Guides and Tips

A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning White Grout at Home

May 6, 2023
A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning White Grout at Home

Dirty white grout is very common in different areas of the house especially if they get a lot of foot traffic.

Fortunately, cleaning white grout is fairly easy if you know what cleaner to use and how to use it correctly. 

This is what today’s guide is all about. We’ll be dividing this article into three parts: how to clean white grout, alternative grout cleaners, and how to upkeep it.

What is the easiest way to whiten grout?

What is the easiest way to whiten grout

The easiest way to whiten grout is to soak it in a cleaning mixture made of white vinegar and baking soda.

For this, combine 1 part baking soda and 2 parts white vinegar, apply it on the grout lines, wait for 5 to 10 minutes, scrub the dirt out of the grout, rinse, and dry it.

The reason why it’s the simplest method of cleaning dirty white grout is white vinegar and baking soda are both reliably effective, safe, and readily available.

While hydrogen peroxide—which serves as a powerful cleaner and disinfectant—can be used instead of vinegar in the mixture mentioned above, most people don’t have it at the house.

What items will I need to clean white grout?

What items will I need to clean white grout

Here are the things you’ll be needing to clean white grout at your home:

  • A toothbrush or brush
  • A clean rag or cloth
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • A small plastic container
  • A spray bottle
  • A wet/dry vacuum cleaner

Brush

Brush

You’ll need a brush to scrub grimy grout. You can use an old toothbrush, an electric toothbrush, or a cleaning brush.

The benefit of using a stiff brush is that it can remove set-in grout grime and stains. But be careful when cleaning with it, as it could cause the grout to crumble or crack.

If you are worried about damaging the grout, we suggest just using a soft or medium-bristled brush.

A Clean Rag or Cloth

You can get a clean rag or cloth to wipe the tiles and grouts clean. If you have a torn towel or shirt, you can put this to use as well.

Baking Soda

You will need baking soda or bicarbonate of soda to create a natural grout cleaner. It acts as a great deodorizer and stain and dirt remover.

Additionally, baking soda has been proven effective in tackling mold and mildew spots on flooring.

White Vinegar

You’ll also need white vinegar to help break down the stains and grime on the grout. 

Having said that, it has to be made into a solution together with baking soda. This cleaning combination will bring terrific grout-cleaning results.

Besides dirt and stains, a vinegar-baking soda cleaner can eliminate stubborn mold on grout lines.

Is vinegar bad for cleaning white grout?

Pure vinegar can be bad for white great.

If undiluted, vinegar can wear down grout over time due to its acid content. So make sure to weaken its concentration with water or baking soda first.

Or you can apply another type of cleaner instead, such as hydrogen peroxide. Unlike vinegar, hydrogen peroxide has a neutral pH, so it is safe to use on grout.

Caution: If you have stone tiles like marble, limestone, or travertine, refrain altogether from using vinegar or a vinegar solution to clean their grout, as the vinegar may corrode them.

Small Plastic Container

You need a small plastic container to create a baking soda paste.

Spray Bottle

Furthermore, you need to get a spray bottle for the grout-cleaning task. You will need to put vinegar in it to spritz over the baking soda paste.

How do I clean white grout?

How do I clean white grout

Follow the steps below to clean dirty white grout on your property:

  1. Create a baking soda paste
  2. Apply the baking soda paste onto the grout
  3. Rub the baking soda paste onto the grout
  4. Spray vinegar over the baking soda
  5. Scrub out the stains
  6. Rinse the tile and grout well
  7. Wipe the grout and let it dry

1) Create a baking soda paste

Create a baking soda paste

First, you have to create a baking soda paste in a small plastic container. This solution consists of 2 parts of baking soda and 1 part of warm water. 

Being a mild abrasive, baking soda can remove unsightly grout stains, dirt, and dust. In other words, it is an effective cleaning mixture that won’t damage the tile and grout.

