How To Clean Tile Grout + Homemade Cleaner Recipe

Homemade Safe Non Toxic Grout Cleaner

To go along with my early spring cleaning/organizing I wanted to tackle my grout! We have quite a bit of tile in our home. The bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry room. The house is 8 years old and I’m not sure if the tile was just never sealed or if it’s just dirty after all these years. Either way, I was going to rid it of the yuckiness!

I came across a Pin that did not link but had a grout cleaner recipe pasted with the picture. I decided to give it a try. I figured if it didn’t work I would just go to Lowe’s and buy a real grout cleaner.

I am so happy that I gave it a try! It actually worked!! And all of the chemicals I used were kid friendly so my kiddos got to help too…which they thought was so much fun!


We started in the kitchen


…and then tackled the master bathroom floor


Can you see the difference?!?! The grout looks as good as new!! I seriously was amazed!


I’m going over the grout with this grout sealer that we had left over from laying travertine in our Georgia house. This was bought at Home Depot. Here is a link to what they currently have now: Grout & Tile Sealer.

5.0 from 2 reviews
How To Clean Tile Grout + Homemade Cleaner Recipe
  • 7 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (or ammonia - I am not a fan of this so I stuck with the lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or bucket
  2. Use a toothbrush to apply to grout and scrub clean
  3. Use a dry washcloth to wipe up excess

I’d love it if you would Pin this post if you found it helpful! May everyone who has tile have clean grout!!

If you liked this post please check out my natural, safe, non toxic homemade wood floor cleaner HERE!

Happy Cleaning!

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Linking To:


Thanks so much for stopping by and I’d love for you to PIN this and like me on facebook!
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Comments: 71

  1. Mindy January 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

    You have no idea how badly I need this in my life!!!! My shower grout is beyond embarrassing. I’m bustin’ this out before the week is over for sure!

    • Stephanie January 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

      haha! Good Luck!!
      I cleaned my shower yesterday with Lime Away and decided to spray some on some grout in a different room. I used a toothbrush to scrub it…it worked but didn’t seem to get it as clean as the homemade mixture!
      Let me know how yours turns out!!

  2. Tiffany January 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm Reply

    Yikes I did something wrong, I saw this same formula and the person said let it sit an hour then wipe away…. I see no change. I notice yours says to scrub but I’m seeing buckets and wash clothes- true dummy here- did you spray directly on the grout or mop the floor by hand? Did you let it sit before tooth rushing it?

    • Stephanie January 26, 2013 at 1:46 am

      Hi Tiffany! I actually didn’t even spray it! I just got the toothbrush wet and started scrubbing! It did take some elbow grease and going back and forth over the same grout line a couple of times – but all in all it was super easy! I had a wash cloth beside me and just wiped up the realllly dirty water/formula from the grout! Best of luck! Let me know if you have any other questions! **I also was cleaning my shower one day with Lime Away and noticed a spot on the tile/grout that was dirty…so I sprayed that and scrubbed with the toothbrush and that seemed to work as well…just not kid friendly and could possibly stain the grout

  3. CJ January 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm Reply

    THANK YOU so much for this recipe. I used this recipe plus a good sturdy scrub brush on my 6 month old tile grout which is a light beige and my OLD floor which I think was white tile grout. It worked WONDERS!
    The old tile was in the house prior to us moving in 3 years agoand it looked dirty and nearly brown. It is now a nice white color!!! THANKS

    • Stephanie January 28, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Hi CJ!! I’m so glad it worked so well for you too!! My husband still thinks I’m crazy because I comment about how awesome our floors look!! But I’m just so happy that they floors look new without replacing them!!

  4. Rhondda Winn-Mol February 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm Reply

    This is wonderful! Thanks! I pinned it. Rhondda

    • Stephanie February 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Awesome!! Thank yo so much Rhondda!! So glad you stopped by!!

  5. Floyd Gary Thacker March 31, 2013 at 11:14 am Reply

    i did this when my wife went on a business trip & she came in the door & thought i had painted the walls! i started doing about 4 square feet – went to bed & was amazed at the grout & the tile in the morning. i used vinegar not ammonia. i also used baking soda to get ink from an exploding pen out of a new dining room table.

