How to Clean Grout & the Best Grout Cleaner
I know grout cleaning can be hard … but it doesn’t have to stay that way. When you find the right grout cleaner it is easy to do a good job cleaning your tile and grout. Whether you want to clean grout with less effort, save money when you clean grout, or you want to clean grout organically, you will find exactly what you need on our site. We even offer maintenance tips to make sure you will not have to clean your grout very often.
Regular grout cleaning keeps grime, germs and bacteria out of your home. It also protects against discoloration, and keeps tiles from getting broken down by mildew, mold and moisture. It is important to know how to clean grout. Even though there are many ways of cleaning grout, the easiest way to clean, kill germs and get rid of mild stains, are as follows:
Clean Grout with Less Work!
For most of my life, I have cleaned grout by hand and there is nothing wrong with doing it this way. If you don’t have much tile in your home, it just makes sense to do it by hand. But, as soon as people try using a steam cleaner, they hardly ever go back to doing it by hand again. Even if you have never thought about buying one in the past, it will surprise you at how affordable they are and how well they clean.
Buying a Steam Cleaner
*Saves you a lot of time – It is the fastest way to clean tile grout in your home.
*Great for deep grout cleaning – which helps to get rid of grout discoloration without having to use bleach or cleaning chemicals.
*Easiest way to clean tile grout. Most of the time, the grout stains and discoloration come right out,which means you don’t have to spend as much time on your hands and knees scrubbing the grout lines.
*Safe for home use – Safe for children, pets, and the environment, because it uses hot water for cleaning and not hazardous cleaning chemicals.
These are Some of the Top Rated and Best Selling Steam Grout Cleaners
McCulloch MC-1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
Here is what customers are saying about it. “Cleans surfaces without using chemicals, melts away grease from any painted or chrome surface, and makes vinyl flooring look almost new.
– Cleans the porcelain on the sink & toilet without leaving any film, chemical fumes, or residue whatsoever.
– Saves you money on a lot of the household chemicals. Read what customers are saying about it!
This is an upright floor cleaner that cleans carpets and different types of floors. This unit has over 2,200 reviews and most are 5 star ratings! This is one of the best carpet and floor cleaners and is isn’t very expensive either. People buying this product say they are very happy with it and would recommend it to others. (This is ideal for flooring and carpets.) Read over 2,200 reviews!
Here is what customers are saying about it. “I had seen this product advertised and was skeptical; however, I was pleasantly surprised. The Steam-fast SF-226 Handheld Steam Cleaner did an exceptional job. Following the use of the steamer, I was able to wipe down all surfaces in the kitchen. It worked great on the grout, stove-top, kitchen tile, floor tile, refrigerator, and woodwork. I highly recommend this little work horse!” .
Top of the Line Ladybug XL Vapor Steam Cleaner Commercial Grade
This machine is the most powerful one. Even though it is expensive, it is one of the best steam cleaners you can buy. It will outlast and out do all other steamers. It is commercial grade and comes with a great warranty. It has a high volume capacity and gets excellent reviews. It is great for cleaning tiles and grout, but is also cleans carpets, upholstery, walls and floors of all types. Buy this grout steamer now and never have to worry about scrubbing tile grout again!
***Learn more about cleaning grout
Disclaimer: Steam cleaners are great for killing germs and cleaning grout. If you have serious grout stains, you might need something stronger. You can also try a grout pen or grout paint to help fix discoloration. Keeping your tile grout clean is an excellent way to allow your tiled areas to look their best and last for longer.
If you have to clean on a budget, you can do it by saving money on a grout cleaner. Even though there are hundreds of grout cleaners out there, the best type of cleaners will either contain an oxidizing agent, or bleach. If you want to make a grout cleaner with an oxidizing agent, try using a small bucket with about a pint of vinegar and a pint of water in it. Then add about 3 table spoons of baking soda to it. When it starts to foam up, it is ready to use. The carbonate in the baking soda is relatively unstable, and so when you combine it with the vinegar, it starts to oxidize (turning into CO2 and water.) As an oxidizer, it works very well to remove stains. The best part is that a gallon of vinegar is less than $1.5o and baking soda only costs about $.70. Assuming that you only use half of your materials, you can clean the entire bathroom for less than $1.50. (My competitors charge $57 for 8 oz. of grout cleaner, which is why they won’t tell you about this on their websites There are many professional grout cleaners that still clean with vinegar and baking soda.
You should use a brush to scrub it into the grout and then after letting it sit a few minutes, come back and scrub it again, or else rinse it off and dry it.
The other cheap cleaner is bleach. Be careful when using bleach. You need gloves. Make sure to also have good ventilation. The first step is to dilute the bleach with water. A 10:1 ratio of water to bleach is ideal, but you can use up to a 6:1 ratio for tough stains. Avoid using bleach if you have colored grout lines, or if you think it might damage your tile. We keep bleach water under the bathroom sink. It also works well as a cheap, all-purpose cleaner.
The last cheap grout cleaner your can use is vinegar. Dilute to a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle. (Vinegar is great at disinfecting, but not that great for tough grout stains).