Also, using warm water is better than cold or lukewarm water, as it helps to dislodge grime and stains from the grout. And it helps to eradicate the bacteria present on the floor.

2) Apply the baking soda paste onto the grout

Apply the baking soda paste onto the grout

With the baking soda mixture ready, spread a sufficient amount along the dirty floor or wall grout with a cloth. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.

3) Rub the baking soda paste onto the grout

Rub the baking soda paste onto the grout

Then get a discarded toothbrush or a stiff-bristled grout brush and scrub the grouting to take out as many stains as possible.

But if you have an electric toothbrush, so much the better, as using it will keep your hand and arm from aching as you work.

4) Spray vinegar over the baking soda

Spray vinegar over the baking soda

Next, fill a spray bottle with some white vinegar and spritz the grouting where you’ve applied baking soda paste.

You will then notice a thick fizz forming out of baking soda and vinegar. Its bubbles will significantly help lift the dirt and stains out of the grout.

But, again, before you scrub the stains away, leave the baking soda and vinegar solution on the wall or floor grout for 5 to 10 minutes for the best cleaning results.

5) Scrub out the stains

Scrub out the stains

Now take the same brush you have used and scrub all the dirt, spots, and mold off the grout. Keep scrubbing until you see them coming out completely.

6) Rinse the tile and grout well

Rinse the tile and grout well

Afterward, vacuum up the baking soda remains on the floor with a wet/dry vacuum. 

Then give the tile and grout a good rinse to remove all traces and the scent of the cleaning solution. For this, simply pour a solution of warm water and dish detergent into the cloth until it dampens, and wipe the floor thoroughly with it.

7) Wipe the grout and let it dry

Wipe the grout and let it dry

When you’re done, get a clean and dry rag or cloth and wipe the floor or wall tiles and grout. Then just let them dry.

Open the windows and doors for proper ventilation. You can also direct an electric fan to the rinsed areas to speed up the drying process if you want.

Proper drying of the surface will prevent excess moisture that could lead to mold and mildew grout spots.

At any rate, your grout should be totally clean, white, and bacteria-free at this time. The cleaning work is done!

What are other cleaners I can use on white grout?

What are other cleaners I can use on white grout

Below are other cleaners you can use to clean old and dirty white grout:

  • Dish detergent
  • Epsom salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Castile soap
  • OxiClean bleach

Dish detergent cuts through oil and grime

Dish detergent can take out deep stains and grime without ruining the grouting.

But in order to be effective, it needs to be mixed with other household cleaners like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or baking soda and Epsom salt.

Epsom salt cleans and disinfects the grout

Epsom salt cleans and disinfects the grout

Besides being used to relieve or rejuvenate the body in baths, Epsom salt is a convenient cleaning agent.

This substance has great anti-bacterial properties, which is why it can be used to make the white grout clean and hygienic.

Also, it is easy to use it. You only need to get some Epsom salt on a microfiber cloth and scrape the dirt and grime out of the grout with it.

Lemon juice whitens and disinfects grout lines

You can pour lemon juice on the dirty grout to clean it too. Lemon juice is a great mild cleaner that can remove hard stains and grime as well as whiten the grout.

Plus, it will leave a refreshing citrus scent on the white grout afterward, as opposed to store-bought cleaners.

Anyhow, it’s up to you whether to apply lemon juice singly or as part of a cleaning mixture. Both of these methods can be used.

For the former, directly pour the juice on the grout, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, and wipe down the grout lines with a damp cloth.

As part of a cleaning mixture, one example is combining 1 part warm water, 1/2 part baking soda, 1/4 part vinegar, and 1/3 part lemon juice.

Castile soap loosens tough dirt and residues

Castile soap loosens tough dirt and residues

Castile soap is different from ordinary soap in that it is heavier and harder to rinse from the body and cleaning surfaces tools.

But this is precisely what makes it a strong cleaner for white grout. It can loosen and clean the toughest dirt, stains, and remaining debris.

