How to clean grout and keep your bathroom looking fresh

How to clean grout: 5 easy ways

A clean bathroom is one of life’s simple pleasures. After a long day at work, a steaming hot shower or a deliciously bubbly bath is the perfect remedy. Candles - lit, fluffy towel - ready. You’re about to unwind, de-stress and forget about your nagging boss...but then you spot the grim state of your tiles.

The culprit is grout. Made from a mixture of cement, sand and water, grout is the stuff used to hold your bathroom and kitchen tiles in place. It’s often light in colour and extremely porous. As a result, it (unhelpfully) absorbs dirt and gets stained easily.

If you don’t clean the grout regularly, mould and mildew start creeping up, turning it a dodgy grey colour. And to top it off, shampoo and soap suds get soaked up too, leaving behind an unappealing orange tinge.

Dirty grout can take over your bathroom. But luckily, it’s easier than you might think to clean it; once finished you’ll have a sparkly space once more.

So - how to clean bathroom tile grout? We’ve got 5 tried-and-trusted methods for you. Start with the mildest and most environmentally friendly one, and if that doesn’t work, move on to the harsher stuff. That mould doesn’t stand a chance...

If you need you need some quick top tips on damp and mould head to 'Damp and mould in rented homes'

Method 1: Water

You’ll need:

  • A scrubbing brush or old toothbrush
  • A bowl of warm water

To kick things off, give the grout a good scrub with warm water. Up, down, side to side, put a bit of elbow grease into it.

Method 2: Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda

You’ll need:

  • A scrubbing brush or old toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • An old spray bottle
  • A bowl of warm water

As recommended by Good Housekeeping, mix together bicarbonate of soda and water until they form a paste. Then rub it onto the dirty grout with the scrubbing brush or toothbrush.

Leave the paste on the grout for 15 minutes, and in the meantime fill an old spray bottle with the vinegar.

Spray onto the area and the paste should start bubbling up. Now, give the grout and tiles a good scrub and rinse them off with water.

Method 3: Whitening toothpaste

You’ll need:

  • A scrubbing brush or old toothbrush
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • A bowl of warm water

Simply splodge some whitening toothpaste onto the old toothbrush or scrubbing brush and work it into the grout and edges of the tiles.

This should help remove any black marks and restore the grout to a light white colour. Once you’ve given the area a thorough scrub, rinse it off with water.


Method 4: Bleach and bicarbonate of soda

You’ll need:

  • A scrubbing brush or old toothbrush
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Bleach
  • A bowl of warm water

When working out how to clean grout on tiles in the bathroom, bleach is harsh but effective. If the previous methods haven’t managed to get rid of the nasty marks, then it might be time to reach for it.

First, put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from any bleach spillages. Make sure you have some fresh air flowing through the bathroom, so open up a window or door.

Mix bicarbonate of soda and a splash of bleach into a paste. Apply to the grout and leave it to work it’s magic for around 15 minutes.

Next, scrub the grout with the old toothbrush, making sure to really work it into the corners. For any really fiddly bits, you could switch the toothbrush for a cotton bud.

Rinse the grout and tiles with water. On stubborn areas, repeat the process.

Method 5: Grout eraser

You’ll need:

  • Grout eraser
  • A bowl of warm water

One of the easiest but most expensive ways to clean grout is by using a grout eraser. From Flash to JML Dokter, the so-called ‘magic erasers’ are indeed pretty magical.

All you have to do is wet the eraser and then use it to scrub the grout. You should find the mould, mildew and stains quickly disappear!

To finish up, give the grout and tiles a quick wipe with a clean cloth. The downside, however, is that one eraser won’t get you very far; be prepared to eat through at least a pack when cleaning your bathroom.

So there you have it, clean grout! And what a difference it makes. If you’re a renter sprucing up the bathroom before moving out, have a read of our ‘End of tenancy cleaning tops: a checklist to a spotless house’.

How to prevent mould in the bathroom:

To keep on top of it and save yourself from another deep clean, here are some tips on how to prevent mould in the bathroom:

  • After every shower or bath, wipe the tiles, glass walls and glass doors to get rid of any excess water. A squeegee is often the best tool for the job.
  • Once you’ve wiped everything down, give the glass and tiles a quick spray with a daily shower cleaner. This will prevent soap scum or mould from building up. Method’s Daily Shower Spray is a good environmentally-friendly option, or you can create your own.
  • To do this: mix 4 parts water to 1 part cider or white wine vinegar in an old spray bottle. Be generous with the water quantity to avoid your bathroom smelling like a chippy. Spray it on and leave it to dry, there’s no need to rinse.
  • Every other week, give the grout a good clean (yes, it really does need that much TLC). Mix together a quick paste of water and bicarbonate of soda, get your old toothbrush out again and give the grout and tiles a scrub. Rinse off with water.

Remember if you're renting you may be entitled to a rent deduction for disrepair. Head here to find out more 'how to ask for a rent deduction due to disrepair' and 'UK tenants rights on repairs - things you should know while renting'

When to change the grout:

If the grout in your bathroom or kitchen is flaking and breaking off, it’s important to fix this as soon as possible. Otherwise, water could start seeping into the wall and cause some serious damage. So if you’re good with DIY roll up your sleeves and get re-grouting. If not, call out a handyman.

There you have it - a step by step guide!

Whilst you’re here, why not read:


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