Effective Grout Cleaning NOW: Ultimate Problem-solving Guide 2021

Grout can be a challenging surface to clean. It’s often too thin for wide sponges and brushes, and many chemicals don’t truly strip away the grime that builds up in the crevices. However, it’s rather easy to do once you get your hands on the proper tools.

If you want to clean grout, it’s easy to do. All you need is some elbow grease and scrubbers, and a few household items.

What you will learn

  • Cleaning grout is a relatively easy process that you can do yourself.
  • You can clean your grout using home remedies.
  • You can use electric brushes or steam tools to remove the grim.
  • You can seal the grout after you clean it to prevent future mold, mildew
  • You can use a penetrating or foaming sealant to do the job depending on the area
  • When and where to use each type

Let’s check out the most effective methods for cleaning grout on nearly any surface.

How to Clean Grout Between Tiles

Whether you have tiles on the floor in your kitchen, on the walls of a bathroom, or in the shower, you can use the same methods to achieve a proper, top-notch clean. 

All you’ll need to get this job done is white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, and a brush. Drill brushes work wonders if you’re not using it on natural stone.

Here’s the grout cleaning process:

  1. Mix one cup of water with one cup of white vinegar and place the solution into the spray bottle. 
  2. Evenly coat the surface of the grout, ensuring that every bit of it is covered. Grout is often porous, preventing the mixture from sliding around like soap tends to. This means that it won’t be cleaned unless the mixture is applied to every square inch.
  3. Once the vinegar mixture has stopped bubbling on the grout, scrub it down with the brush. Use gentle circular motions to prevent the grout from chipping. Take note that old grout tends to chunk apart, leaving dust and bits all over the place. If you know that the grout is several years old, try using a soft-bristle brush or a sponge.
  4. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar (although it usually goes away after an hour or so on its own), you can do a second coat of just water. This removes the excess vinegar. If your tile grout is prone to mold, it’s best to leave the vinegar to sit since it’s naturally antibacterial. 

Cleaning Epoxy Grout Around Your House

Epoxy grout looks fantastic, but it’s usually much more challenging to clean than other types of grout. 

Since it’s somewhat porous, water soaks up and grows mold, bacteria, and other unwanted growths inside. Once they start to show up, you might find that it seems impossible to remove it. Brushing with water alone won’t dig deep within the porous surface.

Instead, you’re going to need the following materials:

  • A brush
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dish soap

Here’s the cleaning process:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients listed above in a large bottle. This might take a bit since they all have varying densities. 
  2. Once they’re thoroughly mixed, apply the solution to the epoxy grout. 
  3. Let the solution sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If it starts to dry quicker than that, you can start to scrub away with the brush. The key is to let the mixture sit to soak into the porous grout without drying it out. The cleaning process truly takes place when the solution sits since it kills off bacteria and mold. 
  4. Once you’ve scrubbed it all away, wipe it down with a rag to dry it up again. 

Note: You shouldn’t let water sit for too long since it’ll start the bacterial growth again. Epoxy grout can be a real challenge, but you’ll be able to take it on without a problem using these steps.

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Grout Cleaning on Marble

Getting the grout clean between marble tiles or around the exterior is easy. You only need three supplies: 

  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • A soft-bristle toothbrush. Don’t use anything too stiff since abrasive sponges can easily scratch the marble. The softer the brush, the better the cleaning.

Here’s the cleaning process:

  1. Start by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water. This will form a paste that’s not too far from the consistency of toothpaste. 
  2. If your mixture doesn’t create this toothpaste-like solution, continue to adjust the baking soda or water. For solutions that are too watery, add more baking soda. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water until it reaches that perfect consistency.
  3. Dip the soft bristle toothbrush into the baking soda paste and gently scrub the grout between each marble tile. Baking soda is abrasive naturally, but not enough to harm marble by any means. This is why you can get away with using a super soft toothbrush.
  4. Continue this process using circular motions until you’ve cleaned the entire surface.
  5. When you’re all finished, grab a rag soaked in warm water and wipe down the area. You might have to go over it a few times since the paste can dry rather quickly. 
  6. Dry off the grout with a separate rag to complete the cleaning process.

Tools and Machines to Clean Grout

You might be able to get away with using a sponge, a brush, or a soft-bristle toothbrush when you’re cleaning grout around the house. But why not use a tool to get the level of cleanliness that you’re looking for?

Fortunately, there are several tools that you can use to do this job. It really depends on what your budget and time frame is.