    • Stephanie April 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Ohh that’s the best news! Congrats!! I’m so glad your wife was happy too! :-) I still admire my clean grout daily!! :-) It’s the little things in life! :-) *thanks for the tip about baking soda and ink!! I will definitely keep that one in mind should I have ink to get out someday!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  6. Theresa Phillips May 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm Reply

    I am going to give this a try tonight! Thank you for the inspiration! I’ve been postponing dealing with the grout in my bathrooms long enough! :)

    • Stephanie May 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

      Good luck!!!

  7. fred hamer June 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm Reply

    Discoverthe easy way to have clean floors.
    Let a pro do it for you.

  8. MaryAnn July 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm Reply

    Figured I’d give this a try, mainly because I didn’t have any ammonia in the house. Amazing. I have a huge tiled kitchen and eating area. Did a little area to see how it worked. Ended up doing almost whole area. Great recipe; time for a nap. :)

    • Stephanie August 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      I agree, it does make you tired!! But is so worth it!! Happy napping :-)

  9. Tara August 5, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

    This works amazingly well! I would suggest letting it sit for 10 minutes or so, then scrub. Less scrubbing needed.

    • Stephanie August 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      So glad it worked for you!!

  10. Len August 7, 2013 at 12:00 am Reply

    Did you use something like LemonReal or real lemon juice? Just wondering if it’d make a difference.

    • Stephanie August 21, 2013 at 1:24 am

      I just used the lemon juice in the green bottles that I bought at the grocery store! :-)

  11. Paige Stauffer Davidson August 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm Reply

    Thanks for the recipe! I did my whole entry way today and went through six toothbrushes! Thank goodness for the dollar store. I used lime juice, since that’s what I had, and scrubbed in extra baking soda (like a paste) on especially dirty grout lines. Think I’m going to be sore tomorrow, but my neat nick husband is THRILLED!

    More tomorrow….

    • Stephanie August 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      love it!! It is hard work but totally worth it!!! :-)

  12. Suzanne September 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm Reply

    I unfortunately did not find this recipe to work well. It took a tremendous amount of scrubbing compared to putting a liberal amount of powdered OXI CLEAN in a bucket of hot water. Much less scrubbing needed with that.

  13. Ashley September 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It worked great on the tile in our entry way. :)

    • Stephanie September 16, 2013 at 7:35 am

      Yay!! So welcome!

  14. Lynette Chase September 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm Reply

    Can this sit in a bottle for a day or 2 or does it have to be used right away? I want to try it at work but would rather mix it at home first.

    • Stephanie September 16, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Honestly, I’m not sure since I made it when I was ready to use it. But I’m sure that it would be fine to make ahead. Let me know how it turns out!! :-) Good luck!

    • John October 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Stephanie or Lynette have either of you stored any away since posting? I’m wondering if the mixture is something you can keep bottled to use as needed.

    • Stephanie October 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

      I’m sorry I have not. I just made up the mixture as I needed it.

  15. Linda September 24, 2013 at 8:39 am Reply

    Can I use this in a Hoover Max Extracter Scrub machine to clean my tile floors?

    • Stephanie September 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      I’m not familiar with that product so I cannot advise either way, sorry

  16. jasonb05n October 18, 2013 at 5:49 am Reply

    Love the post Stephanie, especially how the recipe is kid friendly. The results is pretty clear in the photos, but I wonder now much scrubbing you had to do to get that result. A stronger bleach based product might have brought up a brighter color. Thanks again for sharing!

  17. dtcguy October 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm Reply

    followed the directions but didn’t see much improvement. Maybe the grout was sealed with the dirt below it by a previous owner.

  18. Sick of Cleaning October 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm Reply

    Recipe left a filmy residue on my tiles even after mopping. Any suggestion on how to remove the baking soda residue from my tile?

  19. bathroom tiles October 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply

    Really nice.I also like this.This is so beautiful idea.This idea is so helpful for modern people.So this post is really great.Many many thanks for your nice post.I am waiting for next post.

    bathroom tiles

  20. Myra October 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm Reply

    Hi there this worked wonders helping with grout cleaning especially in spots my dog enjoyed marking. Being pregnant made it especially hard for me to clean it because of the harsh chemicals in the products or how ineffective they were. This is my go to now :) thanks! Making my pregnant cleaning days extremely easy.

