Spring cleaning 101: How to clean grout

Cleaning Tools & Supplies

It’s recommended to clean grout weekly to avoid significant buildup. If that isn’t possible, do light surface cleaning a few times per month, then make time for monthly deep cleaning.

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Best tips and products for cleaning grout

Kitchens and bathrooms have multiple areas with grout, including around the sink or tub. Grout has a gritty surface, and dirt and debris (other things you probably don’t want to think of) often end up there. 

Cleaning grout is no small task, but it becomes much easier and quicker when you invest in the right tools and products. We’re including a few of our favorite grout-cleaning accessories at the end of this article.

Key considerations for cleaning grout

Should I use natural or chemical grout cleaners? 

Many consumers wonder whether they should use natural or chemical grout cleaners. It’s a personal choice, so you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of both options.

Natural or do-it-yourself grout cleaners use everyday products in your home, like lemon juice, vinegar or baking soda. They’re affordable options, plus they produce fewer odors than chemical cleaners. However, one of the pitfalls of natural cleaners is that solutions need to be well-balanced to be effective. As a result, some consumers may see less-than-satisfying results with them.

Chemical grout cleaners, on the other hand, use deep-cleaning ingredients like bleaching agents or degreasers. They’re considered more reliable than natural or DIY grout cleaners and offer longer-lasting results. Chemical grout cleaners are usually scented and may irritate those with sensitive noses and eyes.

How do I clean grout?

How you clean grout largely depends on your cleaning products and tools. For the most part, it involves the application, scrubbing and rinsing of problem areas. 

Some products require a set time following application to dislodge dirt and grime. Others can be scrubbed into the grout and rinsed immediately. There are a few no-rinse grout cleaners that dry on their own. However, they can’t be exposed to moisture for a few hours.

What else do I need to know before I start cleaning grout?

  • Cleaning grout is somewhat of a laborious process that involves elbow grease, squatting and reaching. Some people say that grout cleaning is a decent aerobic workout!
  • It’s wise to wear old clothes when you clean grout, especially when using bleaching agents. Many grout cleaners contain chemicals that damage or discolor clothing. 
  • When working with chemical grout cleaners, open windows and doors to minimize exposure to fumes. Ideally, the more air circulation, the better. 

Best products to buy for cleaning grout

Best grout cleaners and brighteners

Grout-Eez

Consumers with stubborn grout stains often reach for dedicated grout cleaners, which dissolve buildup and grime better than other cleaners. These cleaners are also designed to preserve grout and won’t damage the surrounding tile.

Soft Scrub Multi-Purpose Kitchen and Bathroom Cleanser with Oxi

If you’re looking to brighten and whiten, consider a hydrogen peroxide-based grout cleaner. These are effective at penetrating and lifting deep-set stains. They’re considered the best option for cleaning yellowed grout, as well as grout stained by soap and hair products.

Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener

Some grout cleaners require set times to activate, such as Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener. This gel-like formula de-gunks grout after just three minutes and requires much less scrubbing than other options.

Clorox Zero Splash Bleach Pen

For targeted cleaning, bleach pens come in handy to restore grout’s brightness. While it doesn’t take the place of an abrasive grout cleaner, a bleach pen is ideal for minimizing discoloration. 

Best grout scrubbing devices

Some people are partial to manual grout scrubbing devices because they offer more control than electric ones. 

OXO-Good-Grips-Deep-Clean-Brush-Set

A classic grout and corner scrubber is ideal for tackling small sections. Grout detail brushes, like these from OXO Good Grips, are better for cleaning small areas that require more attention than others.

small power scrubber

Those who want to take the hard work out of grout cleaning sometimes prefer electric scrubbing devices. A small power scrubber, which resembles an electric toothbrush, is used for targeted cleaning. It’s considered the most reliable cleaning device for corners and nooks and crannies around sinks. 

drill brush head attachment

If you’re looking for a larger scrubbing device to cover more area, reach for your power drill and invest in a drill brush head attachment. The rapid rotations of these brushes blast away dirt and grime from grout quickly.

Other essential products for cleaning grout

Playtex Living Reusable Rubber Cleaning Gloves

Heavy grout cleaners are chemical-laden, so it’s a good idea to protect skin by wearing gloves. Playtex Living Reusable Rubber Cleaning Gloves, for example, offer three layers of protection, including a drip cuff.

Dewalt safety goggles

Scrubbing grout often causes cleaners to spray in several directions, including toward your eyes. You can avoid eye irritation and injury by wearing protective goggles. These Dewalt safety goggles have a clear anti-fog coating and an adjustable strap for a custom fit. 

Gorilla Grip Premium Thick Kneeling Pad

Kneeling on the floor or tub is tough on joints, so take it easy with a foam pad or cushion. We like Gorilla Grip Premium Thick Kneeling Pad, which is 1.5 inches thick and is made with water-resistant material.

ECOS Non-Toxic Shower Cleaner

To keep gunk at bay between grout cleaning days, use an everyday shower cleaner, like ECOS Non-Toxic Shower Cleaner. It minimizes soap scum and hard water stains on grout as well as tile and shower curtain liners. 

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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