4 Homemade Grout Cleaners That Really Work

Updated May 4, 2020
woman cleaning grout on tile

Easy and inexpensive homemade grout cleaners help lighten stains and remove mold and mildew - and they won't hurt your wallet. Check out these sure-fire ways to get your grout gleaming again using peroxide, vinegar and bleach.

Homemade Grout Cleaner

You might not think too much of your bathroom grout until it starts having a dingy appearance. Don't let it get you down! Instead, grab a few items from your pantry or under your sink. For these grout deep-cleaning recipes, you'll need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach
  • Grout scrubber or old toothbrush
  • Bowl and mixing tool
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves (wear with all methods during mixing and cleaning)

Discard Cleaners That Cannot Be Stored Safely

Throw away any cleaners with baking soda and bleach or baking soda and peroxide right away after you are done using them. These cleaners are one-use only.

Homemade Grout Cleaner With Peroxide


Hydrogen peroxide is a great cleaning agent for grout. Try these recipes below if you're looking for an instant grout-whitening winner!

Cleaning Grout With Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

The combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can help with stains on some types of lighter or white grouts. Do not use this combination on grout that is surrounded by marble or stone tiles.

  1. Sprinkle the baking soda on the grout.
  2. Pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the baking soda.
  4. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Use a brush to scrub the grout.
  6. Rinse, and voila!

Baking Soda, Dawn and Peroxide for a Deeper Clean

While baking soda and peroxide work excellently together to whiten and clean grout, adding a little Dawn dish soap makes the combo even better. For this homemade grout cleaner recipe, you're actually going to mix them together first.

  1. In a container, combine:
    • ¼ cup of peroxide
    • ½ cup of baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap
  2. Mix together until you have a nice, consistent paste.
  3. Carefully place the mixture on the grout. Use caution with marble and stone tiles.
  4. Give it about 15-20 minutes to sit.
  5. Grab your scrub brush and put a bit of elbow grease in.
  6. Rinse and dry.

Dawn and Vinegar Grout Cleaner

clean grout dawn vinegar solution spray bottle

Do you hate scrubbing? Unfortunately, there aren't any completely scrub-free recipes for cleaning grout. However, this 2-ingredient homemade grout cleaner with Dawn soap and vinegar gets pretty close!

  1. Heat a cup of 1-to-1 vinegar and water in the microwave for about a minute.
  2. Pour it into a spray bottle and add a cup of Dawn dish soap.
  3. Carefully spray the mixture on your grout lines.
  4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes longer if you have really dirty grout.
  5. Grab your brush and give it a few good swipes.
  6. Wipe and rinse.
  7. Be pleasantly amazed by the dirt-fighting power of Dawn and vinegar.

Cleaning Grout With Baking Soda and Bleach

clean grout with bleach and baking soda paste

Since bleach is a whitening agent, it works great to brighten grout. Add a bit of the scrubbing power of baking soda and you have a combo that can't be matched. Here's the recipe for this winning 2-ingredient cleaner:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of bleach.
  2. Create a thick paste with a smooth consistency.
  3. Using a spoon, precisely put the mixture on the grout.
  4. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. Use a brush to scrub particularly yucky grout.
  6. Let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  7. Rinse and dry.

What Not To Use on Grout

When it comes to grout, there are a few cleaners you should avoid or use with caution. This is especially true if your grout is colored.

Acidic Cleaners

When it comes to cleaning grout, avoid recipes that include straight vinegar or lemon juice. The acid in these cleaners weakens the grout over time, causing sooner replacements.

Harsh Commercial Cleaners

Because grout is weak, some chemicals used in commercial cleaners can break down the mortar. While they will clean it, you'll have to replace the grout much sooner than if you used gentler cleaners.

Avoid Using Too Much Water

Grout is porous. When too much water is used for cleaning, it will break down the cement mortar sooner. This can actually lead to grout breaking down and disintegrating.

Colored Cleaners

When cleaning white grout, avoid using anything with color. The same goes for colored grout -- stay away from the bleach and peroxide. These are bleaching agents and could lighten your grout.

Tips for Cleaning Your Grout Safely and Effectively

To get the best results from any of these homemade cleaners, follow these tips when dealing with your grout:

  • Wear gloves when cleaning grout because some chemicals can be harsh to the skin.
  • Test the grout cleaner in an inconspicuous area to make sure it does not discolor your grout before you use it, particularly on dark-colored and epoxy-based grouts.
  • Remember to safely dispose of homemade cleaners with baking soda and bleach or peroxide once you're done cleaning with them. They are for one-time use only and should not be stored.
  • Store the vinegar and Dawn in a spray bottle.
  • Avoid using wire brushes or any metal tools because these will damage the grout.
  • Do not attempt to clean grout that has been cracked, loosened, or that is coming free from the joints; this grout should be removed for the best results.

Grout Cleaning Schedule for Regular Upkeep

Follow a cleaning schedule to make sure the filth doesn't settle in. These tips below will help you keep up with your grout cleaning.

What Needs Immediate Attention?

There are a few things that should never wait for cleaning.

  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, especially dark-colored spills.
  • Sweep up dirt clumps or tracks when they happen.

Weekly Grout Cleaning To-Dos

You'll want to do these tasks on a weekly basis. Even a couple of times a week wouldn't hurt.

  • Prevent dirt build-up in grout by sweeping/vacuuming.
  • Use a damp cloth to mop. Avoid leaving standing water.

Monthly Grout Cleaning Tasks

Even the most diligent cleaning will still leave some residue. Therefore, give the grout a good scrub every month.

  • Use the homemade grout cleaner recipes above for deep-cleans only.
  • After cleaning your grout, consider sealing it to prevent new stains from forming. This should be done every 6 months regardless.

Clean Your Grout

With these simple recipes for homemade grout cleaners, your old and discolored grout will look better than ever. Clean up your grout and start seeing your beautiful tiles in a whole new way!

4 Homemade Grout Cleaners That Really Work