    • Stephanie November 2, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Yay!!! I’m so happy it worked!! Congrats on your expected little bundle of joy! :-)

  21. Pat November 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm Reply

    I did not notice any difference using this. Our house was built just a year ago, so the dirt and mildew scum in the tiled shower is ALL NEW haha! I wish this had worked but it didn’t. I’m going on to OxiClean now.

  22. Grout-o-licious | Portkey to the Pensieve November 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm Reply

    […] when I got home…and re-googled “homemade grout cleaner”, I came across this lovely lady’s blog post.  In it, I didn’t even need the gallon of bleach that I had bought (yay!).  That meant even […]

  23. EINz November 16, 2013 at 9:04 am Reply

    Hi! I have baking powder in my kitchen, can I use this instead in replacement for baking soda?

    • Stephanie November 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      No, unfortunately you cannot substitute powder for soda. Sorry!

  24. Tiffany November 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm Reply

    Hi, Stephanie! My dad and mom are coming to visit for a few days during this Thanksgiving holiday and I couldn’t be more excited; it’s their first visit to my new home. But anyhow, you know what that means…… yes, a mad dash to get everything SPOTLESS!!! I saved the grout for last (as it is my LEAST favorite) but with this concoction I found it effortless!! I put it on, waited 5 minutes then ran an electric toothbrush over it. THANK YOU for the child/pet safe cleaner that actually works. :) Happy Holidays! The Hanks Family

    • Stephanie December 5, 2013 at 1:17 am

      Yay!!! I’m so glad it worked so well for you! Love the idea of the electric toothbrush!! I actually just threw away my kid’s old ones…maybe I need to go get those out of the garbage!! :-)
      Thanks again for such a sweet comment! (and I hear ya on the mad dash to get everything clean right before company comes…story of my life!!)

  25. Will December 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm Reply

    This worked great but, how do you remove the white haze that is left after? I wiped with a sponge and re-mopped but still lots of baking soda on the tile.

    • Ashley December 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Could you do a vinegar and water rinse? i know i use baking soda on my stove top and it leaves a film. Usually a little vinegar will cut it. Just a suggestion to try.

  26. Nicole February 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm Reply

    what a wonderful recipe, works just as good as store bought cleaners, but so much cheaper. thanks!!

  27. Kat Peschel February 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm Reply

    We live in a rental house and the grout for our pretty, light terra cotta-ish colored tiles looked to be a dark gray… until I got down close one day to wipe up a spill and noticed the grout in this fairly unwalked upon area was a nice LIGHT gray! I’ve been on a mission ever since to get it all clean! I had great success with a 50:50 plain white vinegar & water mixture scrubbed in and wiped off and was very pleased with my efforts… except in our master bath. It looked like something had been spilled in the area most walked upon, right inside the door, between the first sink and the toilet room. My beloved vinegar/water did little more than make the stained area stick out even more with the surrounding grout now light and pretty! I was worried that something had been spilled and actually STAINED the grout. I whipped up a batch of this, toothbrush in hand, I sat on the floor, took a deep breathe, said a quick pleading prayer, and began to scrub. I use the term “scrub” very loosely here, it was more like just pushing the toothbrush back and forth, swirling in areas that looked ground in. The hardest part of this whole procedure was keeping my mini schnauzers from licking the wet floor or drinking from the bucket! This stuff smells like a delicious citrus soda! I just had to remember to keep myself between the wet floor and the eager pups and to put the lid on the cat litter bucket I used to mix when I stepped away from it. This was not surface dirt, so I didn’t get the muddiness you did, (my first plain viegar/water scrub a few months ago got the muddiness off) but the towel I used to wipe it did get dirty none the less. I noticed a film of baking soda on the tile, so I put a timer in for 30 minutes and then used my floor steamer on super high steam to clean the film off. The towel I ran over the floor while it was still wet from the mega-steam was CLEAN! And the bathroom floor grout now looks CLEAN! I left a few lines of grout unscrubbed for comparison (only a few because I got swept up in the excitement!). No lingering chemical smells, no dry hands, no broken back or sore atms/hands, not much effort at all! Hands down my favorite cleaning day EVER! Thank you so much for posting this!

