| March 15, 2024

How to Clean Grout on Tile

Tiles can enhance the texture, color, and visual appeal of any surface they’re applied to. Whether it’s your floor, kitchen backsplash, countertops, or walls, tile installation can transform any space to complement your style and home’s aesthetic.

However, with time, the grout surrounding your gorgeous tile pieces can start to look dull or dingy, requiring a little TLC to avoid becoming an eyesore.

In this article, you’ll find helpful tips and tricks on how to clean grout to keep it looking polished and in good condition.

Why Does Grout Get So Dirty?

Grout is a porous mixture—meaning it absorbs any oils, dirts, grease, or other particles that come into contact with it. Pair that with the fact that grout lines usually sit slightly below the surface of individual tiles. The result? Dirt and debris have the perfect place to settle into and get cozy.

Typically upon installation, grout is sealed. If your grout hasn’t been sealed, or if the sealant has worn off, you’ll likely start seeing discoloration or darkening of your grout lines.

We know this can become irritating and take away the focus of your tile installation. So, let’s talk about how to clean tile grout like a pro.

Prep Work: Tools for Getting Started

So you’ve noticed your grout looking a bit dull or maybe you can actually see dirt collecting around your tiles.

Before rolling up your sleeves, the first thing you need to do is prepare the surface with a preliminary cleaning.

Start by wiping away, sweeping, or vacuuming any debris from the area. Once your surface is prepared, it’s time to get to work.

Make sure you have the following items:

  • Protective gloves
  • Water
  • Cleaner of choice
  • Scrub brush
Finding the Right Cleaner

There are quite a few cleaners out there to help tackle the job. Be sure to read the directions carefully and wear protective gloves before you begin.

Most cleaners may have a small wait time after application, to let the product do its job before scrubbing and cleaning it off of the tile.

For any type of cleaner, it’s best to first test the product out in a small, inconspicuous area before using it on your entire surface.

Most of us like to skip the wait period, but try to be patient and ensure the cleaner is doing its job vs. making your grout look worse.

Going the DIY Route

If you don’t want to buy a product specifically for cleaning grout, there are several DIY recipes for how to clean grout floors that you can try. Most recipes call for a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Some use Borax or dish soap, too.

Some DIY recipes may call for using bleach. Bleach can be effective, but if you have colored grout, there’s a chance it may discolor the grout. Be sure to test a small area before using it to ensure the bleach is effective, and not detrimental, to your tile.

Stuck on other tile challenges? Check out these Top 5 Tiling Challenges and Solutions

Taking the Extra Step

If store-bought and homemade cleaners still aren’t cutting it, using a steam cleaner may be helpful in getting rid of stubborn stains and discoloration.

If the discoloration is severe, stubborn, or won’t come out after the above methods, you may want to consider regrouting your tile.

Finishing the Job

Once you’ve cleaned your grout, be sure to do a final wipe-down or mopping of the surface to clean up any residual cleaner.

If the grout is older, or you may suspect it wasn’t properly sealed, once you’ve cleaned the grout you will want to reseal it to protect the grout and make future cleanups even easier.

Bathroom floor tile and grout.

Our Tile x Design Experts are Here to Help

Is your grout is dingy and old? Are you considering a new tile altogether? Check out our Tile X Design gallery or visit our showroom to start your new project!

You can also schedule an appointment to speak with one of our experts who can help you choose the right tile solutions for your home or commercial property.

We also offer great advice on tile and grout color combinations! Stop in for a visit today and remember to follow us on Instagram for more creative tile ideas.

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