Tip: You can spray a bit of vinegar + water into your shower, while you’re waiting for it to get warm. This will help kill germs and keep mold and mildew from developing
Grout Cleaning Tools
Most people who clean their own grout find that is isn’t too bad. Always be sure to disinfect as you clean, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. When scrubbing tiled floors, it is necessary to use knee pads or a kneeling pad. On average, tile grout cleaning takes about 20-25 minutes per room. When mold or mildew has set in, it could take a lot longer.
When using mold and mildew disinfectants, be sure to leave them on for the allotted time mentioned on the tile cleaner label. If you need to repair or replace cracked tiles or missing grout, you may need to call a tile expert to help you. They can also steam clean the grout and then seal it for you as well. Steam cleaning grout often helps to remove ground in dirt and lighten the color of the grout. In some cases, bleach containing tile cleaners will also be needed. A grout sealer will work to protect the tile and grout for 3-5 years, and in some cases longer.
Choosing the right tile grout cleaner is important. Typically, you want to use a tile grout cleaner that is just strong enough to get the job done, but not strong enough to damage the grout over time.
Ever wondered how to clean grout? When using grout cleaners, it is a good idea to try milder products first, only using the harsher ones if the first do not get the grout completely clean. Harsh chemicals can damage grout and tiles with repeated use. Clean grout with the first group and move on to the next ones as necessary. Whichever cleaner you are using, always try cleaning a small area initially, to make sure it does not discolor or damage the grout or the tile.
Mild Grout Cleaners:
These are all gentle cleaners that are okay to use even on unsealed grout.
Vinegar: Use for daily cleaning and as general purpose cleaner or a disinfectant. During the two years I professionally cleaned bathrooms for a living, we would often use vinegar as a mild cleaner. Because vinegar is a very mild cleaner, it should also be interspersed in using another stronger grout cleaner to yield the best results. Dilute vinegar with equal parts water or applied full-strength. Put vinegar or a vinegar-water solution into a spray bottle and spray the grout. For disinfecting, let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with a medium-weight, non-metal brush. See to it that the bristles are stiff, but not too hard – you don’t want to damage the grout or tiles. Scrub in circles and not straight lines for a more thorough cleaning. Rinse with a mop or wet sponge, then dry with a towel.
Baking soda: When made into a paste with a little water or vinegar, baking soda is a terrific grout cleaner. Just dab it on, scrub in circles, rinse and dry. For better cleaning, try leaving the paste on for a few minutes before scrubbing. You can also make a paste with 1/3 each of baking soda, salt and vinegar. Adding salt helps the cleaner get into all the little crevices and spots that in the grout. After cleaning, make sure to rinse and dry.
Lemon juice: Grout can discolor and stain with time, and those areas often need extra attention. Lemon juice does a great job removing many grout stains and discolorations. Apply the lemon juice to the affected area, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then wipe it off with a damp sponge. If staining remains, try cleaning it or try the lemon juice again before using a harsher product.
Milder Chemical Cleaners:
All of these contain some chemicals but are not as harsh as the next group. When working with any of these products, be sure to keep the area well-ventilated, wear gloves, and follow the directions on the bottle.
Bleach: Dilute the bleach with water – 1 part bleach to 3 parts water – before cleaning with it. Bleach is especially good for removing mold and mildew. It kills the mold and disinfect it too. It also removes stains and discolorations from white grout. Do not use beach on colored grout – it will discolor the grout. Be careful when using bleach and any other cleaners, especially those containing ammonia.
General Household Cleaners: Basic household cleaners that you typically use are effective cleaners. Many contain bleach, providing the benefits of bleach with another cleaner without mixing them. When using a powder-based product, make sure it is non-abrasive and will not damage the grout or scratch the tile. Use as with other products, making sure to rinse extra well.
Harsher Chemical Cleaners:
These are best to use when other products have not worked. They are good for infrequent, heavy-duty cleaning. Always read all directions carefully before you start, keep the room well-ventilated, and use gloves and protective eye-wear when cleaning with any of these products.
Commercial Grout Cleaners: Designed specifically for cleaning grout, these cleaners are available at stores that sell household cleaners. Pick products designed for what you need – general cleaning, disinfecting, removing stains and discolorations, getting rid of mold and mildew, etc. Products that are pH-balanced will be the gentlest and best for tile and grout cleaning. Others can erode the grout with frequent use. Avoid colored cleaners on white grout as they can discolor the grout. Carefully follow all the directions on the container. Generally, apply the cleaner and give a few minutes before cleaning and then rinsing.
Professional Grout Cleaners: Designed to give the most heavy-duty cleaning available, these products contain the harshest chemicals. You can find them at hardware or janitor supply stores. Be careful using and storing these cleaners. Before using these strong chemicals, you may want to consider renting a steam cleaner like the professionals use, to see if it can get the grout cleaning done without the use of strong chemicals.
For those readers inclined towards environmentally friendlier measures, we have several articles on different types of grout cleaners.
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