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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Grout: 10 DIY Tile and Grout Cleaners Tested

No matter what material your tile is made of, grout diminishes its value. Scrubbing it off can be a tedious job that often leads to procrastination. Thus, over time, scum build-up gets harder to remove.

Sometimes, detergents or bleach alone don’t suffice. Moreover, bleach is a no-no for some tile materials. Fortunately, there are tile and grout cleaners available to do the job. 

However, if you’re a frugal cleaner, you might consider using homemade recipes for cleaning grout in tiles. Here, we round up some proven DIY tile and grout cleaners. We also cut the guesswork on the ingredient proportion, bringining back the luster in your home’s ugly corners and surfaces. 

10 Guaranteed DIY Tile and Grout Cleaners

There are of course a wide variety of tile and grout cleaners available in your local store. While these are effective and heavy-duty, they also contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can cause indoor air pollution. They can even trigger allergies and other respiratory problems. If you want a safer environment, you may opt for these cost-effective and natural tile and grout cleaners. 

Baking Soda 

Baking soda is a time-tested and foolproof cleaning DIY solution for most households. You can use it along with a reliable brush to remove stubborn spots between your tiles. It’s a mildly abrasive cleaning agent that dissolves grime and dirt.

The Crown Choice Grout Cleaner Brush

 

It’s not only economical but also a greener choice for a cleaner. Thus, it is one of the best and most basic bases for tile and grout cleaners. 

  1. Mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water until it has the consistency of toothpaste.
  2. Apply on the tile surface.
  3. Clean with a heavy-duty grout brush like The Crown Choice Grout Cleaner Brush
  4. Leave for an hour before rinsing.

Choose brushes that are designed for cleaning tile and grout to make your job easier. These types of brushes have stiff angled bristles that go deeper into the grooves. They also function well around the corners for superior cleaning action. 


White Vinegar

The thing about soaking with a cleaning agent, then waiting for some specific time is that it’s hard to get back to work an hour after that. Unless, of course, you have the diligence and an abundance of time to do the job. This is where white vinegar is most useful. Vinegar is one of the scrub-and-go DIY tile and grout cleaners. But of course, it works better if you allow it to soak for a few minutes.

Zalik Spray Mop

 

  1. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. 
  2. Spray the tile surface and leave on for a few minutes.  
  3. Scrub away, then wipe it dry. 

To reduce the hassle from your spray-and-scrub, you can use a spray mop for this. For example, the Zalik Spray Mop with a refillable spray bottle. It has a lever on its handle that you can press to distribute the solution on the surface. Then you can mop it with the microfiber pad.

 

OXO 37481 Good Grips Grout Brush

 

To reach deep-seated dirt, scrub it with a reliable grout brush. This OXO 37481 Good Grips Grout Brush will complete your cleaning arsenal so you can easily scrub your worries away.


Hydrogen Peroxide

Stains that have ingrained themselves on grout get harder to remove. It may take extra effort to keep it spotless. However, not all tile and grout cleaners can remove those stains. Your next resort is reaching for a squeeze of bleach. 

McKesson 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

 

Combining baking soda with hydrogen peroxide is also a possible option. Hydrogen peroxide is a gentler form of bleach that effectively lifts away stains. It also disinfects the surface by killing molds, yeasts, fungi, and other viruses. 

  1. Add ½ cup of baking soda to ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide
  2. You can also add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to the mixture
  3. Apply the mixture on your tile and grout
  4. Soak for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing

The 3 percent hydrogen peroxide concentration is safe for all household use. You can grab this McKesson 3% Hydrogen Peroxide as one of the most effective tile and grout cleaners. Aside from tile and grout, you can also use it to clean glass, mirrors, cookware, and clothes stains. You will never think about harmful commercial bleach again.


Washing Soda 

Washing soda, a completely different thing from baking soda, also makes a fine grout cleaner. Otherwise known as soda ash, this product comes from burnt plants. It is effective in unclogging drains and removing grease and stains. It also helps you get that sparkly clean tile and grout in no time. 

Prescribed for Life Sodium Carbonate Soda Ash

  1. Combine ½ cup washing soda and 1-gallon warm water
  2. Scrub your tile with the mixture
  3. Rinse

Washing soda is not as widely available as baking soda, yet the two are equally effective. The only difference between them is their hydration level. If you heat up baking soda to a certain temperature, it’ll leave the washing soda residue. Nonetheless, you can still grab some at online stores like this Prescribed for Life Sodium Carbonate Soda Ash


Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

If you hate the idea of mixing, you can directly use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on your tile. However, this works best on tiled floors rather than on walls. 

50 lb Pail of USP Pure Sodium Bicarbonate Powder

 

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the tile and grout until thoroughly covered
  2. Put hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray the solution over the grout
  3. Allow the solution to sit for 10 minutes. Scrub and rinse

Baking soda has so many uses that you might want to stock up on it. Aside from baking and cleaning, it also has medicinal value and makes a pantry staple you might not want to forego. You can get a pail of pure baking soda here


Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice provides the same cleaning effect as vinegar. Moreover, it produces a fresher and more favorable scent. It has high citric acid content that tackles stubborn stains. This makes lemon one of the most effective and easy-to-find tile and grout cleaners around.

