Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DIY Homemade Grout Cleaner

For the past week, I've been preparing my kitchen for the big "addition." I'm working hard to get it ready, so that when it is done, it's done! It's amazing when you look at something everyday you don't realize how much things can change...example: I clean my kitchen...a lot! We have builders grade tile floors with a light gout. Not my favorite, but it will do. I mop and clean the floors with different cleaners...steam mop, Swiffer Wet Jet, Clorox Wipes, various tile cleaners, vinegar, you get the picture...After we moved the washer and dryer out of the kitchen I realized how white (clean) the grout was where they had been...and how dirty (black) the grout was where we lived! Kinda gross when I really thought about it. I finished up some house work one afternoon and was about to run to the hardware store for some over the top expensive grout cleaner when I decided to make some myself. Here's the simple recipe to my great potion:

1/4 cup bleach
3/4 cup baking soda

Not exactly rocket science! It creates a nice thick paste that I mixed together in an old cup. I went to work with an old toothbrush and was able to clean a 5' x 6' area with this amount. After scrubbing the grout, I let it sit for ten minutes, then wiped it clean with a rag and hot water. (I filled up a bucket before I started because the rag constantly needed rinsing out). I was pretty pleased as I scrubbed, it wasn't sparkling, but it was looking better. When I finished, I walked away to do a few other things before the Smurfs got out of school.

I guess I wasn't using too much brain power that day, because one reason it never looked sparkling clean while I was cleaning it was because it was wet. I didn't figure that out until an hour later when I walked back into the kitchen and...holy batman!!! My kitchen floor didn't look good, it looked GREAT! Like shout from the roof GREAT! I really could not believe it. I wanted to call everyone I knew! While I did tell my mom, my dad, Marlene, the principal and secretaries at the Smurfs school, and a few other random people I met on the street that day...I saved the before and after picture until now...

before...gross...I know!


after :)

you can clearly see where I left off after day one...
There is nothing like a little spring cleaning and elbow grease to get you in a good mood!

Rachel :)
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Anonymous said...

now you should go to that hardware store and get some grout sealer so you can ward off doing this for a few years - it will seal the grout so every time you mop and get dirty water (can even be the least bit dirty) it doesn't sink in and slowly become dark again! They sealer will tell you on the bottle how often to re-seal.

came across your blog through pinterest! thanks for the post

Laurie Mor said...

What if your grout color is a light taupe? Will this bleach out the original color?

Anonymous said...

Outstanding! I moved into a place with no less than 850 sqft of filthy grout that I will begin scrubbing this weekend. Thanks for the excellence!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! I'm trying this tomorrow during my son's nap.

Anonymous said...

I have dark grout. Any suggestions?

Carey said...

We have light beige grout that was BLACK. I did this today and I'm freaking out excited. Like you say, I want to tell EVERYONE and invite them over to see the 5x6' patch that I finished today. YAY YAY YAY. You do NOT know how excited I am!!!! seriously, it was black and now it looks sooooo beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I rent and also have semi dark grout on ceramic tile and worry about the bleach.. I'm also starting to wonder if maybe the grout is just dark from being dirty.. Lol!

Accessorize and Organize said...

The original color on my grout was a light taupe/greige color. The bleach def lightened it more than it is supposed to be, but I didn't mind. I would try a solution with no bleach for darker colors, althoug I'm not sure how to tell if dark colors are clean or not?! And seal it to protect it when you are done :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, although I have a love/hate about this post. I love how clean it got my grout, but I hate that now I have to go through my entire house since it's all tiled. Looks a little weird with light gray in the kitchen and black everywhere else, haha. I added a bit of water to the solution to make sure it didn't bleach out my light gray grout and also didn't let it sit for 10 mins. Just did a bit at a time, then rinsed. Worked amazingly. Thanks again!

Amy said...

Great idea!! We are doing this today - and I have a question. Does it matter what type of bleach you use? I notice in the picture that the bleach is the 'ultimate' type. That is a bit thicker than regular bleach. Does it matter which type we use? Thanks!! Happy Friday!!

Accessorize and Organize said...

I'm sure any bleach would be great! I feel that Clorox Ultimate is not as strong or as "bleachy" as the original, so you might get better results! Good luck :)

Monique Collins said...

Holy BATMAN is right!!! Just did my tile yesterday, it looks like new tile! Thanks for the tip!!

Taryn Campbell said...

WOW, that is an amazing difference - and just what I need! I have a pretty similar color of tile and grout & was just noticing the other day how grimy it looks. I am so happy I found this.

Anonymous said...

I once uaed clorox gel cleaner. Worked well.... No mixing . Just squirt it down the tile line and use a toothbrush. But this i usually have on hand :)

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Anonymous said...

The only down side of having darker tile is you can see all the baking soda that was left behind, even after wiping. It's going to take a few wipe downs, but my grout is now light grey instead of charcoal/black :)

Irene_J said...

I am really excited to try your recipe! I am in the midst of a house cleaning challenge on my blog, and attempting to tackle the nasty grout was on my list. I will be sure to let you know how it works! Maid Service Georgetown TX

Aimee said...

