How to Clean Grout Like a Pro in 4 Easy Steps

Squeaky clean grout can make all the difference—and it just takes a few steps

Jacqueline Zenn
Written by Jacqueline Zenn
Reviewed by Asya Biddle
Updated August 17, 2022
A professional cleaner cleaning grout with a brush
Photo: Makasana / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
Difficulty

Easy

No experience? No problem.

Time to complete

2 hours

Depending on the size of the area you need to clean.

Cost

$0–$5

Keep it wallet-friendly.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Sponge
  • Towel (optional)
  • Safety razor
  • Scrub brush
  • Broom
  • Wet-dry vacuum (optional)
  • Steam cleaner (optional)

SUPPLIES

  • Tile safe cleaner
  • Baking soda (optional)

We all want a sparkling clean bathroom, but cleaning your shower tile and grout is not exactly most people’s idea of a good time. But it’s easier than you think, and by following these pro tips and using the proper cleaners and techniques, you can make everything pristine in no time at all. 

"You should include bathroom tile grout in your daily routine cleaning,” said Asya Biddle, Angi Expert Review Board member and manager of The Dustbusters, a family-owned and operated janitorial company in Williamsport, PA. “There are many shower tile and grout cleaners that are cost-efficient and environmentally and health safe.”

  1. Acquire or Mix the Right Cleaner

    For ceramic or porcelain tiled bathroom floors you can use more aggressive acidic cleaners or vinegar and baking soda solution but for stone floors, you need to use alkaline cleaners like bleach or other approved stone-safe cleaning agents. 

    You can also make green or homemade bathroom cleaners. Using a paste made from baking soda (2 or 3 cups of baking soda or bicarbonate of soda to 1 cup warm water) can work as well, but baking soda can leave a whitish residue on your tiles. Mixing in some 3% hydrogen peroxide can also help to eliminate stains on tiles or grout. 

  2. Scrub Your Grout

    Dirty grout or bathroom tile generally requires a bit of agitation to clean. Moreover, you likely need a small thin scrub brush designed to fit between floor tiles, or even an old toothbrush will work in a pinch for cleaning bathroom tile grout. Using a brush like this to agitate or loosen the dirt paired with the proper cleaning solution for your floor tile material can make a real difference in the appearance of your floors.

  3. Use a Safety Razor to Lift Up Residue

    If there is a lot of soapy residue or similar build-up on your grout, you can use a safety razor to gently peel away or lift up the gunk. Extremely dirty grout may require replacing, which means that you can use a triangular scraper tool or even a rotary power tool to scrape out the old grout in preparation for putting in new grout

  4. Wipe Everything Clean

    Cleaning supplies on a table
    Photo: Carol Yepes / Moment / Getty Images

    Once you’ve scrubbed your grout and removed any residual gunk from the surface, then use a sponge or rag to wipe everything up and enjoy your shiny clean shower! 

How Much Does It Cost To Clean Bathroom Grout and Shower Tiles?

The tools needed to clean your shower tile and grout should run you around $20 or so. While it is not necessary to use a power tool in most cases, a steam mop or similar appliance is around $120 and up depending on how many bells and whistles you desire. 

While cleaning your bathroom grout and shower tile is fairly simple, you may want to outsource the job to a pro to ensure the job is done right. In that case, hiring a local cleaning company to thoroughly deep clean your bathroom tile and grout should cost you around $455 or between $280 and $645.

What Not to Do When Cleaning Your Grout And Bathroom Tile

It might seem counterintuitive, but you should never use a mop and bucket on a tiled bathroom floor. This is because mopping just spreads the dirt and grime out on the floor. Think about it—if you are dipping a mop repeatedly into the same bucket of water and using it to scrub your floor, you are only getting black or gray water all over the place or even scrubbing it deeper in the grout lines. This exacerbates the problem as the dirty water evaporates, leaving the dirt in the grout and on the tiles. 

On the other hand, a long-handled mop with a disposable pad, a steam mop, or even a damp towel or rag can be a good way to wipe down your bathroom floor between deeper cleanings.

While you may have heard of using bleach to clean your bathroom, keep in mind that chlorine bleach and similar chemicals can damage or ruin grout or even discolor the tiles depending on their material.

Preventing Bathroom Grout Grime And Dirt

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in most things, but that is particularly true when it comes to home care and maintenance. Along with eliminating the aforementioned mop and bucket from your cleaning process, there are other steps you can take to ensure that your bathroom grout and tile are always sparkling. These include regularly wiping them down or squeegeeing them after a shower or bath, reducing moisture with bathroom fans, and cleaning up stains or product spills as soon as they occur.

“If these cleaning tasks are done on a daily basis after showers or baths, it will keep the grout and tiles clean plus keep your shower free from odor and mold," Biddle said.

Taking on the cost of sealing grout can also help keep dirt, grime, or mold from sinking into the flooring or tiling by keeping the dirt closer to the surface, but it can’t prevent all the damage. You can also stain the discolored grout, but if the discoloration is extensive or in an obvious spot you may have to replace the bathroom grout altogether.

This is why cleaning your bathroom tiles regularly and wiping up any messes as soon as they appear is so essential. You should use a broom or vacuum (a regular vacuum on the hard floor setting works if everything is dry, or a wet-dry vacuum if things are wet or damp) to minimize dust and dirt in between scrubbings and if any major spills occur. 

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