How to Clean Grout

How to Clean GroutAfter struggling with more grout lines than you’d care to admit to, you might stop and wonder how to clean grout a better way. There are tons of different ways you can get those grout lines looking like Day One, but they all range in price and effectiveness. If you are sick of the struggle, there may be a solution waiting for you.

Choosing the right way to go can be tricky though, because there are a lot of companies out there trying to capitalize on the frustration you’re feeling. They know just what to say to get you to buy, and once you’ve got the product they figure you won’t bother returning it if it doesn’t work, you’ll just buy something else.

Grout Product Review Recaps

So we’ve sized up some of the better and worse products out there that claim to be able to tackle your grout problem and make it history. You can get a quick briefing on which ones to avoid and which ones to consider further. Keep in mind that each person’s home is different, and not all products will work the same in every situation.

Jump to our guide on How to Clean Grout

Do grout steam cleaners work?
Grout Steam Cleaners Recap
Steam cleaners that are specifically designed to blast dirt and grime out of grout is one way to go. The power of steam means that you don’t have to use a lot of your own power to get the job done. In fact, a lot of the professional grout cleaning services out there will end up using some form of steam to loosen things up and blast it away. But you don’t have to go all out and get an industrial sized machine.

They make smaller models, ones that are easier to use and portable so you can take them all around your house and get all of the grout cleaned on the regular.

See our full review of Grout Steam Cleaners
Does Homax Grout Whitener work?
Homax Grout Whitener Recap
This is a cover up that will affix to your grout lines and make them look shiny and new. As an added bonus it will repel future dirt and grime from being absorbed into your porous grout lines. The end result is that you should be able to clean your grout less often, and have an easier time with it each time.

It’s basically like getting a two for one deal here, and you are setting yourself up for future success and less struggle – win!

See our full review of Homax Grout Whitener
Does Grout Shield really work?
Grout Shield Recap
Grout Shield is one way to clean your grout, and has proven to be more effective than some other shoddy products out there. It is pretty easy to apply, but can also be time consuming. So as far as ease of use goes, it gets a passing grade. But if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve so much attention to detail you might want to go with a different option.

The reason is you have to apply it directly to the grout line. This makes it pretty effective because it’s being applied with precision. But if you have several grout lines it can be daunting.

See our full review of Grout Shield
Do Grout Cleaning Services work?
Grout Cleaning Services Recap
If you’re had it with all of the nonsense of cleaning your grout and just want someone else to do it for you, you may find yourself resorting to grout cleaning services. They’ll come out to your house and power through things with industrial grade equipment. They’ll charge a premium fee of course but you might not mind if you have a big job, or if the stains have reached a point where all the scrubbing in the world won’t fix them.

The biggest drawback to getting this done is that the results are temporary, and eventually you will need your grout cleaned again, developing a dependency on the service.

See our full review of Grout Cleaning Services
Do grout brushes work?
Grout Brushes Recap
Grout brushes are specially designed to get in between grout lines, and to be stiff enough that they can scrub away the dirt and grime without getting worn down. They can be used in conjunction with grout cleaning products so that you don’t have to use so much elbow grease. They are a good substitute for the old toothbrush that most people find themselves going with.

But a brush alone isn’t going to fix this problem for you, so it’s important to find a cleaning solution that breaks up the dirt from the grout so that it can be brushed away in the first place.

See our full review of Grout Brushes
Does Grout Aid really work?
Grout-Aide Recap
The thought of Grout-Aide is nice because it gives you the precision of a pen, and seems to be really easy to use. However, reviews are mixed as to whether or not it’s a workable solution to your grout problem. If you use it as directed you might not like the results, and it is not as easy to use as it is shown to be on the infomercial.

This works as a cover up for your grout lines, and is not actually cleaning them. Depending on what your aim is, if you want to clean your grout or you just want it to look better, this could be an option for you.

See our full review of Grout-Aide
Does the Groutinator work?
Groutinator Recap
We’re still waiting for more people to chime in with their thoughts on the Groutinator. It is designed to give your grout a proper cleaning, and is something that seems like it would be worth a try, but the jury is still out on how well it works.

If you do give it a try, remember that it is not a sealant, just a cleaner, so pair it up with a sealing product so you don’t have to keep doing this again and again.

See our full review of Groutinator
Does Grout Bully really work?
Grout Bully Recap
Grout Bully stirs up a lot of animosity in people that try it out, and the overall consensus is that it’s a sham of a product. There are video testimonials showing exactly what you get with it, and exactly how it works – or doesn’t work. It seems that it is really hard to apply, and that when following the directions the results are less than desirable.

With so many different options out there, you don’t have to feel like you are forced into trying this one out. It doesn’t live up to its claims apparently and can be avoided.

See our full review of Grout Bully

How to Clean Grout – Step By Step


If you don’t go in with a good strategy, you’re sunk. Here are the steps to take to make sure that the job gets done right the first time, and even how to fix it so it does’t have to be a monster chore in the future.

Step One – Prepare the Surface
It may sound funny, but this is the part where you want to clean before you clean. You want to clean the tiles and the grout before going at the grout specifically. This is to get the surface dirt off of the area and allows you to get into the grout lines and see exactly what is not surface dirt and what needs more attention. Once you see the enemy in all their ugliness, it’s time to go to battle.

Step Two – Use Desired Method
Choose which way you’re going to tackle the grout from the options above. Are you going to use steam? Are you going to use elbow grease? Are you going to skip the whole cleaning process and just go with a cover up or call a professional? Do the most thorough job you can, because in the next step we’re going to seal it all up so that you don’t have to go through all of this madness next time. Invest the time it takes to make sure your grout can get any cleaner, because this time you know that things will be different.

Step Three – Seal and Protect
When you’re finished getting your grout as clean as it’s going to get, it’s time to seal it up so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. The reason grout is such a pain is because it is porous. This means it soaks up water and all that comes with it, including dirty water from showering and from the sink. It is a magnet for mildew and grime stains. By covering up the surface with something that is non-porous the water will not soak up into the grout, and will be more resilient to stains, the way the tiles are.

Step Four – Maintain
This is the part that is hard to remember. Once you’ve got your grout looking amazing, it’s important to keep it that way. It’s easier to maintain the cleanliness of your grout than it is to let it get out of control and then try to bring it back. If you do a weekly check up on it, and give it the once over, you’ll be preventing any future build ups from occurring, and your grout worries will be a thing of the past.

When Grout Products Go Bad
It can set you back when you get a grout cleaning product that doesn’t perform the way you thought it would. There’s really no use complaining about it, because no one wants to hear it – except us. The best bet is to chalk it up to trial and error and keep on point by getting the next product on the list. Many times the prices on these cleaners is not very high, and they’re all disposable anyway, so if something is not working out you can just switch it up when it runs out.

Freedom from Grout Pains
It’s definitely not hard to say goodbye to dirty grout. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes in how clean your bathroom or kitchen looks. Clean grout lines just scream nice and new, and beg for attention. This is a nice change from having dirty grout and being embarrassed when company comes over, or being tired of looking at it every day. It can really brighten your spirits, as odd as that sounds.

Our Recommendation on How to Clean Grout

We recommend giving it a good cleaning instead of using a cover up, if at all possible. Some stains are just too far gone, and all of your effort will be in vain. In those instances the only options is to cover it up and forget about it. Once you’ve got your grout looking decent, the best thing you can do is seal it up. While this doesn’t mean you’ll never have to clean your grout again, it means you’ll have to clean it less frequently, and you won’t be searching for how to clean grout any time soon.