    • Stephanie February 20, 2014 at 10:07 am

      YAY!!! I’m so happy it worked so well for you!!! We’re in the process of renovating our kitchen so my once clean floors are filthy again! :-( I can’t wait to finish the construction so I can give the grout a good cleaning again! :-)

  28. Corie April 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm Reply

    I used this in my new home the groutwas black, not exagerating. This mixture got it back to white. The floors were gleaming! I will be doing this again yearly for spring cleaning thanks

    • Stephanie April 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      That’s great news!! Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know!! Happy cleaning!!

  29. […] dirty, but they’re level and not cracked at all. The grout was quite dingy. I came across this post from Gathered in the Kitchen, and figured it would be worth a try to see if I can clean this grout […]

  30. Jenn at April 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm Reply

    Great recipe! I tried it and wrote about it on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  31. Spring Cleaning 101 | April 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm Reply

    […] the Grub: For those with tiles, whether in the bathroom, kitchen or flooring, this DIY tile grout cleaner is great for clearing up the debris and faded […]

  32. Pauline May 18, 2014 at 11:46 am Reply

    The best thing I have found for grout is Magic Erasers. Buy a large container and cut them in half, dampen eraser and get on your knees and go for it. Be sure to wipe up dirt with damp cloth as you go. Erasers will crumble and fall apart because of the gritty grout, but it works.

  33. Tana May 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm Reply

    Thank you for this recipe! We remodeled our house 3 years ago and put down new tile. I bought a product that was suppose to seal the grout and it did not seal and it bleached my taupe grout white…uggh! Anyway, I’ve been in a dirty grout battle ever since and this is the only thing that has worked. I have used bleach, oxi clean, and professional strength cleaner. I am so grateful to end this battle.

    • Stephanie June 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Wow!! That’s great Tana!! Thanks so much for sharing your good news!!

  34. Sherry June 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm Reply

    Tried this homemade recipe on my ceramic tile bath floor . Cut the recipe down, also used lemon juice not ammonia, but put it in a spray bottle, and sprayed the grout & let it soak a few minutes, then used toothbrush. Works fine!

  35. […] 21. Tile Grout Cleaner […]

  36. […] dirty, but they’re level and not cracked at all. The grout was quite dingy. I came across this post from Gathered in the Kitchen, and figured it would be worth a try to see if I can clean this grout […]

  37. Nancy September 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm Reply

    It’s working!
    My kitchen floor is cream colored ceramic tile and this mixture is definitely cleaning the grime and staining in the grout. We’re looking to remodel and I’d rather work with the existing flooring than have to take up all that tile!

    • Stephanie September 15, 2014 at 8:59 am

      yay!!! so happy for you!!

  38. Cory Waltmathe September 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm Reply

    You have adorable kids. I can only imagine how sweet and lovely they are. All your hard work was really worth it. The result is fantastic! Your home tiles look so clean and new. That brand deserves a great review. Thanks for sharing!

    • Stephanie September 15, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Thank you so much Cory!!

  39. April September 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm Reply

    How can I remove the baking soda residue that was left on my tile floor? Was so happy to see how clean my grout got..until the floor dried and seen the floor is now white from the baking soda :( have used my steam mop 5 times on it now and it’s not helping. HELP! :/

    • Stephanie September 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

      I’m not sured since I didn’t have this problem. Did you try just using vinegar to wipe it up? It may help

  40. […] How to Clean Tile Grout + Homemade Recipe by Gathered in the Kitchen […]

  41. Christine December 3, 2014 at 11:58 am Reply

    OK, so was this supposed to produce a lava flow like one of my kids volcano experiments. I had all ingredients but BS in a jug. Added baking soda and had a huge reaction. After foam cleared away, half of the mixture was down the sink!

    • Stephanie December 4, 2014 at 2:23 am

      I did not have that happen, although, I used a large container to mix it in as well as added the vinegar slowly. Good luck!

  42. Sheila December 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm Reply

    It works and does store in a spray bottle for reuse.

    • Stephanie December 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      thanks for the feedback Sheila!

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