27 answers

Anyone Know How to Get Tile Grout Clean?

I have a big beautiful kitchen with light tile floors. The only problem is the grout. The tile is light and pretty but the grout is getting dark and grungy. Does anyone have any cleaning tips? I mop often but the grout is getting grosser over time. I am trying to avoid getting on my hands and knees with a toothbrush if possible. I have a newborn so my energy level is still low...

Thanks!

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

So far I've tried the vinegar and the magic eraser. Both seem to work but the magic eraser is easier, quicker, and more effective. I haven't done my entire floor yet because I want to try a few more of the tips first to find the best way. Thanks and keep the ideas coming!

Featured Answers

Well, this does involve a bit of hands and knees scrubbing, but it works. If you buy an electric scrub brush (a small round one, that rotates around in a circle ---I think it is called the Sonic Scrubber or something like that) it eliminates some of the scrubbing and works really well. (You can buy it at Target or Walmart) Use a gel bleach product...clorox or comet both make them. Squeeze it on the grout, a small section at a time, let it sit a few minutes, and then scrub with the electric brush. Then you have to rinse with clean water. It's a lot of work, but really does the job. I usually only do this type of scrubbing once a year.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You can buy a specialized angled grout brush from home depot then attach to a painters pole or other pole with an end that allows attachments. No getting down on you hands and knees. Srapy grout with cleaner like simple green let it sit a minute and then scrub with angled brush. I then get a wet terry rag and mop up excess cleaner putting rag over the same grout brush. You won't think you are having much effect but when the grout dries it will be noticeably cleaner. I did half my grout while 9 months pregnant and ran out of steam, you can totally tell the bit I cleaned versus the bit I didn't!

1 mom found this helpful

I had a tile person tell me the best thing for tile is vinegar, and then, DON'T seal it. You can always get the grout clean with the vinegar, but once its sealed, it will get patchy discoloration ( I think it is the actual sealer rubbing away in some areas and not others) and you can't get the discoloration out.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi E.!

Apparently, a can of Coke is able to remove grout stains, grease, and much more....Yikes!

I haven't tried it yet, but my girlfriend did........she put a can of Coke in her toilet, let it sit for an hour, then flushed it clean without a single scrub!

Anyway, I'm trying it tomorrow after church :o)

:o) N.

2 moms found this helpful

I just cleaned mine a few months ago. I used a steam cleaner with the metal brush attachment and lots of rags to clean up with. No chemicals and I didn't even know our grout could get that clean. I have two small children, so I had to do the grout over the course of a week since I never had a big enough chunk of time to get the whole thing done at once. Unfortunately, I bought the sealer but never applied it, so now I need to redo it and then seal it so it will stay clean. It's not nearly as bad as it was, but I already see spots that are starting to get gross. (the area under the table where my kids sit to eat 3 meals a day plus snacks. I mop the floor all the time, but it just doesn't get the grout clean. I am hoping once I seal it that it will stay cleaner longer. I liked the fact that I didn't have to use any toxic cleaners though, the steam worked great. I wasn't sure if I would use the steamer for anything else, but it works great in the bathroom and around the kitchen sink too.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. We live in a white mobile home and my husband mixes up a batch of Oxy Clean and uses it to wash the outside, the white lattace we have up as well as the floor in the kitchen and it does a fabulous job. You might have to be down scrubbing with a big brush or maybe you can find some sort of a scrubber on a pole... but I think you will find this will do the trick. I have also heard from commercials the Stanley Steamer will clean your floors.

1 mom found this helpful

Have a pro come out - like Stanley Steemer. The steam won't be bad for the baby to breathe like bleach would, and it will still disinfect your floors too. I bet you'll find a coupon in your Sunday paper or all of those fliers that choke up the mail on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Maybe you could dip into your Christmas fund or have hubby & 10 yr. old give it to you for a belated Mother's Day gift.
Personally, I'd rather have a cleaning lady come over than a $150 bunch of roses on Valentine's Day - maybe I'm wierd.
You just had a baby - spoil yourself!!

