If you are searching for the best grout cleaner or the best way to clean grout on tile floors, you have come to the right place. I am a professional tiler and have come across my fair share of dirty grout lines.
Let’s face it. Tile and grout cleaning is exhausting.
But it’s important if you want to minimize exposure to bacteria, make your home look good, and boost its resale value. If you use the best grout cleaner for the shower, bathroom, or tile floors, you should have no trouble keeping your kitchen or bathroom spotless.
In this site, I will tell you all about grout, walk you through the best way to clean grout, show you the best grout removal tool, tell you why it is important to clean grout, and give you some handy tips to prevent grout from forming again. I’ve hand tested every possible solution out there so rest assured you’re only getting to best advice.
Look at the full review for the best grout cleaner that you can buy online now and read below for my instructions on the best way to clean grout:
- 1 Top 3 Best Grout Cleaner Reviews
- 2 Best Grout Cleaner: The Different Types
- 3 What is Grout?
- 4 Best Way to Clean Grout
- 5 Different Products to Clean Grout
- 6 Grout Removal Tools
- 7 Why is it Important to Clean Grout?
- 8 Grout Prevention
Top 3 Best Grout Cleaner Reviews
For Easy to Remove Stains
Tilex Grout Pen Review (Active Ingredient: Bleach): This is the best grout cleaner if you want something simple and powerful. Because bleach is such a powerful ingredient, using bleach is the best way to clean grout in the shower, where there is really dirty grout. The grout pen is really good if you just have surface level dirt on your grout lines in small clumps and looking for a cheap easy fix. You want to be careful with it and target specific areas. Since this is a bleaching agent, it is really not made for cleaning your entire floor or cleaning colored grout or stone tiles.
Our Rating: (3.9 / 5)
You can pick it up for a few bucks on Amazon and it gets most of the minor stains out of your grout. It is perfect for fixing small spots in the bathroom or shower. We would not recommend this product if you need to clean your entire floor or have stone tiles.
Tilex is a household name we can all associate with and we find it works better than the Miracle Grout Pen. The best part about using this pen is you don’t have to worry too much about scrubbing. Just apply the pen over your grout lines and watch the magic happen.
This pen packs some serious heat as it uses Clorox bleach as the active ingredient. Remember: don’t treat this like a toy, let your kids or dog play with it, or touch your eyes when you’re using this! Bleach is a dangerous chemical and should be store in a safe place.
The best part about the Tilex is that you can find the best grout cleaner and the best way to clean grout in the shower all in one pen!
For Medium Grade Debris
Hoover Grout Plus (Active Ingredient: Acid): The Hoover Grout Plus is the best grout cleaner for medium grade debris and the best way to clean grout if you want to cover a lot of ground. There’s a reason why this is an Amazon best seller. It works and it’s relatively cheap! This cleaner covers more area than the Grout Pen so we suggest you use it if you have multiple areas you need cleaned. The pen is really meant to be used for targeting small areas.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
We find it generally works better than the top competitor in acid based solutions, Zep. It also works fast and doesn’t require a lot of scrubbing. This is because it is an acid based cleaner. We recommend that you don’t use it on stone, marble, granite, or metal since the acid could react with these materials and do some permanent damage to your tiles.
We suggest the StoneTech Klenz All if you have stone, marble, or granite tiles. There’s nothing but positive reviews out there on the Hoover Grout Plus. It is the best grout cleaner in its group. Occasionally, you’ll get a very negative review, but it usually comes from someone who doesn’t use it right or doesn’t know how to scrub.
Hoover is another trusted brand and always delivers. It is easy to use and can also be used to clean your tiles. After trying most of the liquid medium grade grout cleaning products, we find that Hoover is most effective product in its category. This is definitely the best grout cleaner for the money and the best way to clean grout on tile floors through an acid based cleaner. A bottle of this should last you a few years and you never have to worry about coming up with some homemade solution following a youtube video again.
