Clean your grout {Day 29 of 31 days of Pinterest: Pinned to Done}

31 days of Pinterest -  Pinned to Done!

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How to clean grout

Today’s project was inspired by this pin from HomeKeeping for All

She made up a mixture of vinegar, water and baking soda to clean her grout.  The above picture is her “after” picture and it was much better than her “before” picture.

I have been realizing recently that the grout in my kitchen keeps getting darker and darker.  And I am desperate to find a way to clean it. 

Here is our kitchen floor – we had this tile put in about 3 years ago and I sealed the grout after waiting the day or week or whatever it was to for the grout to seal.

How to clean grout

And this is the floor in the main part of the kitchen in the middle of the “triangle” of fridge, sink, stove.

How to clean grout

And this is what the grout looks like behind the table over by the window – see nice and light!  What ALL of the grout SHOULD look like.How to clean grout

So mixed up her recipe for cleaner in a spray bottle.  That was my first “this is not going to work” issue with this post.  In case you didn’t know mixing vinegar and baking soda creates the “opening a shaken soda can effect” – it spewed everywhere!  And I read another post that used ammonia + the baking soda and vinegar in the cleaner and they said to SHAKE the bottle – oh boy!  So about half of my cleaner spewed out and overflowed into the sink.

I sprayed it on the 2-3 tiles in the middle of this picture and scrubbed away.  Sure enough brown waterry stuff was coming off but when I mopped it all up and wiped the grout clean, I don’t see much of a difference??

How to clean grout

Then I did this tile in the middle of the kitchen floor.  I even sprinkled some extra baking soda on it and let it sit for a while.

How to clean grout

And scrubbed, and scrubbed with a stiff scrub brush. 

I did the perimeter of the tile in the middle of the picture.  It is a little lighter but then again not a huge difference.

How to clean grout

And definitely not a big enough difference for me to spend the better part of a day on my hands and knees scrubbing my kitchen floor.

So this is pretty much a pin-FAIL.

So, I need some help… any advice for cleaning grout?  And once I get it clean, should I re-seal it and with what?

Anyone have a good mopping homemade cleaner too?  I am wondering if part of the problem is my mopping cleaner is building up in the grout and causing it to darken.

I am joining Nester from Nesting Place in writing a 31 days series in October.  You can see all the other hundreds of people writing a 31 days series here.

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  1. I’ve heard that mixing a solution of 1 part Dawn dish soap to 2 parts peroxide, then scrubbing with a toothbrush (or scrub brush) is a great grout cleaner. I haven’t tried it yet, but it got some great reviews.

  2. I used Polyblend Grout Renew (from Home Depot for $12). It basically colors and seals in one swoop.
    jae recently posted..Abstract ArtMy Profile

    • Christina says:

      thanks! I need to check if they have a tan. don’t really want to do white. I did ask at HD once and they didn’t know what I was talking about 🙂

  3. Charlene Smith says:

    I’ve used a clorox bleach pen and it works wonders! It takes a little time to apply to the grout lines, but just put it on and let it set for about 15 minutes or so. After the bleach has done its work, just wipe it off with a damp rag and enjoy your new looking grout!

  4. Charlene Smith says:

    Also, if that doesn’t make much of a difference…Lysol makes a grout scrub brush. I used that with the clorox blean pen on my more stubborn grout. Hope this helps!

  5. Check out The Yellow Cape Cod blog. Sarah used a grout paint pen to freshen up the look of her grout. When I mop I use a steam mop with just water, or water with just a little vinegar.

  6. I had the same exact problem in my bathrooms (yuk!). Oxy-Clean (or any cleaner like it in the big tubs) worked for me. The secret is to make a thin paste with water. Work a 3’x3′ area at a time. Spread it in the cracks with a toothbrush scrubbing just a bit as you go (no sweating necessary), and let it set for about 2 minutes. Wipe it up with a clean wet sponge or rag, then move on to the next area. It works great for around the bottom of the nasty toilet, also..(again, yuk!)
    Hope it works for ya!

  7. I use a cleaner called “Finazzle”. You apply it to your grout, wait a few minutes, use a brush to rough up the cleaner and then mop. You do not have to scrub. I used to find this at Lowes, Home Depot, etc but they could never keep it in stock. I now order it online. Try it, you will never use another cleaner! I promise!