In groceries and cosmetic shops, this type of soap usually comes in liquid form in dispensers rather than in bar form.

A white grout cleaning recipe using Castile soap comprises 1 part warm water, 1/3 part vinegar, 1/4 part Castile soap, and 5 to 10 drops of essential oil.

OxiClean is an eco-friendly chlorine-free cleaner

OxiClean is a versatile commercial product that can be used to remove ingrained stains and spots on white grout.

The catch with it is this bleach uses no chlorine and harsh chemicals contrary to chlorine bleach. 

Additionally, it makes use of water and oxygen to whiten and clean various surfaces, making it an eco-friendly option!

To use OxiClean on white grout, mix it with water, apply it on the white grout, wait for 5 to 30 minutes, scrub the stains and dirt out with a brush, and rinse it thoroughly.

What is the best white grout cleaner?

What is the best white grout cleaner

The best white grout cleaner is baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Both of these ingredients are natural and safe yet give excellent cleaning results.

To explain: baking soda can get rid of embedded grout dirt without damaging the grout line like harsh commercial cleaners.

Likewise, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t damage the grout surface, yet it is the natural cleaner equivalent of bleach. That means it can restore the grout to its original white condition while killing the bacteria, viruses, and even fungi in it.

How do I make a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide cleaner?

The recipe for this mild cleaner is to mix 1 part baking soda with 1 part hydrogen peroxide.

Alternatively, if the floor is too grimy and even oily, you can add a small amount of dish soap to the recipe above to deep-clean the white grout.

Handy Tips on Maintaining Your White Grout

Handy Tips on Maintaining Your White Grout

Below we answer some commonly asked questions regarding white grout care and maintenance:

How do you keep white grout white?

You can keep white grout white and prevent effortful cleaning in the future by brushing the grout with a soft nylon brush or toothbrush.

This should be done frequently or whenever people with dirty or muddy shoes walk over the tiles and grout.

Remember not to use hard brushes or those with metal, as these can scratch, damage, or crack the flooring.

How often should I clean white grout at home?

Light-cleaning white grout should be done once weekly, while deep-cleaning white grout should be done every 4 to 6 months to keep it pristine and fresh.

Light-cleaning white grout must be done once a week

You should aim to clean white grout at home at least once a week. White grout, compared to other grout tones, easily becomes dirty through water splashes, dust, and dirt.

But worry not. All it takes is a simple wipe-down using a natural cleaner like vinegar and baking soda or antibacterial wipes. This ensures your white grout looks fresh for as long as possible.

Deep-cleaning white grout must be done once every 4 to 6 months

Once every 4 to 6 months, you would have to deep-clean the white grout to keep it neat and in peak condition.

Deep cleaning requires the person to spray or apply a strong and safe cleaner to fight stains on and/or whiten grout joints, scrub the grout, and then rinse it completely.

The difference between light and deep-cleaning white grout is that the first is less effortful involving only a light wipe, whereas, the second involves a more thorough cleaning, care, and attention to detail to remove all its stains and discoloration.

Do I have to get a pro to clean white grout?

Do I have to get a pro to clean white grout

Unless your plate is full or the grout is severely dirty for you to handle, there’s no need to hire a professional to clean your white grout at all.

If you know what to do and what natural cleaner to make, the chore of cleaning white grout is easy. 

But, as always, you have to do all the cleaning work yourself, which is a regular task, not a one-off task. So you have to commit to that to keep the walls and floors spotless.

How do professionals clean white grout?

Most cleaning specialists use a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water to rid white grout of tough stains, blemishes, mold, and mildew.

That is because white vinegar is a mild acid, which makes it a great cleaning ingredient. Moreover, it doesn’t endanger the health of the occupants and their pets, unlike synthetic cleaning solutions.

Other Helpful House Cleaning Guides

Outside of this article, you may also want to explore these helpful guides about cleaning your house:

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