For Big Projects, Stone Tiles, and Colored Grout
StoneTech Klenz All Grout Cleaner (Active Ingredient: Alkaline Base): StoneTech is an industrial strength grout cleaner and is the best grout cleaner on floor for tough jobs. It is the best way to clean grout if you have a lot of it. The active ingredient is a strong alkaline base. Unlike acid or bleach based cleaners, StoneTech can be used on marble or granite tiles or colored grout. It is also meant for large projects, since it is easy to use, effective, and you don’t have to worry about it damaging your tiles or grout. Since you don’t need to be careful with it, many people like it because you can just drizzle it on a brush and mop your tile and grout like you are mopping the floor.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
Out of all of the heavy duty cleaners we’ve tried including the biggest competitor Aqua Mix, I find Stone Tech is the best grout cleaner in its category. Stonetech/DuPont is a trusted brand for chemicals and is easy to use. It works the same as any other product: mix the concentrated solution with water, apply the solution, wait 5-10 minutes, and then scrub away.
It’s a bit more expensive than the other ones, but pound for pound it is cheaper and is the best grout cleaner. Not only do you get a gallon jug worth of this stuff, but also you have to dilute it with water since it is so concentrated. So in reality you are buying two gallons worth for the price of one. When you buy this, you’ll never worry about running out. This product will last many years and has a long shelf life. This is the best way to clean grout if you have an entire house to clean.
Best Grout Cleaner: The Different Types
You will find that the best grout cleaner will contain the follow active ingredient: acid, base, or bleach. Acid solutions can come in weak forms like vinegar or lemon juice, or strong like hydrochloric acid (diluted of course). They are typically fast acting and don’t require too much scrubbing because the acid itself already does the work for you. However, acid solutions are not suitable for some tiles such as marble and granite because it can cause damage.
Base solutions are generally more user friendly and are often used if you are cleaning your entire house. This is because the base solution does not really damaging your tiles, so you can just apply it liberally to your entire floor. Bleach based solutions are powerful and damaging at the same time. It can discolor your tiles, so we recommend you only use it on white grout and white porcelain tiles. Since you have to be extra careful with it and only target your grout lines, I only recommend using bleach based cleaners to target small areas. This is normally perfect for the bathroom or shower. Whatever best grout cleaner you chose, just remember the best way to clean grout starts with safety first.
What is Grout?
Grout is a construction material used to connect tiles together on your floor or wall. It is made of a mixture of water, cement, and sand. It is also porous, so what this means is it easily absorbs liquids and dirt. When a lot of “junk” is absorbed over time, your grout will become discolored and will become difficult to remove without using the best grout cleaner and the best way to clean grout. Also it makes your floor unsanitary, because bacteria can grow in the absorbed liquids and dirt.
People often call the trapped dirt and debris grout, but this is not technically correct. Remember, grout is just the material used to seal your tiles together. The best grout cleaner is a product that will absorb this debris and leave your grout and tiles looking spotless. The best way to clean grout is with with the best grout cleaner and a good scrub brush.
Best Way to Clean Grout
- Clean the surface: The best way to clean grout is to first make sure there’s nothing around the grout lines before scrubbing off the debris. You can really make things worse here if there’s dirt, debris, or hair around your tiles and you accidentally scrub those into your grout. Remember, the best grout cleaner absorbs everything so give the area a good wipe down first!
- Protective yourself: Remember, grout has nasty bacteria in it, so you may want to wear some gloves while handling your grout. Also, if you’re dealing with an industrial strength chemical or bleach, you want to get some thick plastic gloves. You may also want to wear a surgeon’s mask or open a window if the smell from the chemical gets too bad. When in doubt, just use some common sense and wrap it up! Using gloves is definitely the best way to clean grout.