1 mom found this helpful

E. the only way I know how to get grout clean is to use a light bleach/water solution. You can use a spray bottle so you just get the area you are working in currently. The bleach/water solution is very easy 1 capful to a gallon of bleach. Once the floor dries its totally safe for the kids to be on and its been disinfected all in one. Don't bother buying special cleaners when in doubt use this solution it works on cleaning childrens hard toys since they love to put them in their mouths. I used to work in an infant/toddler daycare and this is what we did for toys use the solution but put it in a small bucket and put several toys in at a time and let set a few mins rinse and air dry again the toy is good as new and the children can put it back in their mouths without you worrying about the bleach. You can smell it but its no more than when local water facilties clorinate our water systems. Try this and let me know how it works for you I use this for my whole house to mop floors, clean Kitchen counters, clean the entire bathroom and you can use it on mold as well. With mold you might have to either use more solution or increase the bleach slightly. Hope this helps.
W. H in Sacramento

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.. There's a product at Home Depot it's called Folex. It's in a spray bottle -- so you spray it on let it sit & you may have to scrub only if the dinge doesn't lift right away. My friend swears by this stuff.. she even gets really bad stains out of clothes with it. Also after cleaning the grout really well you can re-seal it.. Home Depot also has a grout sealer with a brush at the end so after the grout is dry you just paint this stuff on ..really easy, my husband did our laundry room in like 3 minutes... if you do it right you won't have to clean it like this again for a long time!! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.! I have the same issue! I use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Works so good! You do have to get down on your knees, but it is worth it to see how fast the grout gets clean!

1 mom found this helpful

Well, this does involve a bit of hands and knees scrubbing, but it works. If you buy an electric scrub brush (a small round one, that rotates around in a circle ---I think it is called the Sonic Scrubber or something like that) it eliminates some of the scrubbing and works really well. (You can buy it at Target or Walmart) Use a gel bleach product...clorox or comet both make them. Squeeze it on the grout, a small section at a time, let it sit a few minutes, and then scrub with the electric brush. Then you have to rinse with clean water. It's a lot of work, but really does the job. I usually only do this type of scrubbing once a year.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Unfortunately, you need to get on your knees and use a toothbrush with this, but it works for me. Good old fashioned white toothpaste. Like Colgate (original) and a little bit of water on the toothbrush works well and is not harmful to the grout. It works wonders in the shower too.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,
I used Oxy Clean to clean the grout on our kitchen counter, and it worked great. It still may require some scrubbing, but you can always reapply more of the Oxy Clean solution or paste to try to clean it more before resorting to scrubbing.
Good luck,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a tile person tell me the best thing for tile is vinegar, and then, DON'T seal it. You can always get the grout clean with the vinegar, but once its sealed, it will get patchy discoloration ( I think it is the actual sealer rubbing away in some areas and not others) and you can't get the discoloration out.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry for the late reply, I use a steamer to clean my tile floor (and other floors in my house). I love this little steamer. It is called The Shark and it comes with a few attachments. I think we bought it at Lowe's for about $80-100, but I'm sure you can get it at any home improvement store. I used the bristle brush attachment to clean the grout and it makes the grout look like new. You do have to get on your hands and knees, but the steamer plus the brush together really get the dirt out. You'll need to keep a rag handy to absorb all that gunk that lifts off. I usually do sections at a time, because it does take some time, but the results are well worth it. Once you get all the grout clean then you should only have to spot clean (usually just in the high traffic areas). For regular floor cleaning, I use the "mop" attachment. I love that I don't have to use any chemicals (just water) and the steam instantly disinfects the floor, which my kids play on. After cleaning, I just throw the mopping pad in the washer. You can clean just about anything with this steamer. I told my brother-in-law about it and he now has one and loves it too. I think it's a really good investment.

1 mom found this helpful

You can buy a specialized angled grout brush from home depot then attach to a painters pole or other pole with an end that allows attachments. No getting down on you hands and knees. Srapy grout with cleaner like simple green let it sit a minute and then scrub with angled brush. I then get a wet terry rag and mop up excess cleaner putting rag over the same grout brush. You won't think you are having much effect but when the grout dries it will be noticeably cleaner. I did half my grout while 9 months pregnant and ran out of steam, you can totally tell the bit I cleaned versus the bit I didn't!

1 mom found this helpful

A product with bleach in it, such as Clorox Clean-up scrubbed within the grout lines with a toothbrush will whiten it right away. However, you're not really supposed to use bleach on grout as it's acidic and will eat away at the grout. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water and use a toothbrush to scrub within the grout lines. I have used both and both are effective, but if you use anything with bleach, be sure to rinse it off effectively afterwards with clean water. Also, once the tile grout is clean and has dried for about 24 hours, you'll want to seal it with Aqua Mix (Lowe's sells it and it's the most effective product). You'll need to paint it on the grout with a small paintbrush. Once it has cured, it will repel dirt/liquids. This is best done (if the grout is already clean) in a house before or right as you move in to prevent the entire cleaning procedure part. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, I may be a little late, but I have this same problem I use toilet bowl cleaner. I use the Clorox (blue gel)one. I use it on everything. I simple follow all the grout in the kitchen, bathroom and floors. let it sit for about 15-20 min and then clean off. you might have to scrub a little but it does wonders. if you have the time to let is sit longer it will work better. If it can clean the toilet it can clean anything right?