  8. I had a similar problem in my guest bath. The tile and grout is about 3-4 years old and was stained beyond help. It was supposed to be an off-white but it was different colors in different places and looked awful. I tried EVERYTHING – all the miracle cleaners, grout cleaners and even pure bleach. Nothing made any difference. It was clean but it was still stained. My only other option seemed to be to grind down the grout and replace. I finally gave in and tried that Grout Bully product they advertise on TV. Now, my grout is bright white but surprisingly, it has stayed. I found that I needed two applications (three in some spots) but it was easy to apply. I’m not sure how this would hold up in a kitchen but it worked for me.

  9. My grout and tile weren’t sealed when the floor was put in. So when it came time to clean it, I used a little elbow grease and the steaming method to bring it back to its former glory. I learned from a flooring expert that tile floors should not be cleaned on an everyday basis with any product that is petroleum based- like Murphy’s oil soap, Pine Sol, etc. He recommended Mr. Clean or ammonia. Apparently, oil based products leave a film that is hard to remove- thus contributing to a dirt build-up and the staining. I had been using Pine Sol for two years….. I also learned that Clorox is not good for cleaning the floors, either. HERE”S. my blog post saga. Hope this will help. My grout still looks great. And yes, I sealed it all when I was done with my cleaning job. 🙂 Sue
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    • I am wondering if my cleaner is what is doing it too. I just used water and vinegar tonight. still working on getting my grout clean.

  10. Clorox Bleach Pen. You can go to and see the results another blogger got.

  11. Carrie Perrins says:
    Visit this website and you will never use another cleaning company again, I PROMISE. The BEST living surfaces, carpet cleaner, tile, upholstery cleaner out there!!
    They only clean with WATER!!

  12. rebekah felkel says:

    hey there! so i’ve been following your 31 days and i love it! thanks for sharing.. just thought i’d share what i recently found to work on the grout in my bathroom. Tilex with mold and mildew remover. i had to spray the lines and let it sit for a few minutes but after i did and the scrubbed\mopped it up- it was as clean as the day we laid the tile. i dont know if it works for everyone- obviously not all cleaners and cure-alls do 🙂 but you might want to try it! i was so pleased!! again, great work on your blog!!

  13. Try staining your grout. You can even stain it to a lighter color. You must use GROUT stain. Get from flooring retailer. Try a C-Cure or other brand. Grout just darkens over time. All grout should be the color of dirt cause that’s what it eventually turns to anyway. Anyway, I’m pretty sure the stain has a built in sealer too. DO IT!!!

    • really, stain it too a lighter color? I would have thought I would have had to go darker.

      still working on a solution. 🙂

  14. I love all your ideas and style! 🙂 Wish we lived closer. And you probably have beautiful grout now from all the other suggestions, but just in case I like Borax. I use it for EVERYTHING! Laundry, dishwasher booster, on my glass top stove, carpet stains, etc. But for grout make a paste with water and srub with toothbrush…or i even put that paste on and then attack it with my handheld steamer. Hope you guys had a great Christmas and New Year! Been thinking about you and would love to run an idea by you. If I make it to facebook soon I’ll message you. 🙂

  15. Gail Taillefer says:

    I did not seal my tiles Recently I discovered a cleaner called mean green. Spray on, leave for 20 min scrub off. Tiles like new Before this I tried most of the above suggestions with little improvement. My tiles went from gray to pure white.

  16. Richard Black says:

    My bathroom tiles were a sight for sore eyes: the grout was stained and looked filthy. Sadly I couldn’t afford to replace the grout for the entire bathroom. I found out about Nugrout products and decided to give it a try. I am amazed by how new my bathroom now looks with the new grout color, and how affordable the entire process was. Check out their website at I highly recommend them.

  17. I would consider calling a local professional tile and grout cleaner. You might be surprised at the low cost and green methods to clean everything. From there – you have an easier platform or starting point to maintain the correct color of your grout.

    Just like carpets or upholstery…a deep, deep clean is needed after some time.

  18. Hi Christina. I would try something stronger next time, like washing soda to clean your grout. Be sure to wear gloves.

  19. The grout in my kitchen and my bathroom keep getting darker as well. I think I need to employ this DIY natural method as well.

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