- Apply your grout cleaner solution: It is hard the choose the best grout cleaner. There are so many grout cleaning solutions on the market. Luckily, we’ve made your life easier. You’ll have to let the cleaner sit on the grout for a while and work its magic. Remember, don’t scrub immediately! What it’s actually doing is penetrating the porous layer and breaking up the trapped sand and debris. How long you wait will depend on the strength of your solution and each bottle should have instructions. Reading the instructions on the back of the best grout cleaner is the best way to clean grout.
- Scrub grout: Ok, hopefully you let the best grout cleaner actually sit for a while first. Now it’s time to scrub! Be sure to choose a tool that has medium bristles. We recommend getting this scrub brush. If it’s too strong you may scrub off the grout itself and dislodge your tiles. If you have soft bristles, you may not be able to penetrate the pores. Remember, don’t scrub too hard. The best way to clean grout is by scrubbing with medium strength. It’s the same concept as brushing your teeth. If you brush too hard you’ll damage your gums. If you scrub too hard, you’ll damage the grout lines. And just like brushing your teeth, you want to use a circular motion. If you scrub up and down, you risk damaging your grout lines. If you bought the best grout cleaner, the dirt should all be dislodged and all it needs is a gently push.
- Rinse and wipe clean: Ok, you’ve done all the hard work by now if you used the best grout cleaner and followed my instructions on the best way to clean grout. Once you’re done just make sure to rinse off the area with water and wipe of the remaining dirt. You can do this with a clean mop or paper towels. After you’ve done this you should start seeing a brand new tiled floor or wall. There will be some spots that you probably missed so if you want, reapply the solution and repeat.
Different Products to Clean Grout
Steamer: This is definitely not the best grout cleaner or the best way to clean grout, but if you have stains that aren’t too deep or old, or if you don’t want to bend over and scrub, this maybe your best choice. The best steam cleaner for grout will apply water vapors at high pressure and heat to dislodge the dirt in your grout lines. The heat should also help break up surface level dirt from your grout and the high pressure will help dislodge it. The bristles on the steamer are very gentle so it won’t damage your grout. You can find a cheap effective steamer here.
Homemade Grout Cleaner: This is a step up from steaming your dirty grout. There are so many ways to do this. Some work and most are just fun experiments. There’s a reason why the best grout cleaner is made of industrial grade chemicals. This stuff is hard to get out and taking shortcuts will only waste your time and money. This is not be the best way to clean grout or the best grout cleaner, so you can test it at your own risk. Most do it yourself home products involve a mixture of 5 products: vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish detergent. Vinegar and lemon juice are both acids so they break down and dissolves dirt and debris. Baking soda is an alkaline that acts as a water softener, breaks down protein from food, and can also be a deodorant if the grout smells. Hydrogen peroxide is a whitening solution that also kills bacteria. Dish detergent is a friendly chemical free soap that kills bacteria. You can try combining all of these products in your homemade formula and give it a shot. Although it’s free of chemicals and more gentle, just keep in mind it is not the best grout cleaner and is not as effective as some of the professional cleaners.
Over the Counter Household Cleaners: This is the logic next step up. These companies aren’t just repackaging soap and reselling it to you. They’ve gone through the research & development needed to perfectly calculate what solutions need to be mixed and at what ratios. The over the counter cleaners you can find in your local drug store will likely include vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide in addition to surfactants and other chemicals that kill mildew. These cleaners will be rougher than your home products, so just be careful not to get them on yourself or damage your tiles. While not the best grout cleaner or the best way to clean grout, an over the counter cleaner can do some justice to your grout lines.
Professional Strength or Industrial Cleaners: If you have really dirty grout lines, you will probably want to buy some industrial strength cleaners. These chemicals were designed specifically to clean porous substances, so they will naturally be more powerful. They are often used by professional cleaners as well. Just keep in mind to be extra careful when handling these products.
