What if I told you the best homemade grout cleaner isn’t baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap? I know, shocking right? That’s the recipe almost all the bloggers on the internet seem to recommend. I tested out as many homemade grout cleaner recipes I could find and used ingredients from my pantry to create the ultimate tile and grout cleaner. Read on to learn what the best homemade grout cleaner is and what natural ingredients didn’t work at all!
Table of contents
- Homemade grout cleaner DIY recipe
- How do you clean dirty grout naturally?
- Ingredients for homemade grout cleaner:
- Grout cleaning tools
- Cleaning grout with bleach
- My grout cleaning experiments
- Cleaning grout with vinegar
- Will the acid from the vinegar ruin the grout?
- Grout cleaner with Dawn Dish Soap and vinegar
- Do you need to re-seal grout after you clean it?
Homemade grout cleaner DIY recipe
We’ve all got dirty grout somewhere in our homes. Whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom or some other random room in the house, grout can be a big pain in the booty to clean.
Several years ago I tiled over the laminate counters in my kitchen with ceramic tile. It was a fun project that I recommend to anyone who wants to update old laminate or formica counters.
It’s been two years since I completed that project and I’m happy to report the tile work and grout has held up great. Although the counters are in good shape, the grout does look a bit dingy.
There is one area in particular that gets badly stained. We keep the coffee maker and espresso machine between the oven and sink. All the spilled coffee gets into the grout lines and it’s hard to clean.
I tested out all the natural grout cleaner recipes I could find and I’m sharing what worked the best.
Keep in mind that the original grout was very light grey.
How do you clean dirty grout naturally?
Sure, you can use bleach to clean grout, but personally I hate the smell of bleach and working with it makes me nauseous.
I prefer other cleaners and if I can make my own, that’s even better.
It’s not that I’m anti-bleach, I just prefer other cleaners that smell nicer. Unless you have something particularly nasty or bodily fluids to clean up I don’t think you need to go as drastic as bleach when cleaning.
Ingredients for homemade grout cleaner:
I tested the following ingredients on my grout and different mixtures of them to find out what worked best.
- Dawn dish soap
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Hydrogen peroxide
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Grout cleaning tools
All you need is an old toothbrush to clean grout. If you don’t have one laying around then go treat yourself to a new toothbrush and delegate you old one as your grout cleaning brush. You could also buy a heavy duty grout brush specifically for the job.
Cleaning grout with bleach
I used bleach on a portion of the grout because I wanted to see how it compared to the other cleaners. Surprisingly it wasn’t the most effective. In the past I have used gel toilet bowl cleaner and run it along the grout lines to clean and disinfect them. It worked well but not as good as the next ingredients I’m about to share with you.
My grout cleaning experiments
I started cleaning different areas of the grout with the different ingredients I listed above. I used lemon juice, peroxide, baking soda and vinegar first.
Then I used combinations of the ingredients. Surprisingly the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn didn’t work the best despite it’s what most bloggers on the internet recommend.
So what worked the best?
Cleaning grout with vinegar
Ding ding! We have a winner! Of all the solutions I tried vinegar was the best grout cleaner. I was super shocked at how well plain white vinegar with 5% acidity worked to clean grout.
Simply pour or spray it onto the grout cracks and let it sit for a few minutes. Dip your toothbrush into more vinegar and scrub it clean.
Will the acid from the vinegar ruin the grout?
You only need to clean grout like this a few times per year, so no, it won’t eat away at the grout if you are doing this occasionally. Sanded grout is basically like cement and it’s very sturdy. Unsanded grout may be more prone to damage from the acid.
Just in case the acidity could cause problems that I might not know about, I sprinkled a little baking soda onto the counter after I wiped away most of the vinegar to help neutralize it.
Grout cleaner with Dawn Dish Soap and vinegar
You can boost the power of the vinegar by mixing it with Dawn Dish Soap. I recommend this if you are cleaning a shower or vertical surface. The soap helps the vinegar stick instead of just running straight down the tile. Dawn has excellent cleaning properties of its own . Mix the vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle 50/50 and spray it on the grout and let it sit for a few minutes.
Scrub the grout lines with a small brush and then rinse clean.
Of all the homemade cleaners I tried, straight lemon juice seemed to work the worst. You would think that since it’s acidic like vinegar that it would work great, but sadly it didn’t really lift the stains.
Do you need to re-seal grout after you clean it?
You can seal grout a couple of times per year using a water based sealant. An easy way to seal your grout and whiten it even more is to use a grout pen.
I picked one up at Lowes and after the grout was clean and dry I simply drew over the grout lines with the pen.
The grout pen covers stubborn stains and mold that you can’t get out from scrubbing.
- 1 cup Dawn dish soap
- 1 cup Vinegar
- spray bottle
- scrub brush
- mix vinegar and Dawn in a spray bottle
- shake gently until it is combined
- spray on grout and leave for about 5 minues
- scrub with a small brush
- rinse off with water.
What’s the best grout cleaner you’ve used? Tell me about it in the comments!