Every good homeowner wants a clean, comfortable house where their friends and family can relax and feel at home. This is especially important in the bathroom, where cleanliness is king.Every good homeowner wants a clean, comfortable house where their friends and family can relax and feel at home. This is especially important in the bathroom, where cleanliness is king.

Have you spent an hour scrubbing and cleaning your bathroom tiles, and still feel like they’re dirty? If so, you’ve probably got a grout problem.

Grout is the cement-based filling in between your bathroom tiles. Grout is between the tiles on your bathroom floor, backsplash behind the sink or on the wall.

Grout is made from rough material, which makes it easy for dirt to stick to. When you wipe down your tile, dirt and grime can get pushed into the grout. Water also collects in grout and can cause bacteria and mold to grow.

Stained and dirty grout makes a bathroom look and feel dirty, no matter how hard you worked to clean the rest of your bathroom. That’s why we’ve rounded up 5 tips to clean your dirty grout and give your bathroom a fresh new face.

Try a DIY Solution

At GSC, we love whenever we find a reliable DIY solution to a cleaning headache — especially when it uses natural products to get the job done:

Vinegar and water solution

  • If your grout is looking less than pearly white, make a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water.
  • If your tiles are made of marble or a similarly porous material, vinegar could potentially stain your grout (skip to the baking soda solution below).
  • Put the solution into a spray bottle and spray onto the grout.• Let it sit for at least 5minutes, then use a soft brush (a toothbrush is perfect this job) to scrub the grout.
  • Clean it off with hot water.

Baking soda and water solution

  • You can address a particularly tough spot with this more aggressive solution.
  • Mix 1 part water with 2 parts baking soda and put it on the grout you want to clean.
  • Let it sit for 12-24 hours and then scrub hard with a brush for bathtubs
  • Rinse with hot water.
  • If your tiles are made of marble or a similarly porous material, you may want to try a less acidic solution (such as 2 parts baking soda to 1 part peroxide).

Scrub with Sandpaper

Scrubbing with a toothbrush not getting the job done? You might want to try sandpaper:

  • Get some medium-grit sandpaper and fold it so it’ll fit into the grout.
  • Sand just the grout where it’s dirty, and avoid the tiles on either side.
  • Sand out the dirty grout while avoiding scraping your tiles.
  • If there’s still some dirt left after sanding, get a white eraser (you can find an artist’s gum eraser at your craft store) and rub the dirty spot.
  • This’ll work best once you’ve smoothed the area with sandpaper.

Steam Cleaner

A steam cleaner is a device that heats water up to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit and then sprays it out to clean dirt and grime.

Buy or rent a multi-purpose steam cleaner (as opposed to a floor-only one). A multi-purpose cleaner will have attachments for different uses.

Think of a steam cleaner as an assistant to scrubbing. You’ll still have to put some elbow grease into cleaning the grout, but the steam cleaner can help:

  • Start by spraying down the grout with the cleaner’s steam jet, then scrub the remaining dirty areas with a soft brush (a toothbrush or any nylon brush). This type of brush won’t scratch or chip the tile.
  • If you need something tougher, the steam cleaner should come with a wire brush attachment. But be careful when using this, as it can damage the tiles.
  • As you remove dirt and grime from the grout, be sure to clean it up quickly, as it can settle back into the grout.

Commercial Cleaners

There are many grout-cleaning products you can pick up at the store. But before you buy a cleaning solution, keep two things in mind:

  1. Make sure the grout cleaner you purchase is good for the type of tile you have (marble, ceramic, porcelain, etc.)
  2. Follow the instructions closely to avoid eroding your tile.

Grout Pen

A grout pen is like white-out for your grout. It doesn’t remove dirt or mildew (which is why it’s our last recommendation), but it can help cover up stains.

Grout pens work on smooth and rough grouts, and most will have chemicals in them to resist bacteria or mold, which is a bonus.

A grout pen is a good final touch after you’ve tried all the cleaning solutions above.

You may find that some combination of the options above is what ends up working. Start with the gentlest approach (DIY cleaning solutions and scrubbing with a toothbrush) to minimize the chance of damaging your grout with a more intensive solution.

Looking for more tips to get your house spic and span?  Save time and money with these 10 genius housecleaning hacks >