Ug I have been scrubbing mine for over a week now with vinegar and baking soda, and it is taking so long! I am going to have to try your way out!! Thanks for sharing!

Tessa said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Great blog :O)

Anonymous said...

I cant believe how well this works

Anonymous said...

I used hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and got the same results without the yucky bleach chemicals.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely be trying the bleach (or hydrogen peroxide) -- seems more effective. I tried an ammonia/vinegar/baking soda recipe and really had to can see my results on my blog:

Anonymous said...

Be careful when using bleach on tile and grout as it will erode the grout over time, causing more harm than good. I learned this the hard way. :(
You also HAVE TO seal the grout after cleaning it with bleach... another painstaking job!

Mackenzie Person said...

Woah! I literally had to scroll up again just to see if I was seeing the same tiles or not. That’s like a leap-to-the-moon improvement you got there. Congratulations! However, I have to agree with the last comment that too much bleach can destroy the grout. Perhaps scheduling the use of bleach in between regular sessions of natural products will help in this situation =)

Mackenzie Person

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Joe and Heidi said...

Do you think this will work on the tile too? Since we bought our home 6 months ago I always thought the kitchen tile looked dirty no matter how much k tried to clean it and no matter what I tried it still looked the same. I was beginning to think that was just how it was supposed to look. Until I've just spent the last day and a half scrubbing each tile with magic erasers. It looks great but I'm only half done with the tile and haven't even started the grout yet. My hands and fingers hurt and I think it would go much faster to do this if you think it will work. :o) thanks for this

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.

Anonymous said...

Use your carpet cleaner on the rinse afterwards instead of on your hands and knees. Saves your hands and knees and gets up all of the baking soda as well!

Anonymous said...

Resolve high traffic works good too. Just spray on the grout let set for 30 minutes and rinse off.

Anonymous said...

I am going to try this on the grout on kitchen counters, coffee pot exploded leaving grout with a coffee stain. Hope it works.

politicchic6 said...

My husband sent me a link to this from pinterest because I am always complaining about our tile grout. IT WORKED!!! Thanks!

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Guy Houchins said...

I've dealt with a lot of grout cleaners my whole life. I didn't know that a mixture of baking soda and bleach would do the trick. It's really a good thing to search and visit blogs like yours because of all the helpful tips that you've been sharing to people. I'm really thankful for your post. This time, I won't have a hard time scrubbing the floor for hours and hours. Guy Houchins

Richard Black said...

I used NuGrout Colorant to color the grout in my kitchen. My floor looks fantastic! The best part is I saved a bunch of money since I didn’t have to re-grout the tiles. My wife LOVES the outcome! You can find out more about these products at

Anonymous said...

i cannot wait to try this. years ago a friend came over with a miracle bottle of cleaner, started in the middle of my kitchen. THE MIDDLE. LOTS and LOTS of tile floor throughout the house. needless to say, several weeks later i had finished it all.
Now, we have much less tile, but still dirty stuff. i am excited to find a cure.

ValKahn said...

Thank you! My master bathroom floor grout hasn't been this clean in a long time. Doing the hall bathroom next.

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Gail Wallace said...

Wow! That looks amazing! I’ve never seen any grout looking that clean! And the formula for the cleaner is very easy, too! This will definitely be a money-saving cleaner!
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Anonymous said...

I just used the "bleach" left over from streaking my hair on my bathroom grout. It worked instantly and the shape of the bottle worked perfectly to squeeze just along the grout line.

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Thanks for posting this tips here because I also teach this on my office friends. I only do this inside my home but in our office, we have office cleaning services Melbourne that are doing their job in cleaning it and we are not failed on choosing them because they are the best in terms of cleaning.

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Danielle Schimmer said...

Thanks for sharing this post. I really needed a recipe like yours because I'm on a tight budget and really can't afford any expensive cleaners.

Sandra Davidson said...

My kitchen floor was in a similar condition. I used your mixture and it worked great, the grout now is yellow as it was, not almost brown. Thanks for the idea!

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Heather Autumn said...

That's how it was for me. I moved, thought the place had black grout, then looked in the cupboard to see white grout. It's was like a crazy home make over when I got done scrubbing!

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المشي في المنزل وهو نظيف ومريح هو شعور رائع. ومنذ عشرات السنين أصبحت شركة تنظيف بالرياض الاسم الأكثر ثقة في خدمات تنظيف المنزل، فلقد صرنا الخيار الأول لكل من نحن يرغب في أن يعيش في بيئة نظيفة خالية من كل الملوثات والأوساخ دون أن يبذل أحدهم جهد أو يضيع ذرة من وقته لأن عومل الراحة والأمان أكثر مما يتوقعها الجميع، فنحن نتسم بالمرونة التي هي شرط اساسي للتعامل مع رغبات عملائنا في الرياض من أجل تحقيق طلباتهم ورغباتهم كما يريدون تمامًا ليحصلون على بيت نظيف على طريقتهم الخاصة وذلك لأننا نعتمد على طريقة تنظيف اجتازت اختبار الزمن وأثبتت فعاليتها في تحقيق رضا واستحسان العميل:
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