L.

Hi E.,
My husband did a fantastic job on our floor. He used Mr. Clean on ours and it came up so clean and like new. The only thing is he did get down on his knees and scrub it with a big brush not a tooth brush..LOL The good thing is he didn't have to scrub so hard Mr. Clean did the work for him. Maybe you can get your hubby/boyfriend someone who can get down on the floor and scrub it for you. Or get a scrub brush that you can hold and not kneel down. I hope this helps you. Good Luck!

A quick fix is using magic erasers... you go though a lot of them on grout, but less scrubbing/muscle required.... definitely seal when you get them really clean!

I had a stain in my bathroom floor tile grout that I just couldn't get out. Then I read about cleaning tile with vinegar and water and it came right out! So you might want to give distilled white vinegar a try. It came out very easily, I don't think I had to scrub too much.

Hi E.,

For my kitchen counters which is white tiles I always use bleach cleaning spray. You might try it in a courner.

D.

I have seen an infomercial for a product called the steam buggy, gets out all the gross stuff like grout scum. Might want to google it. Good luck!

T.
Founder
www.theparentpack.org

I use non-toxic cleaners in my home from my business. I can think of several products in our product line that would work really well, without much scrubbing! One is our tub and tile cleaner which works more efficiently than most of the products you can by on the store shelves, costs less and has no harsh chemicals. I know that will be especially important to you with a baby on the floor (obviously not now, but when the baby starts crawling, and sitting on the kitchen floor to be with mommy). Check out my website and request more information. I would be happy to share all the details with you. www.SwitchingStores.info

Hi E.,
I love my tile counter. I can't stand the grout!!! Same reason as your beautiful floor. I scrubbed it with a brush and a bleach pen.

Next time, I'll see how much Grout Doctor charges. I've seen their trucks in the neighborhood and in the paper.

The problem is that I clean the dirty area and then the area I thought was clean now looks dirty. And a small job turns into a tedious one.

I have an aunt who cleans everything with steam. I wonder if that would do anything?

Good luck and let us know if you find a magic solution.

UGGH! I Feel your pain! I have tile and didn't have the grout sealed, I asked and was told I didn't have to. Our Grout got really bad and we don't wear shoes in the house (socks or inside shoes), my husband and I cleaned it once with soft scrub, then found out bleach breaks down the grout. We then went to Home Depot and bought grout cleaner and sealer. I cleaned and sealed it a section at a time. The sealer didn't make it look blotchy, but I'm someone who will follow the directions to a T. Also, I agree that you're not going to avoid getting on your hands and knees but there's nothing that says it has to all be done at one time. We have a lot of tile and when I clean it (It's due for re-sealing, Yikes!) I do small sections at a time because I couldn't handle doing the whole thing at one time.

In all honesty, my first reaction to this is that your 10 year old should be responsible for cleaning the grout realy well once a month.
Maybe I'm just a slave driver! :o)

Wait until you are feeling up to the task.Let everything wait until you feel up to the task.

The bleach solution below should work. I've found if I scrub with a toothbrush the first time out...really get it clean....then put on a grout sealer, the problem won't be so bad. You'll have to reseal annually, I suspect.

You need to get the grout light again, seal, and then regular mopping.

I have used a grout scraper to scrape the grout. It is usually used to remove old grout, but I've scraped the top surface and quickly sealed.

Stephanie

Well, unless you're able to hire a professional to clean your grout (which they do an awesome job, for a price of course!) then you will have to get on your hands & knees - there's just no way to clean it effectively without some elbow grease - at least in my experience.

Personally, because it's in the kitchen - an area that will always be a high-traffic area - I would hire a cleaner to clean the grout & then seal it. That way, all you have to do is maintain the tile like normal & the grout SHOULD stay clean. I did that in a house we had with tile - I did just the entryway. We were only there a year before we had to move but the grout stayed spotless!

The only thing I found that works (after many different experiments with things like Comet, vinegar, soap & water, etc.) was using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - the heavy duty, high power one. A couple of scrubs on each section of grout & it sparkled!! I had a huge kitchen & it took maybe 3 erasers, so very low cost (they run like $1.50 a piece). Yep, had to be on my hands & knees but at least it worked!

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