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How to Whiten Grimy Grout

Freshen up your tile without regrouting

FH15FEB_GRUNGY_01-2Family Handyman

If your tile grout is dirty and stained but still sound, consider whitening the grimy grout with colorant. It's an easy, inexpensive four-step process.

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Time
A full day
Complexity
Beginner
Cost
$51–100

How it works

Photo 1: Pretreat the grout

Sponge on the pretreat solution and let it sit for five minutes. Then scrub the grout with the supplied brush. Wipe clean with the chamois.

Photo 2: Apply colorant

Squirt a thin bead of colorant on the grout lines in a 2-sq.-ft. section. Then scrub the colorant with the grout brush included in the kit.

Photo 3: Remove excess colorant

Wipe the excess colorant from the tile using the chamois. Wipe only the tile, not the grout lines. Let dry for 30 minutes.

Photo 4: Buff to remove haze

Apply a light mist of glass cleaner and buff the tile with a clean rag or chamois. Let dry for a full 24 hours before exposing it to water.

When cleaning isn’t enough, the usual cure for grimy grout is to grind it out and regrout (see Tips for Removing Grout). But here’s an easier approach: DAP Kwik Seal Grout Recolor Kit (available at home centers or online) lets you put a fresh coating over old grout in a few hours. It’s a four-step process. First, you clean and prep the grout with DAP Pre-Treat. Next, apply the Color+Seal coating. Remove the excess and then buff off the haze. The kit contains everything you need and covers about 100 sq. ft. of 4-in. tile (smaller tile will have more grout lines and require more material). Learn more at dap.com.

Required Tools for this Project

You’ll need a sponge and rubber gloves.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • DAP Kwik Seal Grout Recolor Kit