However, like most cleaners, it may not be always suitable for some tile materials. You may not want to use lemon juice if you have one of the following natural stone tiles materials:

  • Marble
  • Travertine
  • Slate
  • Granite
Rubbermaid Power Scrubber
  1. Squeeze a lemon or two, depending on the area of your work surface
  2. Apply it on the surface and leave on for about 10 minutes
  3. Scrub the tile surface and grout. Wipe it clean

Toothbrushes can provide deep and satisfying cleaning action even on grout. Experts recommend using them to deal with deep-seated dirt. They also help more efficiently around corners and harder to reach areas.

Cleaning tools like this Rubbermaid Power Scrubber will pair up with your tile and grout cleaners for deeper cleaning action. The oscillating heads will do the scrubbing to cut your labor time in half. 


Vinegar and Baking Soda

A combination of two of the most effective tile and grout cleaners will keep your floor clean in no time. Vinegar and baking soda are pantry staples that can replace most commercial cleaners. You probably have uncertainties, but mixing these products is completely safe. It only produces a harmless fizzle as the compound releases carbon dioxide.

Fuginator Tile Joint Brush
  1. Mix baking soda and water into a paste-like consistency
  2. Apply this evenly on the grout using a brush
  3. Combine an equal part of water and vinegar in a spray bottle
  4. Spray the mixture over the baking soda allowing it to fizzle
  5. Scrub the mixture thoroughly and rinse

Innovative brushes like the Fuginator Tile Joint Brush can effortlessly get the job done. It has a front-row bristle to mind the corners of your wall and floor as you scrub. If you have a wider surface area, you can attach a pole to the shaft and work in a standing position. 


Epsom Salt

Did you know Epsom salt or bath salt not only holds a remarkable benefit for the body, but is also a mild abrasive cleaner? It effectively brightens tiles and dark spots of grout. Like baking soda, it’s a multipurpose cleaner for toilets, clothes, and cookware. 

Epsoak Epsom Salt

 

  1. Mix equal parts of Epsoak Epsom Salt and dishwashing liquid
  2. Apply the mixture on the tile and grout
  3. Allow the salt mixture to soak for a few minutes
  4. Scrub and rinse

Liquid Castile Soap

Castile soap is an eco-friendly vegetable soap made from olive oil. However, it’s not just your ordinary body bath soap. It’s also used as laundry detergent and scouring scrubs.

Castile soap happens to be an excellent dishwashing detergent and a multipurpose cleaner. That said, Castile soap is also one of the best tile and grout cleaners you can find. It breaks down dirt, residue, and buildup, even on tile grout, for easy scrubbing. This is best for greasy and grimy tile surfaces.

La Almona – Pure Castile Liquid Soap
  1. Prepare a bucket of hot water
  2. Add ¼ cup of Castile soap into it
  3. Apply the solution on the surface using a mop
  4. For the best result, you can also drizzle baking soda on the grout beforehand 

Castile soap can either be scented or unscented. If you want, you can pick up the unscented one and just vary the scent with essential oils. An example is La Almona – Pure Castile Liquid Soap. You can add a few drops of essential oil or fresh lemon to it for your next tile cleaning. 


Triple Combo (Baking Soda, Lemon Juice, Vinegar)

What if you were to combine the most powerful tile and grout cleaners?

The result would be superior cleaning power, of course! Soaking your tile grout with baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar not only lifts stains but also disinfects your floor and gets rid of unwanted odors. 

Holikme 8 Piece Drill Brush Attachment Set

1. Mix the following products in a spray bottle:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup distilled vinegar
  • 7 cups of water

2. Apply the mixture to your tile and grout and soak for a few minutes.

3. Use a scouring pad or brush to remove all deep-seated dirt.

This Holikme 8 Piece Drill Brush Attachment Set is a heavy-duty brush and scouring pad set. Its cordless drill gives optimum cleaning and scrubbing for your floors and counters.

A potent combination of the best tile and grout cleaners with a powerful tool makes tile cleaning a worthwhile weekly chore. 


Tile and Grout Cleaning Tips

 

Cleaning Natural Stones

Before using any cleaning product, commercial or homemade, test the surface of your tile. As a general rule, avoid using chemicals on natural stones. It will cause ugly discoloration and ruin your investment.

Among them, marble is the most sensitive. Never use vinegar on them. Oil-based products like Castile soap may work. But then again, run some tests to be sure.  

Select the Right Brush

Stiff nylon brushes are excellent tools for scrubbing in between the grouts. They will work best with ceramic and porcelain tiles. However, they are a bit harsh on soft natural stone materials.

You can pick tiny brushes for cleaning the grout of the latter. 

Clean Your Tiles as Often as Possible

Wiping your tile clean every day won’t hurt. It’ll help prevent mildew and molds from forming, especially in bathrooms. Scrubbing the grout should be a weekly action.

However, you should only apply fresh tile and grout cleaning ingredients every time. Pre-mixing your DIY cleaners reduces its effectiveness, sometimes resulting in naught for your cleaning efforts. 

Use a Steam Mop

Steam cleaning is becoming a popular option for keeping almost all home surfaces sanitary. They are also excellent when it comes to loosening debris and residue on grouts. Steam mops often operate on a battery and use tap water to produce the steam, despite being pricey.

If you can afford one, it can be a wise investment. In addition to using DIY tile and grout cleaners, you’ll never have to grab a chemical cleaner ever again. 

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