mop paired with gentle floor cleaner ( for floors) or microfiber cloth dipped in warm water mixed with dish soap for other surfaces. Make sure to rinse with water to remove any residue, which can attract more dirt if detergent remains.

Step 5: Apply grout sealant

Once the grout is thoroughly clean, you can apply a grout sealant to make sure it stays clean for longer.

Grove tip

Start mild

When starting cleaning your grout, start with the mildest ingredients possible to make sure you don’t expose your tile to unnecessary chemicals that may mar it’s beauty and shine.

Grout cleaning tips & tricks

How can i get my grout white again?

If you’ve tried the above grout cleaning tips with either natural grout cleaners or homemade options and your white grout still looks a little dingy, we have one other insider trick for you. Funnily enough, toothpaste works amazingly well to brighten grout, especially if you have white grout. Try it out and see! And it you’re really looking to break out the heavy duty cleaners, a steam cleaner can do wonders on tough grout stains.

How can I prevent grout dirt?

One of the easiest ways to prevent grout dirt is by regular cleaning: Vacuum grouted floors to pick up errant dirt before mopping to make sure you aren’t spreading stain-causing grime around. For counters or other surfaces, consider using a vacuum attachment or microfiber cloth to pick up dry dirt particles prior to applying any liquid cleansers and giving the surface a wipe.

Shop natural grout cleaners

Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered with our buying and cleaning guides. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to take on your tub, shop Grove Collaborative's cleaning essentials for the natural products that make the job easy.

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