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How to Clean Grout With Household Cleaning Products

You don't have to buy anything fancy or expensive to get your grout clean.

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How to Clean Grout

Frequent exposure to hard water, soap and hair care products can quickly turn clean grout into a dingy mess. The good news is that, in most cases, dingy grout can be effectively cleaned with a mixture of common household cleaners. The recommended cleaning method depends on how dirty your grout is to begin with. Some solutions will be more suitable for regular grout cleaning and maintenance, while others are made to really get after the gunk on especially grimy grout. Here are four methods for cleaning grout using cleaning products you probably already have under your sink.

This video explains how to remove grout that is beyond repair.

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Warm Water and a Stiff Brush

If your grout appears to be in good shape and you want to keep it that way, clean it regularly with warm water and a stiff brush. Fill a spray bottle with warm water, then spray and scrub along the grout lines. Avoid brushes with metal bristles since those could strip away any sealant, damage the grout and scratch the tile.

These tile installation tips come straight from a pro.

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Family Handyman

Create a Water and Vinegar Mixture

If plain water no longer keeps your grout clean, then it’s time to add vinegar. Start by filling half of a spray bottle with warm water and the other half with white vinegar. Regular distilled white vinegar will work fine, but go with cleaning vinegar if you have it on hand. Spray the mixture along the grout lines and wait for at least five minutes before starting to scrub, once again using a brush with stiff (but not metal) bristles.

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Family Handyman

Break Out the Baking Soda

As anyone familiar with creating their own household cleaning products can tell you, baking soda is not just for baking. It can be used to deodorize shoes, clean upholstery and yes, scrub dirty grout. Make a paste of baking soda and water and spread it across the grout lines. Once the paste has been applied, spray some of that half-vinegar and half-water solution on top of the paste. This will cause it to foam. Once the foaming subsides, scrub the grout with a non-metal brush and rinse.

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Add Hydrogen Peroxide

If you’ve tried water, vinegar and baking soda and you still have dingy grout, don’t worry. There’s one more ingredient in your grout-cleaning repertoire: Hydrogen peroxide. Apply it directly to your grout, brush and rinse away. Or substitute it for the water when making the baking soda paste above.

Hydrogen peroxide can also help you clean a stained bathtub.

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Family Handyman

Other Options for Cleaning Grout

If you’ve tried all these solutions and still find yourself with unsightly grout, it’s time to move to the next level of cleaning products. Heavy-duty options include chlorine bleach; oxygen bleach; and handy bleach pens that make it easy to apply the bleach right on the grout lines. If you decide to use a bleach-based solution or something similar, be sure that you handle any toxic chemicals with care and ventilate your workspace the best you can.