  • Scrub brush (manual hand). Scrubing anything by hand sucks but it is cheap. So you will save money instead of needing to buy something… but it will take longer.
  • Electric scrub brush. For example, you can use a power scrubber brush. These tools look like electric toothbrushes, but they have a much higher vibration rate.  These tools will dig deep into the grout without harming it.
  • Drill brush. You can also try out the drill brush mentioned above. A drill brush is a power tool that has a massive brush about the size of a kitchen sponge at the end. You’ll be able to tackle large areas in a much quicker time when compared with a normal hand brush.
  • Steam cleaners. Another useful tool is a steam cleaner. This tool uses steam to penetrate deep within the grout. It’s no secret that most bacteria can’t survive very high temperatures, which is what this cleaner has to offer. The moisture in steam loosens up dirt and grime, making it easier for you to brush away when you’re finished with it.
  • Some steam cleaners come with a scrubber at the end, allowing you to scrub the grout at the same time. While it might be a bit more costly, you’re getting the usefulness of two tools combined into one. Either way, steam is an excellent solution to old and new grout that needs a good cleaning.
  • Corner cleaners. Finally, you shouldn’t forget about corner cleaners. They’re technically not necessary, but having a tool that cuts out the grime in the corner of tiles makes everything easier for you. These corner tools also work perfectly for cleaning the grout around a toilet. There are all sorts of angles to deal with, but you can cut down the grime around a toilet in seconds with a corner cleaner.
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Home Remedies for Grout

Home remedies are often the best solutions for getting rid of the mold and bacteria that grow around the grout. Some effective substances that are probably in your home include white vinegar, water, dish soap, and various scrubbing tools.

One of the best ways to prevent grout mold with a home remedy is by using bleach. Here’s how it works:

  1. Using a wide scrubbing brush, dip it into a solution of one part bleach to 4 parts water. 
  2. Scrub the solution all over the grout, let it sit for about half an hour, and wipe it down with a damp rag. 
  3. Don’t forget to dry it off when you’re done.

Home Remedies for Grout

To get a deep down clean, consider the following grout cleaner from Amazon. Grout-Eez Super Heavy Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner and whitener is highly recommended by thousands of people does a better job than natural cleaners with whitening the grout. This will also finish the job faster since you won’t have to touch up spots that didn’t come out completely clean (using the baking soda) method.

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Should you seal the grout?

Can sealing your grout after its is cleaned, prevent it from getting dirty again?

Yes, you can seal your grout after you clean it. If you do get a professional grade sealer to prevent mold, mildew and dirt from discoloring your grout.

Here is the process to seal the grout

Type of
PenetratingFoaming sealers
Ideal locationBathroom
shower area
non damp
Works by:Latex or silicone
penetrate the
grout and
keep moisture out
Creating waterproof layer
on top of grout.
Thin grout linesUse a sponge over
the surface to allow
grout to soak sealer in
For glazed tileUse specialized
applicator with
rolling wheel on
top to directly
apply to the grout
Step 1.Clean grout: Need a deep clean? Try using hydrogen peroxide. We show you how!. See the
cleaning steps
Replace any
missing grout
Step 2. choose penetrating orfoamy
Step 3. Pick best applicator
(sponge, roller applicator,
Step 4. Apply sealer methodically.
Start at the top left or
right of a room and
work to the
other side and down.
Don’t miss any
spots and be consistent.
Step 5.2nd coat may be necessary.
Check the bottle for dry
time (24-48) hours, generally.
Let 1st coat
completely dry before
you apply 2nd coat.
  • Penetrating sealers. Small particles penetrate the grout once the solution is applied and takes up space inside the grout so mold, mildew won’t grow. There is some disagreement on how well this product works on top of the grout, since it doesn’t completely seal the grout. Overall, it is a great product that will prevent your grout from becoming dirty or moldy in the future.
  • Foaming sealers. These foam on top of the grout and water proof your grout so so it resists mold and mildew. They form a seal on the grout so mold, mildew can’t grow on it.


Here’s what you should take away from this post:

  • To clean grout using homemade remedies, you’ll need white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, and a brush.
  • Bleach is a great tool for removing grout. 
  • If you’re having trouble cleaning with a normal brush, consider investing in a drill brush. 

Anything Else?

Let us know if we missed anything and we will add it to the post.

Comment below on what you use for your checklist.

Thanks for reading!

Other Answers to you questions:

Reference Sources:


Mold Cleanup in Your Home

The Tile Council of North America

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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