Bleach Based Cleaners: Bleaching your dirty grout lines is arguably another “professional” strength way of cleaning. Chlorine and oxygen bleach are the two types of products out there. Oxygen bleaches are less intrusive and like less likely to discolor or damage your grout. Chlorine beaches are more powerful, but you may cause some damage if you are not careful. Also if you breathe in the fumes, it can be a health risk. I recommend sticking to oxygen beaches if you are going to go down this route. While this is technically the best grout cleaner, it does come with some hazards and perhaps not the best way to clean grout.
Grout Cleaning Machine: The best way to clean grout is by hand but if you’re lazy and don’t want to squat on your floor to clean, you may want to buy a grout cleaning machine. They are basically like vacuums and all work the same way. They first steam the tiles by applying heat and high pressure. This will dislodge the debris. Then tiny bristles will scrub for you, forcing the dirt out. Finally a vacuum will suck it all out. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could apply some kind of over the counter or the best grout cleaner in conjunction to your machine.
Hire a professional grout cleaner: If you’re really lazy, just pick up the phone and call over the pros. There’s not much to say here other than it will be expensive, but it’ll likely get the job done and save you some time.
Grout Removal Tools
Mop or a Broom: Before you start using the best grout cleaner, we recommend you use a mop or broom to first give the tiles a nice sweep. This prevents additional debris from getting into the grout and is just more sanitary.
Scrub brush: The scrub brush is going to be the best grout removal tool along with the best grout cleaner. It is the best way to clean grout without using your hands. Make sure to get one with medium bristles, since hard bristles will damage your grout and soft bristle will just be too weak. Also, make sure to buy a scrub brush where the bristles in the middle are longer than those along the side. This is because the grout lines are deeper than your tiles so you don’t want the bristles on the side rubbing harshly on your tile. Make sure to get a brush about the size on your hand with a comfortable grip. Make sure it’s about the size of your hand so that the brush can apply even pressure. Buying a giant brush will only be ineffective. When you combine the best scrub brush with the best grout cleaner, you have definitely figured out the best way to clean grout.
Brush Drill: For those who are lazy, you can buy a brush drill. They actually exist! They are basically drills that come with a brush attachment. They provide even pressure and a nice circular rotation.
Cloth/Cleaning pad: The cloth would be used to wipe off the extra junk around your tiles after you’ve finished scrubbing. Make sure to get a white one without any dyes that could potentially discolor your grout lines.
Why is it Important to Clean Grout?
Health benefits: Bacteria and other germs are everywhere on our floor, but they especially like to live in porous areas like grout lines. Mold tends to grow in warm porous areas as well. If you have kids or dogs who like to play around on the floor or are generally concerned having a clean house, you should seriously consider cleaning up your dirty tile grout with the best grout cleaner and following my instructions on the best way to clean grout.
Aesthetics: Dirty grout lines don’t look good. It doesn’t complement the tiles well and when guests are over you’ll want to give of the impression that you have a clean sanitary house. Read the best way to clean grout section for a step-by-step process to deal with this.
Increases the value of your home: If you plan on selling your house in the future, better clean up that grout! If a prospective buyer walks into your house and sees dirty tile grout lines, he or she will have a negative impression and start to suspect other things are also poorly maintained.
The best way to clean grout on tile floors and make sure your grout doesn’t get dirty again is to apply the best grout sealer after using the best grout cleaner. The sealer should be applied as soon as you clean up your grout lines. There are two kinds of sealers: those that sit on top of your grout and those that get into your pores and permanently fills them in.
Penetrating sealers are generally more popular because they last longer. You normally want to use a penetrating grout sealer in wet areas such as the shower, bathroom, or patio.
Topical sealers are generally cheaper but less effective. They also have a nice gloss/matte finish. You want to use topical grout cleaners in areas that are less used and save the heavy duty penetrating cleaners for your high traffic areas. There are many grout sealers to chose from depending on what type of tiles you have and what your end goals are. Each sealer has its pros and cons. We recommend these best grout sealers.