Does the thought of scrubbing grout make your arm hurt? I hear you: it can be a miserable task.
But stick around, because I’ve got a homemade grout cleaner that will get it clean with so much less scrubbing, plus tips to keep your grout in top condition.
Understand Grout vs. Caulk
First, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing, because people often confuse grout and caulk. And that can lead to some pretty big problems, because they’re made from different materials and require different treatment.
• Grout is the cement-like line between individual tiles and is intended to be permanent. So, however you clean stains or mold, you don’t want to damage your grout. Resealing it annually helps prevent these issues.
• Caulk is the line of latex or silicone where the tile walls meet tub surround or countertop. It’s supposed to be scraped away and replaced every 5 years, or if it begins to develop mold.
Since grout is meant to be permanent, you want to be gentle with it. That means no chlorine bleach, no toilet bowl cleaner, and no undiluted white vinegar no matter what TikTok says.
Also, skip the wire brushes. All of those harsh things will weaken grout and strip any sealant, so it’ll stain even more. Then you’ll have to replace it, and that’s no one’s idea of fun.
Homemade Grout Cleaner
Equipment and Materials
- Measuring cup and spoon
- Small bowl
- 3/4 cup baking soda (bicarbonate)
- 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
- 1 tbsp liquid dish soap
- Combine the ingredients to form a paste.
- Wash the grout with warm, soapy water.
- Apply the paste with a grout brush or old toothbrush
- Wait 10 minutes for the grout cleaner to loosen stains, then rub with the brush again and rinse.
Tips to Prevent Grout Stains
- Clean consistently. Clean your tub and shower or backsplash frequently and you won’t have to spend time scrubbing the individual grout lines.
- Be careful with dyes. If you color your hair at home, clean your shower right away. Waiting can make it permanent.
- Prevent mold with a fan. Run a bathroom exhaust fan after bathing, then use my daily shower spray to keep mold from forming.
The Importance of Sealing
How many times have you heard you need to seal your grout but have put it off? Sealing your grout protects it from mold, mildew and that hair dye I mentioned. Plus, it helps keep it from drying out and cracking.
In fact, most grout sealants are spray-on then you let them dry in place. That means, it takes longer to scrub it with grout cleaner than to seal it, so why wait?